Compile to Word.docx "Randomly" converts everything to Bold or Italics

I’m stumped. I’ve been using Scrivener for a few years. I love it. I’ve watched all the videos. I’ve added all sorts of styles. It’s great. It seems a gremlin creeped in somewhere. There are times where I compile a manuscript and it works great. Then I add one more text section, and everything, and I mean everything, in the compiled document is suddenly Bold or Italics. Sometimes it is the other way. I compile and everything is bold. So then I add one more item to the compile that is using the same text section, and everything is fine.

When I look in Word after one of these mishaps, I see that the “Normal Style” has somehow been set to bold or italics, respectively. I can then deselect that from the Normal Style in Word, and the document appears to be ok otherwise.

So somehow, a bold or italics is getting passed into a Normal style. I am at a loss as to how that is happening. I am not encountering this when I compile to pdf.

Just as a further test, try compiling to RTF and opening that in Word. Do you still find the same thing?



Do you use a Normal body style in the Scrivener project?

Hello Mark, thank you for your comment. I gave that a try. When I compile to rtf there is no problem. And when I open that rtf in word, there is no problem. But when I compile directly to word, then I have the problem.

Kind regards,


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Hello kewms,

Yes; I use Normal body style in the Scrivener project as the default, and simply use other styles for things like Header 2, Header 3, etc. where I have bold.

I use the Chicago style essay template as my base. I have it slightly modified and saved with a different name to meet a few peculiarities of my institution.

When I compile the TOC alone, all is good. That document has some bold and mostly not bold. So it seems to work as expected.

Then in the body of my essay, I have a document that uses my Heading 2 and Heading 3 which both have a bold style, and then No style text. That works fine.

Then if I add an additional document to the compile that has Heading 3 and No style text after it, the entire document compiles in bold. Everything on the TOC is bold, and everything in the two added files.

So as I mentioned, my Heading 2 and Heading 3 or both Bold. I can use one or the other alone, followed by No format text and it compiles just fine. But If I have one line with Heading 2. And then choose Heading 3 for the very next line. And then have that followed by Untitled it is all bold.

It is very perplexing to me.

Kind regards,


Hi Matthew,

I don’t use Word, so I can’t speculate as to what’s going on.

I gave up Word when MacOS first came out; if Word 5.1a were still an option, I’d be using that but it’s NWP for me. However, if I did use Word, I’d still compile to RTF and then open it in Word.

I know KB rolled his own RTF–DOCX converter, but I’d still go the RTF to Word route.



Thank you, Mark. I’m curious to know why you would go to RTF first and the DOCX if you were using it?

I feel a bit like the person who goes to the doctor and says it only hurts when I lift my arm being told, then stop lifting your arm. :slight_smile:

That said, I appreciate the work around!

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Microsoft created both the DOCX and the RTF formats, and is the definitive source for how they work. Third-party converters – including ours – do a pretty good job, but simply don’t have the expertise to draw on that Microsoft does. It’s not “stop lifting your arm” so much as “here’s a way to get on with your life while we troubleshoot.”

Letting Microsoft do the conversion is also valuable for troubleshooting purposes. RTF is Scrivener’s native format. So if RTF works correctly when converted by Microsoft, but not when converted by Scrivener, the issue lies in the Scrivener converter rather than, say, the Compile settings.

You can help us improve our converter by sending a test project that demonstrates the problem to our support address. You can email a project by using the File → Backup → Backup To command, and checking the box to create a ZIP backup.

Sounds good. I appreciate it.

@kewms gave you the answer before I could and with more authority. :grin: