Exporting to Word: A major flaw in Story Mill

In hopes that it might save someone some real grief, I pass along the following discovery I just made about a major flaw in Story Mill…

Story Mill will not export to Word as either a .doc file or a .docx file without significant losses of formatting, and – oddly – entirely different losses of formatting in each file type.

I emailed the Story Mill folks about what I thought I had discovered while testing their application, assuming that it must somehow be my fault. Surely Story Mill couldn’t really be flawed in so fundamental a way. Imagine my amazement when a few days later a got a reply from Story Mill. ‘Gosh, you’re right,’ it said. ‘We never noticed this before but, regardless, it’s all Apple’s fault. All we can do about it is file a bug report with them.’


Not surprisingly, I quickly tossed my trial version of Story Mill and bought Scrivener. Not only can I export to a .doc file without a hitch using Scrivener, I can compile my text any way I want when I do. Gosh, I wonder if that’s Apple’s fault, too?

Hi Jake,

Just to be fair to StoryMill’s developers: from what I have read around these forums from Keith etc, Apple’s text system has a .doc exporter (provided by Apple) that most developers use to export to Word doc files.

This does have numerous bugs, which are Apple’s fault… it is just that Keith has put in a lot of extra work (and it isn’t trivial work) to add all those things (formatting, footnotes, images, etc.) back into the exporter.

So Scrivener works for you because Keith did a lot of work to correct Apple’s bugs.


“…So Scrivener works for you because Keith did a lot of work to correct Apple’s bugs.”

And that was my point exactly.

If a problem really is Apple’s fault and can’t be fixed, that’s one thing. But it is supremely irritating to have a significant flaw in a commercial application shrugged off as ‘Apple’s fault’ when the developer could in fact have made things right if he had tried hard enough.

A user has the right to expect software at he pays for to work effectively. Keith obviously respects his buyers enough to do whatever it took to deliver to us a solid product. The developers of Story Mill should have the same amount of respect for their customers, but they apparently don’t.

Three cheers for Keith…