Blue initial words when pasting a compiled Word text into email

I’m struggling with an odd challenge. I’ve had agents request the first 30 pages of manuscripts pasted into the body of the email, and several have requested the manuscript be double spaced. There are no double space settings within Apple Mail (and in general, with email, it’s very hard to know how formatting will be received). The only way I have figured out how to double space in an email and retain settings (like tabs and spacing) is by cutting-and-pasting from a compiled-to-Word document. (This double-space trick doesn’t work from a compiled PDF or Apple Pages doc or TextEdit doc.)

Here’s the challenge. When I paste my manuscript into an Apple Mail Document, the chapter titles and the first words become highlighted in blue.
[attachment=2]Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 10.28.30 AM.png[/attachment]

It’s not only that these words are blue, I can’t change the color of them in mail without retyping every instance.

When I go back to my Word file to check the invisibles, I don’t see anything to suggest there’s an issue with the document.
[attachment=1]Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 10.46.02 AM.png[/attachment]

When I open the same document in Pages and check invisibles, there’s a box around the chapter title and the first word.
[attachment=0]Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 10.45.01 AM.png[/attachment]

Within Scrivener, however, the invisibles show nothing. This makes me think the issue lies within the compile step.

Is there something I can change in the compile setup to fix this? Double spacing aside, it’s really a challenge not to be able to cut and paste from Word. Additionally, if others have found creative solutions to the “paste your manuscript in the body of the email,” I’d love to hear them.

Does Word apply a style to the formatted text?

If you create the same text directly in Word, rather than compiling from Scrivener, do you see the same results?

If the blue boxes aren’t present in Scrivener and aren’t present in Word, this seems to me like an issue in the conversion from Word format that Apple Mail does. Have you tried a different email client?


Thanks for your response, Katherine.

Word does not attach a style to the formatted text. It’s based on the Normal style. To your later question, when I recreated the test draft in Word and copied it into Mail, the color stays black (not blue), so I don’t think it’s a Word-to-Mail issue.

Clearly, something is there (even in the Word file—and even if Word ignores it) because it appears in Pages. It’s almost like something has been added in the conversion process (as one might bold the first word or letter of text). The fact that it’s not in Scrivener itself should not be a surprise as the chapter title is not within the Scrivener file either—it’s the title on the folder that Scrivener grabs as it compiles it into the Word format.

To your question, with gmail, this doesn’t occur.

Any additional insight would be greatly appreciated.

What happens if you compile to RTF and then open the resulting file in Word?


I compiled it as an RTF and opened it in Word. Cutting and pasting from Word into Mail—and the chapter title and first word are still highlighted in blue.
[attachment=0]Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 1.55.43 PM.png[/attachment]
I also opened it in TextEdit. The blue is not visible, but when I open it with Preferences > Open as RTF Code, there’s code that wraps both elements: *\bkmkstart

Here’s a snippet of the code. Look in particular around the word “This” in the last line.

\cf0 {*\bkmkstart Test_Chapter}Test Chapter{*\bkmkend Test_Chapter}

\f1\fs24 \cf0 {*\bkmkstart Untitled}This{*\bkmkend Untitled} is the beginning of the chapter. Lorem ipsum dolor sit

Curious to hear if there is any update on this. Thanks!

In Pages, those blue boxes appear as pseudo-bookmarks as the doc-based compile format has structural elements.

In Word they appear from doc or RTF compiles, because Word tries to interpret the structure of the document from the different formatting elements it identifies.

And in Pages (don’t know about Word as I don’t have it), the blue boxes only appear when “show invisibles” is turned on, yes?

And if you output to text only, or if you use paste and match style when pasting into an email, there are no blue boxes to be seen, as the structural elements aren’t identifiable / interpreted by a word processor?

This appears to be happening by design in Word / Pages, rather than in Scrivener, as it is only the formatted compiles that are being interpreted by the word processors.

So, if you open the doc compiles in Pages and turn off “show invisibles”, the blue boxes disappear, yes?

And if you compile to RTF and open in Pages, there are no blue boxes at all, yes? (Because the real gremlin here is Word and its doc compiles and its interpretation of RTF compiles.)

And if you open a doc or RTF compile in Pages and then copy and paste to Mail, there are no blue boxes and no blue text? (Because, again, the real gremlin here is Word and its doc compiles and its interpretation of RTF compiles.)

So, I think that there isn’t an issue here with Scrivener. And I think Word and Pages are performing as designed. Although Word is being more intrusive in its formatting of the structural points it identifies and interprets in texts.

In summary, if you compile to doc or RTF, open in Pages, and then copy and paste from Pages to Mail, you don’t see any blue words or blue boxes in Mail, yes?

So if you ditch Word as an intermediary, does it work as you need it to?

Good luck with publishing. I wish you every possible success.

Hope this helps.


L … bf978a/mac

Thanks for being a thought-partner, Login—I think you helped solve this! Unfortunately, to get double spaces in Mail as requested by agents, I can’t ditch Word. It doesn’t work from Pages or TextEdit (RTF); the double spaces only work in Mail when the document is cut and pasted from Word.

HOWEVER, your first line gave me a workaround. Scrivener is placing a bookmark structure into the document, much like a section break or a column.

Digging a bit, I discovered I can delete these bookmarks in Word by:

  1. Clicking Insert > Bookmark. When I do this a list of bookmarks appear. (And yes, it’s counterintuitive to delete something by first clicking “insert.”)
  2. Clicking on a bookmark name and deleting the bookmark.
    Here’s the detail: … 009d99c2a0

So, as far a workaround within a workaround goes, it’s solved!

As a future suggestion for Scrivener, it would be great if bookmarks could be turned off for the Word compile—or, even better, providing the ability to output in double spaces directly to email—but this works great for what I need it to do.

Thanks for all your help, Katherine and Login!

Good to hear you found a solution. Wonder if the formatting will hold true for the recipient. But at least it is working at your end.

All the best.


To your question, I’ve sent emails from Apple Mail to Gmail as well as to Outlook accounts. Surprisingly (as email is notoriously so bad at things like fonts and sizes), the double space formatting is retained.

Follow-up to the blue bookmarks issue. The double-space solution above continues to work, but the Word file will continue to add one or two bookmarks as one works with it. They are not named using chapter headings like the compiled file but have the term “Ole_Link” within them. Here’s details from someone that knows more than me at: