Highlighting glitching & page breaks.

Hi, I’m having trouble highlighting an imported PDF document. I select some lines and press Shift-Cmd-H but only some of the selected lines are being highlighted, sometimes I can highlight the ones that didn’t highlight separately, sometimes not… the normal blue selection done by dragging and clicking (as usual) also seems to become a bit wider than the line sometimes and click off the text leaves remnants of the blue selection behind.

Anyone else have this problem?

Further more, I’ve been trying to export an essay. I made a cover page in one document and the essay is in another and bibliography on a third. I want all on separate pages when I compile, but when I select ‘Page break before’ for each page I still get a run on effect in the final document. How can I fix this? The compiling feature is still a bit confusing to me.

Off topic and not Literature and Latte’s fault but I must also express frustration at Pages lack of capability to import RTF files with footnotes. Libreoffice is distorting the font and inserting random symbols. The only thing that works well that I’ve tried is GoogleDocs. What are some alternative work flows?

Also, how come PDFs can’t handle footnotes?

Thank you


Is the PDF file definitely all text? That is, could some lines be rendered images that just look like text? (This can be difficult to tell.) What happens if you open the PDF in Preview and try to highlight there - does that have similar issues?

As for the page break issue, which program are you opening the document in? (Pages doesn’t respect RTF page breaks, for instance.)

This is definitely annoying, and you should let Apple know by leaving feedback here:


Word or OpenOffice, mainly - you can open an RTF file in either of those and then save as .doc, then open the .doc file in Pages. Alternatively, test out our latest beta version here:


So long as you have Java installed and are running 10.5 or above, this new beta will use some different converters which can generate .doc or .docx files with full footnote support (internally, it generates an RTF file and then passes it through some special Java converters we have licensed). So, you should be able to generate .doc or .docx files that you can open directly in Pages without any conversion necessary.

They can handle endnotes, but not footnotes. The reason for this is that, in order to generate a PDF file in Cocoa, the programmer has to provide the actual document - lay out all of the pages and text - and pass this to the Cocoa print engine. In other words, I (and Scrivener is the product of a single programmer, me) would have to lay out all of those footnotes on the pages, and that is a massive technical problem - thus you tend to find that end-of-page footnotes are only supported by programs developed by whole teams. (It may seem trivial, but consider: a page is laid out and you work out which footnotes are on it, so then you lay out those footnotes and adjust the bottom of the page to fit them, but then, in so doing, some of the text that is associated with the footnotes being inserted may end up getting pushed to the next page, meaning that so should the footnote, but that leaves more space which moves the text back up and… Eep, yeah. :slight_smile: ) Scrivener was never intended to be a full layout program, but rather to concentrate on the writing stages and then allow the user to export to dedicated word processors for final layout and tweaks. Scrivener is not a word processor replacement, in other words.

That said, in the new beta - linked to above - it is possible, with Java installed, to create PDF files with footnotes by selecting “Proofing” from the “Print Settings” pane in Compile. When this is selected, Scrivener will generate an RTF document and use those special Java-based, third-party converters to convert the RTF file to PDF, rather than using Scrivener’s own layout system.

Hope that helps!

All the best,

Thank you for the quick reply. The PDF file seems to have a similar weird selection artifact thing going on in preview but preview is able to highlight that line in conjunction but sometimes it double high-lights that line (imagine two layers of yellow overlapping in photoshop with the overlay filter on).

Other PDFs in scrivener are working fine, so must be a problem with the PDF.

Managed to sort out the odd characters in my RTF document in libreoffice by turning off smart quotes in the compile. But the page breaks are still not working. I have selected page break between each text document in separators tab and ticking the box ‘page break before’ in the contents tab. Same issue when viewing on Word on my university’s computers.

One more thing. I’d like to cite two sources for the same sentence however Scrivener seems to only let me make 1 footnote for each sentence.

I’m not sure what’s going on with the page breaks - they should certainly be showing in Word. Could you possibly zip up your project and send it to us for testing at mac.support AT literatureandlatte DOT com?

As for citing two sources, you can one footnote at the end of each word, so you could put one footnote earlier in the sentence. It’s more standard to have footnotes at the end of the sentence, though, so if you wanted to cite two sources, you would just put them both into the same footnote (you wouldn’t want two footnote numbers at the end of one sentence).

All the best,

Hi, I am having the same problem with the Highlight tool since updating to Scrivener 2, even after downloading the latest update. It happens with all imported PDF files, and it does not happen when I highlight using Preview. Is there anything I could do to fix this problem? Thanks!