Comments in word doc missing

When importing a word doc with comments, the comments do not appear, only blank notes. Also, when I open up previous scrivener projects, the notes are blank where there was previously text in the notes. I am using the latest update for Mac and I am on macOS11.79 (Big Sur). What is the solution?

Is this a DOC or a DOCX file?

Are you using any form of cloud service?

It is a DOCX file. I use Dropbox.

Please ensure that your entire project is available offline, as explained here:

In Scrivener, comments are stored separately from the actual text. Having comments “disappear” suggests that Dropbox is “helpfully” storing the comment file exclusively on their server.

I still have the same problem with scrivener files that aren’t in dropbox and are on my desktop.

What are your iCloud Settings? It can cause similar behavior.

Ugh. I also just remembered a thing that Google Drive specifically does that will break comments. More information here: Google Drive Advisory / Cloud Syncing / Knowledge Base - Literature and Latte Support

I don’t use iCloud or google docs for scrivener.

Iimporting old word docx files the same thing happens. Same thing if I open up an old word docx and resave it then import. However, if I cut and paste all the info into a new word docx then import, all the comments appear in the text (in bubbles so they are easy to spot). That still doesn’t help with disappearing comments on other Scrivener projects.

Please open a support ticket, here:

Send one of the problem Word documents, and also one of the problem projects, please. You can email a project by using the File → Backup → Backup To command, and checking the box to create a ZIP backup.

I’m having trouble importing comments from a .docx into my Scrivener binder. I’m baffled by this because I did this with the same document 9 months ago (Version 1 of my draft) and that very document is sitting in my binder, with the comments from reviewers (and their names) in the “Comments & Footnotes” section of the Inspector. I’ve been able to do this before, so I know I’m not asking for something extraordinary. I’ve replicated the same settings (and added a few more precautionary steps) with Version 2 of my draft, but cannot get the comments to import.

Previously, this is what I did with Version 1 of the document I received back from reviewers:

  1. accepted all track changes in the .docx,
  2. ensured Scrivener/Settings/Sharing/Import/Rich Text/UNcheck “Imports comments as inline notations” was completed,
  3. then imported the .docx or even the .rtf file into my Scrivener binder such that the reviewers comments imported seamlessly and beautifully into the “Comments and Footnotes” box in the Inspector. That document is currently sitting in my binder.

I have developed that writing over the past year and a second set of reviewers (three reviewers) have commented on the document, which is now considerably longer. This time with version 2 of my draft, I did all of the above, as well as:

  1. stripped all styles formatting (it seems this might be an issue for some users according to the L&L forums) and tables of contents, etc,
  2. Dropbox has been turned off to ensure the file is available offline (I did not
  3. Java, Ventura 13.5.1, and Scrivener 3.3.1 have all been updated.
  4. imported the .docx, as well as the .rtf (to be thorough)

I’ve experimented with importing and splitting by section separators and outline structure. The result: NO comments are being imported. NOTHING shows up in the “Comments and Footnotes” box in the inspector.

It’s painful to see because I see the other document in the binder with the comments and the commenter’s name even. If the number of comments were fewer, I might enter them myself, but due to the size of the document and the number of reviewers, this task is not feasible. What am I doing wrong? Please let me know if I’m missing something.

We do have some data that demonstrates an unusual problem with the DOCX importer, but nothing that would also implicate RTF failing. So I’d reiterate the advice above, having some sample data to work with (even just a single paragraph with a comment that refuses to import) would help us out a lot in finding what is going on.

I have attached screenshots of the problem as related to RTF files. I am using the most up to date version of word on Mac and the most up to date version of scrivener.

Surely better if you upload the source file that is problematic.

It is also very helpful to let us know, when providing reproduction data, what you expect, and where, in your material, to look for what went wrong. Because I don’t know for sure what I’m supposed to be looking at in these screenshots. Case in point, from what I see, it looks like the comment imported just fine.

The comments are in the text when they should be in the comments section of scrivener. At least they are in the text which is an improvement.

That is an inline annotation, which is a kind of comment in Scrivener, or another way of displaying them (they too can be stripped out on compile, or left in as formal comments in the output). Scrivener supports both inline and sidebar notation styles, and they can be mixed freely in the same document. However when importing, few other tools actually have that kind of dual-stream commenting approach, so they must all be imported one way or another—and that is determined in the Sharing: Import application settings tab: Import comments as inline annotations.

For stuff you’ve already imported that you want to convert, one way or another, take a look at the Edit ▸ Transformations submenu, where you will find four commands for converting inline annotations and footnotes to the sidebar, and vice versa.