Export Error: The file could not be saved

I’m working on a fairly large novel-like object (about 175k words), using multimarkdown, hoping to LaTeX it.

I’m on a PPC iBook G4 running MacOSX 10.4.11. There are about 3.1 GB free on my disk, and the system memory is 768 MB.

The problem is that when I select Compile Draft and select MultiMarkdown–>LaTeX, the blue progress bar rapidly fills up and turns to moving candy stripes; it works for perhaps 45 minutes, and then I get a window that pops up that says “Export Error: the file could not be saved.”

Is my computer too small to process a file this big? Is there something else I should try? Is this perhaps a multimarkdown bug (so I should post it on that forum instead of this one)? I can, if need be, try it on an intel iMac that’s a heftier machine, but that would involve some software installation and suchlike.

Any hints as to what it’s complaining about?

Thanks in advance for any help.

If you have having a lot of problems getting an MMD derived file out of Scrivener, my recommendation is to create a MultiMarkdown file using the Compile setting, rather than the LaTeX or any of the other derived versions. This will create a plain-text file with all of the MMD structure intact. In fact, this is what gets created while the progress bar is still blue. Once the progress bar switches to post-processing into LaTeX, it turns to the candy-stripe. So we are in effect reducing the process steps to allow for more control over the error reporting and diagnosis.

If you do not already have a copy of MMD separately installed, I would also recommend doing that. Yes, there is a copy included in the Scrivener bundle, but I’m always nervous about using the internals of an application bundle as a working area.

Oh, by the way, if you want to run tests on the faster machine by all means do so. The Scrivener LaTeX export does not require a functioning Tex installation on the machine. All it is doing is producing the plain-text LaTeX data file. So once that has been generated on the faster machine, you can move the text file over to the laptop that has Tex installed and compile it there.

As for trouble-shooting. Running MMD on the command line with the plain MMD file that Scrivener creates will probably give you more information. I would also create duplicates of this file and progressively strip more and more out of it, chapter by chapter until it renders. Ordinarily, I would suggest checking the meta-data area first, as that is probably the most common source for syntax errors. However, you mentioned it is running for a very long period of time before failing, meaning it is probably a problem further down in the document.

If all of this sounds too complicated I’m willing to take a look at the MMD file for you. Just obscure the contents of the text file with random search and replace functions on letters if confidentiality is an issue, then drop me a PM here and I’ll give you my email address.

I’m also moving this to the MMD forum since the bug appears to be happening post-Scrivener’s remit.

Thanks, so much.

I downloaded and installed a command-line version of MMD, did the compile to MMD format, and found, lo and behold, that there were some weird characters left in the manuscript (presumably from a cut and paste that I did a long while back), and some residual html-isms.

It’s nice to be able to see what it’s whining about, instead of just “go soak your head”. :slight_smile:

Fantastic. Yes, the “weird character” problem is usually the most common glitch outside of meta-data mishaps. Which version of Scrivener are you using? I don’t remember when the feature was introduced (might have been 1.12b1 Beta), but more descriptive error reporting was added. Basically if the Perl script died for any reason Scrivener would dump the command-line report into a window, allowing you to do some trouble-shooting. But I always prefer to just use the command line if there are problems. You get to skip that long compile process by using a pre-generated MMD file.

Glad you got it sorted!

I’m using 1.11, the latest “official” one (or so says the “check for updates” button). That would be a handy feature, yes.

Feel free to use the 1.12b1 release (available in the beta section of the forum). There is one known glitch with the handling of the splash panel that is merely annoying (it covers up the project creation wizard, making it look like you have to start over). Otherwise, it contains bug fixes and enhancements and is as stable as a stable release. The only reason it isn’t official is because the fixes for the beta release ended up becoming part of a much more involved development cycle.