Can't open newly imported PDF file in current project

I love Scrivener’s ability to hold other file types for research and reference purposes, but I just ran into a weird thing with OS X 11.5.2 and Scrivener 3.2.2 that I hope someone can help me out with.

I downloaded a PDF to my Mac downloads folder, then dragged it into the Research folder in Scrivener as usual. But if I click on the file in Scrivener now to read it, I get a message instead:

Scrivener does not have permission to open the file at:
Long file path indicating a random name PDF file within the top-level .scriv container for the project
Please go to Scrivener>Authorize Folder Access… to grant Scrivener access to external files

Of course, I’m not sure why it considers this to be an external file since the path is clearly within the file bundle for the same project. I thought maybe it needed permission to read from the source folder, but I checked and it has already been granted that authorization. For that matter, it has authorization (perhaps obviously) to read from the folder that the project itself is within.

The Authorize Folder Access menu doesn’t include the option to drill down into the normally hidden bundle files anyway, so I’m not sure how to resolve this. The same project already includes several PDFs within it that are perfectly readable, although added probably prior to my Big Sur upgrade.

Have tried closing and re-opening the project with no difference, and deleting and re-importing the file, ditto.

Any hints, tips, or workarounds for this issue?


Instead of dragging and dropping, try using Scrivener’s File → Import command. Does that help?

Thanks for the idea, but that didn’t do it either.

However, I tested dragging in some other PDF files I had laying around, and those worked just fine. So it seems like it is a problem with the file I am trying to bring in and not anything with Scrivener in particular. Although I am able to open and read the file in Preview without any problem.

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Is the pdf password protected? Not sure that would account for it, but looking for differences.

I believe you can open a pdf and use the print to pdf facility from Preview. I wonder if it would be worth doing that to generate a new pdf and see if that fares better.

As you can read the file in Preview, perhaps try from there “printing” a new copy PDF and use the new file with Menu: File → Print (PDF button) or Menu: File → Export as PDF.

If printing/save/export is disabled then probably something set in the PDF to prevent that.

Thank you both, the Preview Export as PDF did the trick. The original must have been messed up in some way, but the duplicate imported via drag and drop to Scrivener just fine.