Footnotes in Pages and pdf

After working with Scrivener for some time I just tried to compile my project for the first time.
In in the end I would like to have a neat little pdf-document, including footnotes. Naturally that doesn’t work right away as the compile-dialogue tells me all footnotes will become endnotes (which unfortunately is unacceptable in my case).

I then tried to compile my project as a .doc-file because that should include footnotes. But when I open the .doc-file with Pages (3.0.3 and 4.1 alike) there are neither foot- nor endnotes. The footnotes show up on their right place in Libre/Neo/Open Office though but as I really don’t like working with these programs I would greatly appreciate any advice on how to make footnotes show up in Pages.

Many thanks in advance!



Unfortunately there’s a bit of a Catch-22 with Pages (but there is a workaround). Scrivener only fully supports footnote export for RTF (and Scrivener’s .doc export uses RTF under the hood, depending on the Preferences). However, Pages doesn’t fully support the RTF format, so it drops any footnotes when opening an RTF file (or a Scrivener-generated .doc file, because of it being RTF under the hood). Pages only reads footnotes in .pages files (which is a private format not distributed outside of Apple, .doc and .doc; and Scrivener sadly has to rely on the standard .doc and .docx exporters provided by Apple for third-party developers to use, the same ones as used in TextEdit, which don’t support footnotes.

The workaround, therefore, is to export from Scrivener as RTF (or .doc), then open the file in OpenOffice and re-save from there as a .doc file. This will create a “real” .doc file that can be opened in Pages with footnotes intact (RTF-based .doc files such as Scrivener generates are valid and fine for Word).

Incidentally, seeing as RTF is a very easy format to support, please do take a moment to leave feedback with the Pages team, asking for full RTF support for footnotes and suchlike:

Hopefully, if enough people ask, they might improve their RTF support in a future version, which would make life a lot easier. (I’d love to provide better native .doc and .docx support, but as a one-man development team, writing full translators for those formats myself is a bit out of reach; Apple, on the other hand, have a whole team behind Pages…).

As for PDF, I’d likewise love to provide end-of-page footnotes directly from Scrivener, and hope to do so in a future version (3.0 or beyond), but its’ an incredibly complex layout task which is why it is currently left to the word processor stage (Scrivener isn’t meant to replace a word processor).

Hope that helps, and makes sense of things.

All the best,

Thank you very much for the detailed explanation!
I just sent a Pages feedback to Apple – let’s see what they do about. I don’t get my hopes high though. For now the workaround is just fine.
One fun fact aside in case anyone with a similar problem reads the thread: The workaround seems to work only if saving the document with OpenOffice. I tried re-saving the .doc with LibreOffice first but that left me without footnotes in Pages again. I was surprised about that because I thought LibreOffice had (more are less) OpenOffice under the hood.
Anyway, thanks again, OpenOffice does the trick.


This worked perfectly for me. Thank you! :smiley:

Each time I start a new task in Scrivener I got more and more amazed of its power and simplicity. It only need to have a little psychoanalyst and a Tetris to be a whole Emacs :wink:

And I told that as a hard-core Vi(m) user and advocate.

Thanks for your work.