Many Frustrations with Scrivener

I am trying very hard to learn this program. I have watched a dozen tutorial videos on YouTube more than once. I even aquired a book on Scrivener. I know a bunch of people seem to really love it. Perhaps on Mac they have a much better program. But Scrivener on Windows has so far been a great frustration.

  1. I just lost an entire chapter, which had cost me many hours of work. And I have 7 (that is seven) sequential backup files. None of them have Chapter Two! Where did it dissappear to?

  2. As reported before (with nobody answering), every time I import a *.doc file, or even copy and paste text from another document, Scrivener always inserts a bunch of random question marks before or after quotation marks, such as: "?Do you … or “Please leave.?” So I have to go through the entire document and fix them.

  3. My corkboard is also non existant.

I will post some more if somebody replies to these.

Thanks in advance!

Regarding, #2, as you say, this is a long-standing issue (assuming we’re talking about the same thing). I raised it once WRT problems pasting in text with smart quotes from another word processor (thread here); the best, though still very unsatisfactory, answer was that “The trouble here looks like whatever encoding [the other program] is using for these characters is not interpreted as such in Scrivener’s stricter RTF handling.” “Stricter” in this usage seems to work out to “faulty.” I did also learn from the people at the other word processor (not MS Word) that their program saves standard “hi-bit” characters such as these in ANSI encoding, while Word saves them in Unicode. That may have something do to with it. There was a partially related discussion in this thread.

Pasting with Ctrl+Shift+V (Paste and Match Context) imports text with quotation marks intact, but of course strips out italics, etc. I have some faint hope that this may be fixed in the eagerly-awaited new Windows version of Scrivener; but I don’t believe I’ve seen that promised.


Many thanks for your kind reply.

I am using mostly the awesome FREE Libre Office word processor for most of my writing and sometimes SoftMaker’s Text Maker 2016. I always save my work in BOTH the word processors’ native format AND also save as *.doc to have better compatibility as well as an extra backup. I am still curious to know if #2 is is a Windows OS-only problem, or if Mac users also have it.

I tried using my son’s Macbook for about a week, and never could get used to it. Even mouse and scrolling seemed wierd. Something about “old dogs and new tricks”, I guess…

I have been using computers since (ehem) a Commodore Vic 20, with cassette tape unit to save and load files. Then graduated to a Commodore 64 (5.25" single-sided floppies), and finally to my first MS Dos 3.3 machine. Today I use both Windows 10 and Linux Mint 18 extensively on my machines.


#4. I also suggested that Scrivener add a thesaurus within the program. Perhaps one of the many synonyms files that are available as Open Source, such as are used with, Libre Office, or awesome and FREE Calligra Office.

#5. When sellecting the “Related Words” option, nothing happens. Am I missing something here?

I got my first PC in 1985 and have run both MS DOS and Windows since 1.0, but I switched to Mac early 2013 and has never looked back. It is so much better.

As for #1, did you by any chance create folders, and wrote the text in the folder? Or are you perhaps saving your projects on some kind of cloud drive?

#2 - why don’t you save the file as rtf instead, which is Scrivener’s native file format?

#3 - have you chosen the corkboard view? And see what? The cork board is just another way of looking at the Binder. It is exactly the same thing, just another way of displaying it.

Thanks for your kind reply, Lunk!

  1. I did create one main folder for my book and then a subfolder for each individual chapter. I also set it up to save to my laptop’s local SSD drive, and the backup to my 1-Gigabyte Dropbox account, which is only 11% full.

  2. The cork board is now visible. Thanks!

  3. Will try RTF on Monday. Have to travel tomorrow. Thanks!

Steve, central Mexico

First, there is no real difference between folders and documents in Scrivener. Documents can contain documents and both documents and folders can contain text in themselves. It’s not like a file system in Windows. Documents can be converted to folders and folders can be converted to documents. The only difference is really the icons in the Binder (plus they can make some Compile settings work easier).

There is some menu choice where you can decide if you want to see the text inside the folder document or not, but I don’t remember where it is even on my Mac version. If this is toggled Off, you will or will not see the text in the folder document itself, depending on how you view the project.

Scrivener doesn’t delete text on its own, so my guess is that you happened to write text in a folder and have the view option set not to show folder text.