Exporting to Word doc - literally nothing showing!

I’ve watched the videos on how to export a compiled document and when it compiles and saves to my computer the file is 6kb and empty. I’m using a 3.3.6 and Microsoft 365 on Sonoma 14.3.1. The structure of the project is that 6 folders, each with 4 subfolders and they each contain usually only index card (document). It’s not a big project! But even when I try to export and compile from one of the 6 folders, I still get nothing apart from a series of empty pages. Any suggestions?

When you get an odd result like this, it’s a good troubleshooting step to try a few things slightly differently, to see if it is a problem with one very specific thing or not. For example you might be looking at an oddity in how the ancient Mac .doc converter works against Office 365. As the DOC format is very old and obsolete at this point, who knows if that even works well any more. I doubt neither Apple nor Microsoft heavily test it against modern code.

Thus some ideas for things to try (I won’t think of everything, so come up with a few as well if you can):

  • Another format, like the modern DOCX, or RTF, both of which Office should read properly, and lots of people use those every day (whereas I can’t say the same for .doc).
  • Try another program to read it, like LibreOffice or Pages.
  • If the results are the same everywhere, then check what “empty pages” really means. Scrivener ordinarily suppresses the output of actual sequential empty pages, as such are ordinarily never wanted. Getting empty pages like you describe would be a malfunction in and of itself. So, are they really empty? If you ⌘A to select all in Word, does the text suddenly appear? Is the text coloured white, in that case? It’s the kind of thing that might go unnoticed if you use Dark Mode only in Scrivener.

Lastly, your wording, if taken literally, might also be a clue (although it wouldn’t by itself explain a sequence of empty pages). You mention the folders are full of “index cards”, which would mean you have written nothing yet into the main editor, and have only been jotting down notes in Synopses on the index cards?

If so, another compile Format, like the “Outline Document” sample in the left sidebar, after opening compile, would be more appropriate for this stage of the project. Heed the text in the yellow warning box above the preview column in the middle, after selecting it, and follow its instructions. You want to select a Layout that exports the index card content, the synopsis, for those items that only have that information thus far. The rest is up to taste—you can have a heading with the synopsis, or a number, or nothing at all for example, and also choose how the sectional folders should be printed (if at all).

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Gosh, that’s super helpful. I will give all your suggestions a go. Thanks so much!!