Formatting problems when exporting


I’m having a problem exporting my documents. I use MS Office 2008 for the Mac and the latest version of Scrivener (v1.51).

When I try and export my documents to .doc or .docx the formatting is always wrong. In particular it won’t recongise the spacing. I keep selecting double spacing in Scrivener’s export setting only for the subsequent Word document to open single spaced.

Any ideas?

Export to RTF. The built-in .doc and .docx exporters that OS X uses by default is pretty horrible; the RTF exporter I have improved, and that works much better with Word.

All the best,

Thanks for the quick response.

RTF seems to work. If I export to RTF and email it to someone using a Windows PC will they be able to open the document with the formatting preserved.

I use this for work, so formatting is important…

Yes, they will; RTF was designed by Microsoft and supports most of what .doc does; it is the default format of Wordpad (the PC equivalent of TextEdit) and Word is the best RTF reader/writer there is.

You also have another option - if you export to .doc but choose to include a header or a footer (for instance, just a footer with the page numbers in it), you shouldn’t have any problem with the .doc file. The reasons for this are a little obscure so I’ll explain:

The standard OS X importers and exporters for .doc and .docx are pretty poor - lists get messed up, line spacing is lost, images don’t survive the translation, and neither to footnotes, comments, headers or footers. The standard OS X importer and exporter for RTF is nearly as bad too; however, RTF is an open format so it is much easier for developers such as myself to “hack into” the RTF importers and exporters to improve them, which is exactly what I have done in Scrivener. There is also a neat trick that I learned from the guys at Nisus - if create an RTF file but change its file extension to .doc instead of .rtf and change its creator codes (sort of attributes that file systems use to recognise the file type) to ones associated with Word, Word (whether on the PC or Mac) will happily open the file just as if it were a true .doc file. This is how versions of Scrivener prior to 1.5 saved .doc files. With 1.5 onwards I only use this “trick” if the file being exported contains elements that aren’t supported by the standard .doc exporter - otherwise it uses Apple’s standard exporter. Since changing this, though, I have had a number of support requests similar to yours; I hadn’t realised quite how bad the standard exporters are until now. So with 2.0 I will change this back to how it was and use the “trick” to make sure that .doc files always export fine. Until then, just including a header or footer will force everything to work okay. Or, as I say, RTF will open fine in Word anywhere, although of course it may throw the person to whom you send it if they are not very computer-proficient, so you may want to take the .doc route I described if that is the case.

Hope that helps!
All the best,

Cool. Thanks for the detailed response. Looking forward to version 2.0.