Images don't appear in my compiled Word doc

For some reason, when I compile documents the images embedded in my Scrivener file won’t show up. There’s just a blank line where the image is supposed to be.

They used to show up, but now they don’t. I didn’t change anything in the way that I compile documents, as far as I can tell. (I’ve been using Scrivener for a few years now fairly comfortably, and converted to Scrivener 3 when it was released - but I’ve been able to export documents with images in Scrivener 3 before as well.)

I’ve gone over the compile tutorials to see if there is something I’m missing and I feel like I understand the new compile system in Scrivener 3. I’ve checked to see if there was a setting that I might have inadvertently turned off. I had the images set as images linked to files, but then to be sure I tried converting them to embedded images, and that didn’t make a difference.

I’m assuming there’s something fairly obvious that I’m missing…? Any thoughts on what it is?

Are you sure that they’re not there?

I know it sounds like a dumb question, but Word can be configured to not show images for performance reasons.

It might also be helpful to compile to another format, such as PDF.


Just to double-check: are you definitely opening the Word document in Word itself? If you are opening it in TextEdit, for instance, the images won’t show up simply because TextEdit doesn’t support images in Word files.

That’s interesting. I am opening the document in Word and I’m pretty sure they aren’t there. There’s only a single space where the images should be. I haven’t changed anything in the Word settings since when I opened earlier drafts, where the images were present …

But: when I compile to a pdf, the images do show up. I’m not sure why that might be.

What happens if you do the same with another project? Could you possibly create a sample project that shows the problem and post it here, along with an example Word document showing the problem? (You can use the “Attachments” tab next to “Options” below the text entry part when replying to attach files. Be sure to zip them up first and not attach anything you don’t want public, which is why I suggest a sample project/Word file. Alternatively you can email us with the problematic files.)

All the best,

Okay, now I feel stupid. I created a new project, and created text and an image link in the document. It worked just fine.

Then, just to see if turning it off and on again might make a difference, I closed my original project and opened it up again and … the images had disappeared in my document to be replaced by a reference to the original link.

It turns out I had just changed the name of my book, and so for housekeeping’s sake I changed the name of the folder on my desktop where I had all of my original reference files for the book, including the images. That meant that the link to the images had been lost, but since I hadn’t turned off my computer in a while and hadn’t closed Scrivener, they were still appearing where they should be.

Thank you for all of your help. Problem solved: if you refer to files in your document, don’t change the name of the folder that contains those files.

One more thing, though, which might be a bug. When I first started troubleshooting, in order to see if the problem was that these were images that were linked to a file on my desktop and were not embedded in the document itself, I right-clicked on each image and selected “Convert to Embedded Image.” It seemed to work, and I didn’t get an error message saying that the file could not be found. That’s why it never occurred to me that I might have caused the problem by changing the folder name. I think perhaps that I should have been told by the program that the images weren’t there anymore.

I tried this again with my text project, and moved the file that was linked there. When I tried converting it to an embedded image it seemed to work. But then when I tried to “Reload from Original Image” the image disappeared and turned into a little icon of an image. It seems like I should have gotten an error message of some sort indicating that the original file was missing.

Great, glad you have it sorted!

And you’re right, there is a bug there whereby it’s not showing an error message when the conversion fails owing to the original image no longer being available. I’ve fixed that for 3.0.3 - thanks for bringing it to my attention.

All the best,