Footnotes did not migrate

I was using Scrivener 1 for a project but got a new computer so I deactivated Scrivener on my old computer and downloaded Scrivener 3. Everything else was intact when I opened my project file, but my footnotes no longer appear in the comments & footnotes window. Instead, the words associated with the footnotes have links that go nowhere. I’m very confused. I would rather not copy and paste 15+ footnotes. Any way to fix this?

They should have converted to the new format neatly, so it may be you found a bug or blindspot in the conversion routine. I would first suggest downloading the last version of Scrivener v1, and simply opening the backup copy that was created when you upgraded the project, making some simple edit somewhere to trigger a save, and the close it.

After doing that, discard the broken updated version, rename the backup to remove the “Backup” from the folder name, and try loading it again in v3. My thinking here is that if you haven’t worked on that project in a more recent version of Scrivener, it may have been using an older format for footnotes that the converter doesn’t recognise.

For reference, backups are named as follows:

  • “Original Project Name.scriv”: this is the v3 upgraded version you would discard after a botched upgrade.
  • “Original Project Name Backup.scriv”: this is the old v1 copy you would rename, to remove “Backup” from the name. You don’t have to do that, but if you don’t you would end up with a confusing “Original Project Name Backup Backup.scriv” scenario after trying a few times, and making a mess of things.

If that doesn’t work, feel free to send a zipped copy of the original project in v1 format, to technical support. We can try to upgrade it for you, and also try to find out what is keeping these footnotes from upgrading properly.

You don’t have to wait for us though—if the procedure I described doesn’t work, then simply load the old project in v1, convert your footnotes to inline footnotes using the Format ▸ Convert submenu. Upgrade the project, and once it is in v3, convert them back to sidebar footnotes if you want. The command has moved to Edit ▸ Transformations, in the new version.

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