[BUG] Split function deleting my work!


I’m working on a memoir. My chapters are set up as individual essays (text) within folders. Occasionally I want to split up an essay into smaller scenes, so I can move them around. Hope that makes sense.

What I’m finding is that when I use the Split function (Documents > Split > At Selection), instead of slicing up the essay into two discrete blocks of text, it’s preserving the text above the split and deleting everything that comes after. So, the new text (the stuff that should come after the split) is actually a duplicate of the stuff above the split!

Even more frustrating is that when I try to duplicate an essay to manually split it (that is, Add New Text, cut my text from below where I would want the split to be, then paste it into the New Text), it recreates the above problem—again, the text from above “the split” is preserved and everything below it is deleted. Yes, even in separate Texts. It’s like the texts are syncing with each other.

Anyway. Here I am, unable to figure this out. Not sure if it’s a setting or a bug. All I know is I used to be able to split texts with no issues…

Any bright ideas?


Mac Sonoma 14.1.1
Scrivener 3.3.6

I’m not able to duplicate this issue. Split on my system works as it always has.

Have you tried using the Project Search to locate the missing text? If you split or duplicate a document, the new document will appear at the same outline level as the original. If the original has sub-documents, the new document will appear below those sub-documents in the Binder. Which, if there are a lot of sub-documents, can mean that the new document appears “off screen” and therefore appears not to exist.

Thanks for the response! Definitely not missing text elsewhere. A sub-doc is created, same name with -1 appended.

Attached screenshots hopefully show the issue. First one, look for cursor after the first para. Second one, same first para, no other text. Neither sub-doc has the rest of the text.

Weirdly, when I search for a keyword in Project Search, a bunch of sub-docs come up but are blank.

I restarted computer, and nothing has been fixed.

Gah! Right now this program is useless and unreliable.

[edited to remove screenshots]

Would it be possible for us to look at the project directly?

You can email a project by using the File → Backup → Backup To command, and checking the box to create a ZIP backup. Send it to mac.support@literatureandlatte.com and reference this thread.

Edit: Are you using Dropbox, iCloud, or a similar service? And if so, are you sharing the project with any other devices?

I’ll do that.

FYI, in case this is relevant—and it’s such a strange coincidence, and one that has happened several times today when trying to duplicate the issue across multiple scrivener files, that it might be key: this issue crops up when the horizontal viewer is locked. Now, I have no idea how to lock a view! But I spied a padlock and when I unlock the view the issue resolves.

I only noticed the padlock when, in an earlier version of my original reply to you I said I couldn’t toggle to a new folder/sub-doc. (I since deleted that because I spied the padlock, but now I see it might be relevant.)

In other words, I’m not locking anything. But when I unlock it maybe possibly seems to quite possibly (??‽!!) resolve this issue.

Hope that all makes sense. It’s late here in California :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ll email you now. It’ll be a different scriv document (!) which illustrates it’s a global issue on my computer.


Lauren Cross


I think you’re right that the problem is you had ‘Lock in Place’ on. The whole point of Lock in Place is that it doesn’t let you click in the Binder to show another document, so when you split the document, you will continue to see the first half of the split, even when you click on the next.

If you haven’t knowingly invoked Navigate > Editor > Lock in Place, then you probably accidentally typed the shortcut, which is cmd-opt-L.

BTW, even if you do have lock in place on, then you can still move between documents with the shortcuts cmd-opt-up/down, you just can’t do it by clicking in the binder. Using the shortcuts in this way automatically turns the lock off.



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I’ve been able to confirm the described behavior and have reported this as a bug. It’s a nasty one, so we’ll hopefully have a fix soon.

Until then, the workaround is to avoid using the Lock in Place command with the Document Split command.

As always, taking an extra backup before reorganizing a project is never a bad idea.

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Yippee! Am very grateful to you both for helping me figure this out.

I’m also a bit chuffed that I found a bug, and a nasty one at that. Geek achievement unlocked :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thank you so much again!



I tested this on 14.0 but wasn’t able to replicate it, nor on Catalina, so fortunately if there’s a nasty bug it might be specific to the OS version or may take a specific setup to trigger. These steps are working fine in my testing:

  1. Add some text in the editor to DocA

  2. Lock the editor with ⌥⌘L

  3. Place the cursor within the text and use ⌥⌘K to split at selection

    • At this point, DocA-1 is created in the binder, selected for editing the title.
    • The editor is still showing DocA, since it’s locked, so the text above the split is shown.
  4. Click back into the editor and unlock the editor with ⌥⌘L

  5. Load DocA-1

At this point, I’m seeing the expected text in DocA-1, i.e. the text below the split.

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Darn it, you’re right! I forgot to unlock the Binder before looking at the new document.

Which raises the question, @goldbird, did you unlock the Binder after creating the new document but before looking at it?

Hmmm… I don’t really follow, because I don’t know all the names for the various components. So I can tell you that

  1. I am 100% certain I did the keyboard shortcut. I was relying on muscle memory, and as k and l are right next to each other, that’s how it would have happened.

  2. I have a document that I haven’t really touched in a while, and was not able to replicate the issue when I was posting here previously. So I deduced it was document-specific around the time that I noticed the padlock.

  3. Now that I know that locking a document is a) possible, and b) reversible, I think the issue has been resolved at my end. I’m back to the Scrivener I know and love.

But in the name of squashing bugs, I’m happy to keep chatting and testing things. :slight_smile:

  • Lauren