Conclusive claims of Cthulu's tentacles tormenting list indentation (bullets & lists in 3.0.0)
(Don’t click on links in the youtube comments, just saw one spam one pop up to malware site)

I’m not crazy. I’m not crazy.

This is a reproducible bug. Eventually, with enough saves and re-opens, list items go all the way to the far right. Then you’ve got Nazis and Hitler and time travelling Einstein turning into an assassin only for Russia to invade the statue of liberty, but at least we get airships and eventually mecha too - but do those timelines still have Scrivener?

Here. Video proof. Includes VERY PROFESSIONAL steps for reproducing bug and demonstration of how bug improves. Hopefully Youtube will have it in high resolution by the time you view it.

Version 3.0.0, Windows 64 bit, etc.

If you fix this, I’m SURE this will help you keep or gain customers who might otherwise bail during the trial period. Personally I just use hyphens instead of list items now but it makes me sad to see organizational tools right there that just say PHOOIE when I try.

Lots of love.

Edit: Doh! My high contrast mode means that the ruler marking was not visible again. There was nothing odd or off about the ruler that I could see - it was just at the exact new ‘wrong’ locations. Here’s an example screenshot of the final product with ruler and invisibles turned on, though I don’t know how helpful it will be. The video demonstrates it better.


I’d love to buy Scrivener 3.0 for my writing projects, but I tried the released version trial and the bug is still there sadly.

I hope this is fixed soon I use bullets all the time!

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Prize for best titled, best documented and most amusing post in a while :slight_smile:

Your avatar isn’t bad either – is that a sparrow posing in the dark as a raven??

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Thank you, that’s very kind of you.

Picture is of my birdie, a honey eater of sorts, sitting on a lamp because the spot underneath was being hogged by her adopted siblings. Couldn’t afford a heat lamp so they sat under a regular bulb, and all the other lights were off there. Lived in a one room flat with them. They held me together. She passed away from bacterial complications from a cold a couple years ago, but not before she got to enjoy a real heat lamp, a big house and freely flying in and out a 13*3m aviary spanning back of house filled with native plants.

It frustrates me to no end that bullet lists still don’t work in Scrivener. I’ve been using v3 for three years now and this bug has been a major impedement to fully embracing the program. How could such a bad formatting bug have remained this whole time?


At a guess, it’s at least partially the result of one or more bugs in the RTF text libraries in the underlying Qt framework that Scrivener for Windows uses to get at an RTF text framework that contains at least some of the functionality that the MacOS text framework gives for free. Getting bugs fixed in major frameworks like that can be a labor-intensive process that takes a lot of time, because fixing a bug for one developer can result in unwanted/changed behavior for other developers and projects.

You are right. And that’s one of the big downsides of using libraries like Qt. After all they have been through, I guess the developer team of Scrivener would not choose Qt again to base their new release on :slight_smile:

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Qt was chosen at least in part because it provides a decent amount of the RTF text capabilities that MacOS has standard. Without that, the developers would have had to create their own RTF libraries and routines from scratch – which is a significantly larger engineering challenge.

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With all the trouble Qt has brought upon them, they would perhaps think twice about that decision if they could do it again. I thought platform independence was the main argument that lured them towards Qt and even that looks questionable from today’s perspective. Nothing against Qt – it definitely has also its pros.

With Qt they can fairly easily compile for both Windows and Android. Even with the issues they’ve had, I think you have very little concept of how much more trouble they would have had trying to roll their own extensive, cross-platform solution that includes all of the RTF functionality, high-DPI support, and all the other features they get with Qt.

Literally, I don’t believe that Scrivener for Windows would exist today if it were not for Qt – and if they thought twice about using Qt, that would probably be the end of Scrivener for Windows.

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Yes, this is my guess as well.

Bullets in Scriv v1 were also twitchy, but good enough that I was able to use them for my minimal requirements. There’s not much need for lists in my fiction, except for when I’m writing notes, and I never need to go beyond two levels deep.

