Copy and paste crashes

My Scrivener sometimes allows me to move text from one scene to another (novel), but sometimes if I copy a few words and try to paste them to another spot in the paragraph, Scriv crashes. I’ve tried restarting Scriv, restarting machine, to no avail. I have noticed it happens in situations when I have two identically named projects (the active version on my MacBook and the backup on a stick drive) and have opened both in the recent past.

If you could send a crash report the next time it happens, that might help narrow it down. You can just copy and paste out of the crash reporter window and send it to me in a private message if you prefer.

That’s probably a coincidence, as there shouldn’t be anything in the clipboard that makes it project-specific, especially if only one copy is open at a time.

What I would do in the meantime is try to minimise what you’re running on the system along with Scrivener. You can log out of your account, and then log back in with the Shift key held down until it stops loading stuff. That will stop all of the things that normally load in the background. If it stops happening entirely with only Scrivener and Finder running, it would be worth launching one thing at a time that you typically use, give a while to see if it crashes, and if not move on to the next tool.

I would first suspect anything that works with Accessibility, like clipboard managers.

The crashes continue. I did turn off all (unnecessary) items that load on startup. The problem has gotten worse in that it is random. I have been writing active material on my 2022 MacBook Air (M2 chip), Sonoma v14.1.2. I’m running Scrivener v. 3.3.6 (16305) that says it has bug fixes for Sonoma. Every so often, I copy the project off onto a stick drive. I concluded that Scriv was getting confused because there were 2 versions of the same project active at one point—that hasn’t bothered in the past—but that’s not the problem. Most crashes involve editing, e.g., decide to move a phrase from where I just wrote it to a sentence earlier, etc. 10 crashes this evening, the last one was an attempt to “save as” At wits end. Initially, at least, Apple is no help and Apple community is crabby, as is often the case. I have reinstalled the software (directly from Scrivener, because I originally bought it from Scrivener). I have 35 GB of free storage, which should give the software freedom to operate. I’m stumped. Anyone had a similar problem?

Yeah I’d be curious to see if anyone else has seen this too. I can’t recall anything recently that matches this description. Something that would be worth ruling out is content-related issues, even though I’ve never seen such manifest in symptoms like these before. See if working in another project entirely causes the problem, something like a fresh copy of the interactive tutorial.

Thanks again. I tried messing with Tutorial. Thought the problem replicated, because the color circle rolled for about 45 secs, but then apparently Scriv was satisfied, and cmd-C, cmd-X, retyping, moving all worked in the tutorial. I have checked a different project from the one that routinely crashes and found the same problem in it, but now I will go back over several earlier projects that have never given trouble before and report.

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I have not seen the problem in several days. I have checked several other projects and not encountered the crash problem. I’ve also disconnected offboard storage, which has backup copies (same name) of the project that was causing the problem. Anyway, the problem’s either gone into hiding or gone away. Thanks for your prompt and clear help!

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I have had this exact thing happening and it’s frustrating.

I’ve been using Scrivener for years and this is the first time I cannot copy and paste text. It continually crashes. I haven’t been able to get any writing done because of it. I am deeply frustrated. I move text around a lot.

I have Quit and Re-started no less than 6 times and finally came here for answers. I quit every other program and the problem persists.

Please help.

I notice you found other posts here. Probably L&L will invite a support request and you give them the crash report or something, but in the meantime:

  • what version of macOS and Scrivener?
  • does it crash on copy?
  • does it crash on paste?
  • from what app do you copy that will repeatedly crash (on copy or paste?)
  • how are you pasting? Keyboard, or Menu, and using Paste or Paste and Match Style?
  • what is the font or styling of the target paste location? If you change that font does it behave differently?
  • can you consistently replicate the problem?
  • if copying from a web browser (which?), please give URL and example of specific item(s) on that page that crash Scrivener. Similarly, if from a document (Word, PDF, etc.) perhaps post that document here for others to try.

If you’d like to contact the “official” support, you can do so here:

We’ll need answers to all of @rms’s questions, though, so you might as well round those up first.