French accents sometimes not registering?!


I just started using the Windows version of Scrivener and I have a rather strange problem. As you maybe know, some characters in French have to be done by pressing two different key, not at the same time but one after the other. For example, to type ‘à’ or ‘ç’ I have to press ‘`’ and then ‘a’ or ‘¸’ and then ‘c’. But now I’m facing a major problem in Scrivener: sometimes the first key doesn’t seem to be registered by Scrivener.

I can replicate the following example: ‘appelés à’. When I type this not too slowly, I get 'appelés a" (instead or ‘appelés à’) EVERY SINGLE TIME so I’m afraid it can’t be a typo on my side (I’ve been trying to replicate the problem in other software and it just doesn’t happen). If I make a 1-2 second pause after typing the first word, it won’t do it: I will get ‘appelés à’, which is what I’m supposed to get. But as soon as I start typing at a regular speed again, the ‘`’ will be missing every time.

Any idea what is going on and what could be done to fix the problem?

And it can’t be fixed by just spell-checking: ‘a’ and ‘à’ are both used in French… Note that it also happened in other situations but until I fell on this example I always thought the problem was on my side.

Please help me, otherwise I simply won’t be able to write my PhD thesis on Scrivener. :frowning:




Oh, I know this one, Michael, although I do not use a combination to type “à” nor “ç”, because these letters exist as such on a French language keyboard (I’m using a FR-BE keyboard).
I most often encounter this problem with “ê” and “ë”.

Just like you, I thought at first that was me.
Then, I realised that it really happens only in Scrivener.
So I went on for a while guessing that Scrivener did not support these letters.
In the end, I discovered that it is indeed related to the writing speed.
In between I’m rather sure that this is simply due to some “keyboard sensitivity” inside Scrivener.

You don’t need to pause before the combined keys, and it is useless to hammer around on your keyboard. :mrgreen: Just type them slowly.
I know : This breaks the rhythm :unamused:

Nevertheless it helps knowing that the problem exists, because that is what gets you to slowdown just a little, to have those letters properly typed.

Hi Lilith,

Thanks a lot for confirming that the problem is not just on my end. I would really appreciate if someone from the Scrivener team could tell me they can replicate this and do something about it?!

Unfortunately, 4000 words later (I’m new to the Windows version), I can frankly say that this is a deal breaker for me: it adds language-mistakes straight in the text I’m trying to write and this is simply unacceptable. Most of the time, yes, my eyes are on the monitor so I can spot some of these errors and correct them on the fly, but sometimes I’m just typing some quotes from a book I’m working on for an academic paper and while my hands type my eyes are on the book… Tons of typos added straight in my text because of this bug.

Please, Scrivener team, is there any chance you can do something about it? For your information, my keyboard is “FR-CA”, I’m using the dictionary “French (France)” but the actual software in English.

Thanks in advance for your time,


Is there any chance that something can be done about this? Please. :frowning:

Michael and Lilith,

Sorry for the late reply here. This is a bug we’re aware of and that Lee has been working on, but unfortunately it has been extremely difficult for him to track down. I am not sure whether he has managed to reproduce it yet himself, either, though I know you both can reliably do this and several other users can as well (it’s specific to non-English keyboards, for a start). I’m checking with him on this and will let you know what I hear back; if you’re willing to help us try to track and fix this, Lee may have some tests or system information you could provide.

One thing you can check now is whether you have any other software on your computer that might be monitoring the keyboard input, such as global hot key services or text expanders, or that might be inserting itself between the input and Scrivener, such as an antikeylogger security software. Are you able to reproduce the accent problem when typing normally in Scrivener while booted in Safe Mode?


As far as I know, I have no particular software installed, that could cause such intereference.
And since I’m using Scrivener (November 2010), I really have come to the conviction that there is only a “sensitivity” problem.
I would not even call this a bug, as those characters print properly when typed slowly enough.
And by “slowly” I do not mean “like a snail”, but just a little slower than my normal speed, which, I must say, is very high.
Also, since I know that the speed is definitely part of the cause, I just slowdown a little, and I do not have this problem very often anymore.

I really don’t understand how you can’t say that this isn’t a bug, Lilith. :wink: Call it a “sensitivity problem” if you wish: the point is that it is not supposed to be doing this. I’ve never seen anything like this in any other software I’ve used. Productivity software that needs me to slow down isn’t exactly helping my productivity. I’ve been using Scrivener since about 2010 too, but I’m new to the Windows version—and I never had this problem with the Mac version…

Back to business: I just tried in Safe Mode. Same thing, the combined keys don’t work at my regular typing speed. The only thing I could think of was the Logitech software for my keyboard macros: it’s called Logitech G-Series Keyboard Profiler, it runs in the background, but then again it wasn’t on in Safe Mode and the problem was still there so it’s probably not related. Just giving as much information as I can.

Of course I’m ready to help you guys as I can to fix this problem. I’m very grateful that you are willing to try to fix it. You can PM me through the forum if needed, or post in this topic, to which I’m subscribed so it ends up in my mailbox.

