Converting to smart quotes not working


You people got me to buy a Mac, in large part so I could use Scrivener! Thanks! But I’m afraid I’m still having a lot of problems importing a book-length project created in Word 2007 on Windows. I converted all the files to RTF using Open Office, then imported them, and after two tries I actually got the footnotes in. Yay!

However. Some (but not all!) of the apostrophes, quotes, and em dashes got turned into gibberish. I did a project replace to fix them, but can’t get the quotes into proper smart quotes. No matter what I do, I end up with smart quotes that both look like the left half of the quote, rather than a matching set. I tried cutting and pasting each kind of smart quote in the Project Replace, but Scrivener somehow converted the right half quote into a lefty. Then I tried converting all the quotes to straight quotes, then back to smart quotes, and got the same thing – a pair of left quotes instead of a matching set.

Much as I adore the idea of Scrivener, I have to admit that so far the experience has been almost as frustrating as the buggy Windows beta, and I am rather disappointed. Please help!


Update - converting to straight quotes, then smart quotes a second time worked.

But, looking further into my text, now I’m finding the occasional random word actually MISSING. The two cases I found so far were italicized words that had ended in an apostrophe (so I suspect the Project Replaces I was running may have something to do with it, but there’s no logical way to expect that whole words that did not contain the characters I replaced would end up missing…). Is import from Windows-Word (through RTF) known to be this clumsy??

I’m trying to get this mostly-written academic book into Scrivener for final revisions. If I can get it to work, it would be very worthwhile as my final revisions involve lots of reorganization and comparing documents. But I’m starting to think that Scrivener only works for footnote-rich lengthy texts if you start from scratch in Scrivener. Is that true?

I think your main problems here have been caused by using OpenOffice to create RTF files - OpenOffice creates decent-ish RTF files, but it does have issues. And then you’ve also been moving between platforms, so it sounds as though there have been some encoding differences. Scrivener should work fine with imported RTF files, footnotes or not (although they will sometimes need a bit of cleaning up, all the text should be present and correct). However, the import is only as good as the RTF file you are importing, and I have seen some issues with RTF files generated by OpenOffice. Had the RTF file been created by Word, I doubt you would have had these issues.

All the best,

Thank you! This is very helpful. I can try converting to RTF in Word on my old computer - I had assumed Open Office would be better because my copy of Word is so old, so that was my mistake. Good to know about Open Office’s RTFs having issues - that’s annoying, but I’m very glad to hear the problem is there rather than scrivener!