[Help] Go to Insert > Image Linked to File and insert a .pdf. When right clicking on the inserted .pdf image the context menu has items missing

There seems to be an issue with the context menu missing options when right-clicking on a linked .pdf image.

This is what I get when I right click on a linked .pdf image:

In the manual is states:

When I right-click on a linked .jpg image I get this:
Screen Shot 2023-01-04 at 10.51.06 AM

This seems to be the right context menu, but I don’t get this menu when I right-click on a linked .pdf.

Is this a bug? Please advise all you wonderful people.


My suspicion is that the PDF has a text layer (so you can copy the text in it) either at creation or the result of OCR, and so your right click is picking that up and giving you the text dropdown menu, not the image menu.

That’s just my guess. :smile:


Ok, I’m going to try that right now and see if that’s the case.

It didn’t work. I’m going to try and make a .pdf in illustrator that just contains an image and no text.

OK, that suggestion didn’t work. I created an artboard in Illustrator that consists of a big black box and NO text that I then exported to .pdf. I used Insert > Image linked to file and put that .pdf into Scrivener. I right clicked on the black box and I did not get the context sensitive menu.

Here is a screenshot. In the background is my Adobe Illustrator:

It’s looking to me like this is a bug. Is this a bug that needs to go to another area of the forum? I doubt that this is working as designed.

I don’t think this is a bug so much as a technical limitation. PDF images have never acted entirely like raster images in the Scrivener editor, since they were initially supported. Part of the issue is that PDF isn’t naturally supported by RTF, so it is being embedded in a non-standard way. This is why when you export or compile to RTF, the PDFs will be rasterised to PNG.

I’ll add a ticket to see if there is a way to get a selection of the image commands in this menu instead of the normal text editing menu, but I wouldn’t cross my fingers.

Thank you for this. The reason I wanted the context menu is because I kind of need to know what .pdf file I linked into that spot in Scrivener.

I can use the $Img tag ie:


But then while I’m typing I can’t see the image which is sadface.

I didn’t know until recently that .pdf images are a thing. Meaning that you can make a .pdf image and that image can be used in various writing programs (ie Latex). The .pdf image makes such a clean image for diagrams. In fact a .pdf image makes a perfect image for diagrams, no distortion whatsoever.

fwiw, when I compile with the .pdf image linked, the resulting .pdf that I get shows the embedded .pdf perfectly. There is no distortion whatsoever when I use Scrivener to compile a .pdf out of a Scrivener workspace that contains a .pdf image that is embedded. It works very well. It’s just that I after linking the image I can’t see where the image is located so I can keep track of where each image is located.

Exactly. They are quite useful given that Scrivener does not support any other kind of vector format (I’m hoping SVG may be coming to the Mac, as it looks like they may be going that way based on some experiments we ran in Scapple). But they have always had their limitations that can make them a little awkward to work with.

What I would recommend is dropping an inline annotation around the image that states its path so you can reference that more easily if you need to.