In the early v3 beta list processing had some real challenges, but I do recall there was one rev that fixed a number of the issues.

However, at some point I just stopped using lists in v3, as the remaining issues with the functionality were too distracting. I’m fortunate the feature is not that important to me.


I’m sure you know a lot more about the subject than I do, but I would just point out two things. Scrivener 3.0 for Windows took lagged 3.0 for Mac by four years. Also, other companies write apps that are cross platform and handle text. Some of them can even handle bullet lists properly.

I guess “fixing this bugged basic functionality would be hard so we’re not going to do it” is one approach. Sure maybe they have more important stuff to code up, like giving the ability to put pictures behind your text in the editing window.

What is really frustrating though, is that I’ve never seen L&L acknowledge the problem, explain the nature of it, nor provide an official statement on what they intend to do about it. Instead the strategy just seems to be “lalala can’t hear you”.


There was considerable discussion about this in the Beta group, over the year-plus-long gestation of Scrivener 3 Windows – which worked almost completely and dependably all of the time, save for ‘little’ areas of problem like this.

The actual work was very complex, and the Scrivener team were very responsive,not to say accurate, knowledgeable, and diligent.

They kept a good list, and this is on it. There are other matters probably still above it, likely including redoing of the Themes, which are themselves complicated as important portions are coded, and actually pretty important due to visibility issues on the dark ones some number our eyesights require.

I think @devinganger and @JimRac are likely close or accurate in their surmise as to lists being particularly hard, multiplied by what others suggest about QT, which has been notorious for long waits in dealing with such things. You had to be there…and yes, there are no good alternatives even yet, if a less demanding app than Scrivener could be delivered through layers of evolving frameworks.

I also note that Word itself can mess up pretty easily with lists, though it is easier to correct them there. Thus there’s a method being passed around, using a Scrivener ability to easily bring in Word to correct your iists, when you need that inside a Scrivener project.

I detailed it recently, found it works well, and you can find it here: How could one get lists to work?

I might say this is available and works due to excellent design judgement from the beginning in Scrivener…this is in a real software world.


Qt doesn’t have any RTF handling. Internally it uses qtextblocks which contain binary formatting. (See QTextEdit Class | Qt Widgets 5.15.9)

Qt provides a terrible HTML exporter. The Scrivener team wrote their own RTF parser and pretty much an entire text layout engine to get things like independent zooming, proper reflow, zooming that’s not just changing the font size, and image zoom.

I’ve used Qt extensively and QTextEdit is terrible for anything beyond the basics. Even the old winforms one is better, and RTF by default: RichTextBox Control Overview - Windows Forms .NET Framework | Microsoft Docs

Really the only good premade opensource rich text editor is
It handles large documents very well, though if you want two copies of the same document you need to sync the editors yourself. But the API makes this pretty easy.

I am having repeated issues with bullet point lists. Indentation is inconsistent and seems to error out when the list gets longer, inconsistent with the other parts of the bullet point list. Attempting to undo jumps to the bottom of the list and moves the bullet out of alignment without undoing the bullet point. Trying to go up a level generally results in formatting issues as well, leaving an ugly mess of a list. I can post screenshots if that is helpful. Restarting Scrivener has not seemed to have any effect. Anyone else having this experience?

Plenty of people. Just search this forum for “list” and “issue”.

There is currently no fix to your problem. (Other than not formatting your lists in Scrivener, and doing it at a later time in some other app.)

Fair enough. :sweat_smile: Seems like a major, urgent issue for a long form writing software. I am surprised this has been so widely reported but not addressed.

Yes, per previous discussion in this thread it seems it would take a major retooling of Scrivener for Windows - which was already done at least once - to solve this issue.

I thoroughly regret using the lists. They look so great going down the first time, but then they’re so wonky that IMHO they should just be limited or removed as a feature so folk stick to using starts and indented stars instead.

Might as well, indeed.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Put in the symbol yourself and use TAB instead.
I gave up using the feature a good while ago.

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