footnotes / MS Word 2011 (Scrivener 2)

In Scrivener 1.5, when I copied a text with in line footnotes and pasted it into a MS Word document (MS Word 2011), the footnote text would be pasted as a real footnote (in the footnote area).

With Scrivener 2, this has changed. When I copy a text with inline footnotes in Scrivener 2 and paste it into a MS Word 2011 document, the footnote text dows not appear in the footnote area, but inside the main text area, below a line. It looks like this:

Here is a footnote⁠1 and here is another⁠2

1 Footnote 1
2 Footnote 2

This has become a problem for my workflow. I used to rely on Scrivener for the first draft and copied new pages to my main document in word. Will the new clipboard behavior for footnotes eventually be changed?

thank you,

Just a basic question out of interest … why do you copy and paste to Word, rather than export and open the resulting file?

Mark/A.k.a Mr X

I started my dissertation in Word, and by now it has grown too big to change to scrivener for this project. I am using scrivener to create drafts of new chapters. Whenever I finished another section of the dissertation, I used to copy and paste it from scrivener (1.5) into the word document, which served as a kind of master-document. I still prefer Word for formatting my thesis, but adding small sections has become near impossible since the last update, or at least quite time-consuming.

I haven’t got Word 2011 yet - I’ll order it later so I can test - but this sounds as though Word 2011 is doing something silly - it sounds as though Word '11 can now read the RTFD format and is choosing that format for pastes instead of RTF. Can Word 2011 now open RTFD files?

A little explanation:

• RTFD is Apple’s extension of the RTF format. It doesn’t support footnotes or comments, so when Scrivener exports or pastes to this format, it places the footnotes after a line, but they are “flattened”, not “real” footnotes.

• When you hit “Copy” in a program, the program puts its information on the OS X pasteboard in as many different formats as it can so that the program you paste it into can choose the most appropriate format. So Scrivener places text on the pasteboard in RTF, RTFD and plain text formats (and also in an internal format used purely for pastes within Scrivener itself).

• When you hit “Paste” in a program, the program looks at the pasteboard and chooses the best format to use - that is, it is up to the receiving program to decide which format to grab from the pasteboard.

This is a nice system, because it has always meant that I can place information on the pasteboard that will get pasted into, say, TextEdit or Bean, using RTFD format and so take images across and footnotes and comments in a flattened format, but Word would receive the same paste in RTF format and decode the footnotes as “real” footnotes.

From your description, it sounds as though Word 2011 is now choosing to grab the RTFD text from the pasteboard instead of the RTF text… Which seems a little silly to me, although it’s possible MS took that decision because not many OS X programs have poor RTF support.

I’m not sure there’s a good solution. I could stop placing text in RTFD format on the pasteboard, but that would make pasting into Pages or other Cocoa text system programs less useful. I’ll order Word 2011 and take a look though.

All the best,

P.S. I doubt this has anything to do with Scrivener 2.0 vs Scrivener 1.5 - pasting from Scrivener 2.0 into Word 2008 works fine, and I’m fairly sure you’ll find that pasting from 1.5 into Word '11 will have the same effect. Just ordered Word '11 and will test when it arrives tomorrow though.

a Word-only-problem seems unlikely, as the different appearance of footnote after only happened after installing Scrivener 2. In the mean time, do you have a link for Scrivener 1.54 (so that I can continue with my workflow in the mean time ?)

thanks for your support!

Is it the case then that Word 2011 doesn’t exhibit this behavior when copy/pasting from 1.54? I’m still on dear old Word…95? Something ancient, so I’ve never tested this at all.

Anyway, you can get 1.54 from the Scrivener support page.

I just cross-tested it again with 1.54 and the behaviour is the same as with 2.0. It seems I mixed it up and the footnote “bug” is indeed due to different handling of clipboard text in Word 2011. Looks like Microsoft does not like my workflow!

I have Word 2011 sitting on my desk waiting for install, so I’ll try this out later. But damn, that’s really, really annoying. I guess they are trying to be more “Mac-friendly” be accepting RTFD pastes now, but as RTFD doesn’t support true footnotes and suchlike, that’s really limiting for programs that support both RTF and RTFD like Scrivener.

I’ll look into adding an option to disable RTFD copying from the main editor, as this would be annoying for me, too. I can’t promise anything, though, because RTFD is hard-wired into the text view; it should be straightforward to filter it out but I’ve never tried.


interesting… exporting a Scrivener document with footnotes only works with the option “export as RTF-based .doc file” checked in the Scrivener preferences. With the standard OsX .doc exporter selected, word 2011 does not handle the footnotes correctly (like in the example above). I this due to the same behaviour with rtf / rtfd data?

Anyway, thank you for your help with this issue. I hope that a fix will be possible and until then, I’ll have to keep exporting (or rather, export-open-copy-ing). A well…


That’s a separate issue, actually. The standard OS X .doc and .docx exporters don’t support footnotes at all - that’s nothing to do with Word. They are the same exporters TextEdit uses. Actually, Apple’s standard RTF exporter doesn’t support footnotes, either, but I’ve been able to modify that massively because RTF is a long-established, plain-text-based, open standard; hacking the .doc and .docx exporters isn’t an option. So RTF and RTF-based .doc files are the only way of getting images, footnotes, comments, headers and footers to Word.

Anyway, I installed Word 2011 (which looks like a massive improvement) yesterday, and can confirm that this is exactly what is happening - it is now accepting RTFD pastes. This seems a silly decision to me, especially seeing as Word can still not open or save RTFD files. So, I plan to add a checkbox to the Import/Export options, “Disable RTFD pastes” or suchlike, if I can get that working.


This is wonderful news – thanks to your crazy hacking skills, the Microsoft monster suite shall be tamed yet again!