Can't view pdfs

In the Inspector’s Bookmarks tab, I have links to various pdfs.

When I right click on one of these, the option ‘Open in Current Editor’ is there. But clicking on it does nothing.

If I double-click the bookmark, then the file opens in a Quick Reference pane, but only the document’s cover and not the rest of it.

If I drag and drop the Bookmark onto an editor window, then again all I get is the cover. And the same happens if I drag and drop the original pdf file into an editor window.

The manual says it’s possible to view pdfs in Scrivener, but I can’t for the life of me see how to do this. What am I doing wrong?

And while I’m here…
Is it possible to change the behaviour of double-clicking a bookmark so that the target file opens in an extermal editor?

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You need to drag and drop the source PDF file in the research folder of your project’s binder.

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Does that mean if I drop PDFs in my research folder first, that the said PDFs will open properly if I subsequently drag/drop/link them from the research folder into

  • a document in my draft folder?
  • my project (or document) bookmarks?
  • onto a document outside my draft that I have linked to my bookmarks?

So, once a pdf is dropped into the research folder, do I need to set it to open in an external editor on a per item basis, or can that be set globally?

I had a similar problem to the OP and tried to open a pdf in multiple places with the same results but didn’t have time to sort out why at the time.

It’ll work properly in the bookmarks.
Else, you can do anything that you would expect to be able to do with a document (navigation/link-wise), except that it can’t leave the research folder.


It is now part of your project. Scrivener will display it in the editor or bookmark panel.
→ See my screenshot, the bookmark panel, my PDF is not on page 1.


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Thank you Vincent_Vincent! Worked everywhere like a charm. Not sure why I had problems the first time. I thought I did put in research, but apparently not.

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Thanks for this Vincent. Obvious when you know!

It would be helpful if the Manual mentioned this in the main section on pdfs - 8.1.