Imported webpage of Google Doc results in blank page

I imported the URL into Scrivener of a Google Doc; I’ve done this many times before successfully, although there is a usual initial mess and a popup box that says “reload” which, when clicked, loads it fine and I can edit the Google Doc within Scrivener (I can also dismiss the banner that says this - i.e., Scrivener - is not a supported browser). But now, when I import the URL of a Google Doc into Scrivener (same Google account) the usual mess and popup box happens so fast and then shows a blank page; when I try to type something in the page I get the “boing” sound for an error. There is no way to “reload” the page. If I’m really, really, really fast I can hit the reload button in the usual, initial mess of the load and then it works fine, so the process seems to be working, really quickly, until the Reload box pops up and then it is replaced almost immediately by a blank page. But it takes me memorising where the Reload button appears on the screen and getting to it fast enough - maybe one in ten times. My existing imported Google Docs still work fine: I get the initial mess, the Reload popup box appears, and I can click it at my leisure, then the page loads normally and I can edit. Importing other webpages works fine. So, it is only with newly imported Google Docs. Any ideas how to solve this, please?

Have you tried with a Google document made available offline ?


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In addition to @Vincent_Vincent’s suggestion, in Google Docs, use the File → Download menu command to pick on of the formats compatible with Scrivener. DOCX, RTF, or TXT good choices.

Thanks for the response. I’ve made the document available offline within Google Doc but I don’t have Google Drive on my computer. Is that (also) what you meant?

I don’t know about that part. (I’ve never used or needed offline Google docs.)
It just seemed like a logical thing to try.

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Thanks for the response. I don’t want to download it as I want to dynamically update it with the Google Doc, for when I can’t use my desktop and only have my iPad. Scrivener doesn’t work on my iPad (a separate issue, something to do with the size of my project-file, I think; it just never completes syncing, even with Scrivo as an intermediary solution). The problem with GDocs not being available within Scrivener is unrelated to downloading, if I understand you correctly.

Update: Problem’s cause identified: I have to be logged into my Google account in Safari in order for Scrivener to be able to read an imported Google Doc as a webpage (and to continue to read it). When I logged out from Google Docs in Safari (even though Safari has kept my login details) and imported a second document as a webpage from Google Docs, it stopped working again but — strangely — the original import continued to work, just like my previous imports did. I think this behaviour occurs because Scrivener uses a simulacrum of Safari as its browser. This is a bit of a pain as I use Chrome for accessing my work-related Google account and my Safari for personal Google account and my texts are work-related. If anyone else has or DOESN’T have this problem, I’d be very interested to know.

By chance are you using Google Drive to sync?

Update 2: now this workaround has also stopped working for some reason.

No; Dropbox — I’ve been very careful to follow the instructions in the manual on this LOL!

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Instead of going through all these troubles, why don’t you simply link to the URL and use your default browser as if a Quick Reference panel ?


Thanks again for your response. I don’t actually know what you mean here. My understanding of Quick Reference panels is that they are for items that exist in the Binder; when I try to use it on an imported GDoc URL imported as a webpage, it simply presents the resulting blank page in a Quick Ref panel as it also does within the normal editor. I don’t know how to use the default browser (mine: Chrome; Scrivener’s: Safari, it seems) as a Quick Reference panel, as you suggest; I also can’t yet find it in the Scrivener manual. Any details you could provide would be really appreciated.

What I mean is that instead of importing the webpage, you’d create a document for it, and you’d drag the URL from your internet browser’s navigation’s bar to the editor, thus creating a link.
Later, clicking that link will launch your browser (and the desired webpage), which you can then use as a side window, as if it was a Quick reference panel. (Not a Quick Reference panel, as if one. )

Ah, OK. That’s true as a workaround, although I can’t then use Scrivener as it’s supposed to work and I also can’t see the contents at a glance, as I have to know what that link contains in order to know to use it. This is one way I’ve been having to work around it and I’d like to be able to use Scrivener as it is supposed to work, otherwise I might as well just use Google Drive without a binder.

Give the link a natural name: Say, Air Tags. Highlight the name, press Ctrl+Shift+L (probably Cmd+Shift+L on Mac, I don’t know) and paste URL in the popup. Clicking on Air Tags will then take you to the site. You name can be as long and descriptive as you’d like it to be. Hovering over the link will also reveal its URL string, for what it’s worth.

So while you won’t preview the content, you’ll have a pretty good idea where the link takes you.

You sheet will look something like this, which you can drag to Bookmarks for quick access while on the go. I’d typically link this to a Document Bookmarks as it’s only relevant to certain scenes, as opposed to Project Bookmarks, required at any point in your work.

It would look like this under bookmarks–and the clinks are fully clickable:

I’ve put this up in the list of bugs instead. Here it’s a list of suggested workarounds, which is not what I need and, basically, the best workaround is not to use Scrivener if it’s not doing what it says on the tin. So, I’m not going to follow this thread anymore.

Never seen it claim to use your discombobulated setup.


Then have a look at §9.1.2 in the User Manual on importing web-pages. It does say that such functional pages will typically not import correctly, but they have historically and very usefully — and function is part of representation of a software — so I was wondering why it had stopped. I think your use of the word ‘discombobulated’ is unnecessary and somewhat rude in light of the above.
BTW: I uninstalled and reinstalled and it’s working again for the moment.

If the problem reappears, then, you might start by resetting the project display settings, as explained here:

If the manual says it doesn’t work, then not working is “what it says on the tin.” We certainly have never claimed to be an alternative front end for Google Docs.

Note also that there are two pieces of software involved here. We have no control over what Google might have changed that might be causing the failure.

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