Issues/Questions about compiling for Kindle

Hi there,

I have a few questions re compiling for Kindle.

With the latest version of Scrivener Mac, it looks like I get the following behaviour that I don’t remember getting with older versions:

  • When compiling a long document (200-500pages), and not specifically to Kindle, compile takes a very long time. Specifically, between the end of the the first progress bar, that goes quite fast, and the beginning of the actual generation of the document (which reports page numbers when compiling to PDF), there is a 30 seconds window during which the mouse turns to “waiting”, as if Scrivener was hung. The document is generated in the end, but it takes a long time, a lot longer than I remember. Did something change in the last few versions that could explain this?

  • When compiling a list, my lists with checkmarks are replaced with lists with bullet points. Is this a Kindle limitation or is it a Scrivener bug?

  • When compiling my documents, text that should be only in italics shows up in bold italics on the Kindle. the text correctly shows as italics if I compile to PDF or Docx. I also don’t remember this behaviour. Any idea what could cause this?

Many thanks for your help!

I haven’t received any reply to this, including from support as I’ve opened a support request last week.

I would appreciate to get a reply from either, as I have a book scheduled for publication soon and need to resolve this.

EDIT: I’ve resolved the bold italics issue. It was due to an old version of Calibre for Mac, which I sue to look at my compiled ebooks. I’ve updated it and the issue is gone, so not a Scrivener issue. :slight_smile:

Compile is probably the most demanding operation that Scrivener performs. It’s impossible to say whether the delay you’re seeing is excessive without knowing more about the project and your hardware, but it’s not at all unusual for it to take a noticeable number of minutes.

The conversion of checkmarks to bullets is probably a Kindle limitation: they probably require a font that the Kindle doesn’t have. You can check by seeing how the same text is handled by other formats. (And incidentally, I would recommend using Kindle Previewer to inspect Kindle books, not third-party tools.)


PS Please check your junk mail folder to make sure technical support responses are getting through.

Thanks Katherine.

I do check my junk/spam folder and there is still no reply to my support request, but thanks for replying here.

Which information do you need about the document, apart from its size? The shortest one (200 pages 6"x9", under 80,000 characters, text only) has no graphics or anything fancy, yet you still have this 30 seconds “hang” where Scrivener Mac looks like it’s frozen between two active phases.

The computer is a MacBook Pro 13" 2018 with the fastest quad core, 16Gb of RAM and a 2TB SSD, so it’s not the hardware. It’s running the latest Mojave.

Now that the compile crash has been fixed on the PC version, I can compare and the same document compiled on PC with the same compile format doesn’t show such a 30 secs “hang” between the two “active” phases.

The document compiles in 17 secs total in Scrivener PC (beta 22) running in a virtual Windows 10 install with bootcamp on the same mac (only 8Gb RAM available in the VM). I’ll try on my bootcamp install on the same Mac to see if the PC version is faster when compiled natively, but it’s not really relevant.

This is to compare with the 42 secs needed to compile the same document with the same compile format natively on the Mac (VM shut down of course), 30 seconds being spent with the mouse cursor on the “waiting” ball. It just doesn’t make sense that the same doc would be compiled faster on a VM than natively on the mac if it wasn’t a software issue.

Does the Mac rely on any 3rd party software to compile that might need updating? Is there any setting on the Mac that could cause this > 100% performance loss on the Mac VS the PC? Is there a way to produce a log to see what happens when Scrivener “hangs” between the two “active” phases?

I don’t remember it taking so much time with previous versions, but it’s difficult to be 100% sure. It just looks like this “hang” showed up recently.

Thanks for the reply on the bullet list, that’s what I suspected. I’ll make sure I test with the kindle previewer before reporting any potential Kindle issue in the future.

What specific version of Mac Scrivener do you have?

Do you still see the hang if you compile to RTF format? That’s Scrivener’s native format, and therefore requires no conversion step.


PS I saw your support ticket, but am answering here to keep the conversation in one place.

As indicated in the OP, I’m using the latest version of Scrivener Mac, so 3.1.3.

Yes, there is a 30 secs hang irrespective of the output format, including RTF. RTF compile of that same project takes about the same time as PDF, around 42 secs (compared to 17 sec with the Windows version in a VM).

Compiling the same project to RTF in Scrivener Windows (latest beta 22 / RC2) takes 12 seconds. Granted, there are issues in compile for Windows, but it shows that the 30 seconds hang isn’t there on that platform.

Happy to discuss this here and glad the support ticket wasn’t lost :slight_smile:.