With all that said, Lilith is right on the speed part: it definitely seems related to the typing speed, which, I must admit, is really strange.

Thanks for your time!


Hi mtrahan. Can you please, try to disable the spellchecking feature in Scrivener. Tools->Options->“Check spelling as you type” and also disable “Correct spelling errors as you type”. If this problem still happens, please disable all the Auto-Capitalization and Substitutions on the same page. This is not a solution, but a hint for us which feature might be causing the problem with quick typing. Looking forward for your results.

Unfortunately, with everything disabled in the ‘Corrections’ tab, there is no change: still no accents at my regular typing speed.

There is something very strange, though, that I just realised. I’m not sure it is of any help, but the problem seems to appear (only? not 100% sure yet) when there is a space right before the character with the accent.

For example, if I type “tout à fait” I will get “tout a fait”. But if I type (at approximately the same speed, of course) “toutàfait” in a single word, I will get “toutàfait”, with the accent on the middle ‘a’. I tested a couple of examples quickly and the problem always seems to happen only when there is a space before the character (when the ‘accented’ letter is at the beginning of the word, that is). I will test further and report if I find anything that invalidates that.

Thanks for testing that and reporting back! Curious about the preceding space, and a good catch. I know you’re not swearing to it never happening without the space, but does it always happen with? That is, in your testing, does the accent consistently not appear when immediately following a space? Lilith, if you pop back in here, are you getting the same? If we can narrow this down to the dead key not being registered when typed after a space, that could help pinpoint the particular issue (and hopefully fix it).

Something else for you to try when you get a chance: please download this basic syntax highlighter and see if typing it in produces the same problem with the diacritics as in Scrivener, or if it works fine there as well. This will help identify if the problem is based in the Qt framework that Scrivener uses. Download the zipped file, right-click it and choose “Extract All”, then open the extracted “syntaxhighlighter” folder and run the “syntaxhighlighter” program. It’ll just open a basic editor window for you to type in and test the accent issue. Once you’ve had a chance to test, please let us know the results. Thank you for your help with this!


I’m afraid I can’t confirm that thing with the space before, as it happens to me also with words like “connaître”, where there is no space before the puzzling character.

And, yes ! here we go :

I wrote this simple phrase in this program :

"Je demande à connaitre "

But I typed "Je demande à connaître "

So there you have apparently your guilty one :smiling_imp:

When typed slower, I get what I want : “Je demande à connaître…”

(These are copy and paste pieces from within syntaxhighlighter)

Thanks, Lilith. To confirm, you’re seeing the same problem in the syntax highlighter as you are in Scrivener, that the accent doesn’t always appear unless you type slowly? Hm. Thank you very much for testing that.

Thanks, Lilith. To confirm, you’re seeing the same problem in the syntax highlighter as you are in Scrivener, that the accent doesn’t always appear unless you type slowly? Hm. Thank you very much for testing that.

I couldn’t get back to you sooner, sorry. I just tested the syntax highlighter: no accents. I confirm that I’m seeing the same problem in the syntax highlighter that I see in Scrivener.

And I’m also afraid that Lilith is right: it happens also without a space before the problematic letter. I was wrong. I tried the same example (“Je demande à connaître”) and I’m also getting “Je demande a connaitre”. I tried again my last example (typing “toutàfait” in one word instead of three, “tout à fait”) and I still always get the accent on that one. To be clear: I always get “toutàfait” and not “toutafait”. Can you try that one, Lilith? Maybe it’s just me who can’t type fast enough those words that my brain and fingers are too used to split with a space.

Not too sure about this, but the speed problem seems kinda variable: for example, Scrivener misses very easily the accent on the middle ‘a’ of “tout à fait”. I have to type very slowly to get it correctly. But in the case of “connaître” (as in Lilith’s example), I am under the impression that I can type it way faster without the accent missing. Same for the word “tôt”, for example: I have to type it really fast to get “tot” instead of “tôt”.

That said, I know that all this is very subjective. I would need some kind of software to measure exactly my typing speed to be sure of it. It can probably be done if it would be helpful for you guys?

Thanks again,

Thank You for your hard efforts, mtrahan, Lilith! We traced this to be a bug inside the Qt Library Scrivener is using. It has been an issue for quite some time, but the good news is that it has been marked as resloved for the next minor 4.8.5 release(current official and Scrivener Qt lib is v4.8.4). I treat us “lucky”, as this has been an issue since few years since Qt v4.5.3.

You can check the Qt related Bug Tracking Tickets:
and also:

We will keep you posted here with any updates about this issue and we will release new Scrivener update when the v4.8.5 release comes alive. Thank You all for your kind cooperation again.

P.S. we managed to extract the fix from Qt and apply it in Scrivener too. You can expect the fix with a new Scrivener update within a week or two together with more hot fixes.

We’ll provide a link tomorrow with this fix for you to try and validate it.

You guys rock! I am very happy to hear that you traced the bug and will release a quick fix for it—until the next version of the Qt Library is released that is. This was driving me crazy. I will finally be able to sleep normally again. :wink: Cheers!

Thanks a lot!