Pasting annotations into Word

I’ve been a very happy Scrivener use for years now; I write everything in it. One of the features I’ve loved and touted to others over the years has been the ability to paste chunks of text into Word (Word 2004), and to have any inline annotations within that chunk of text appear automatically as a comment in Word (which I could then drop from the word document on my own). Yes, I know that this is a sort of unsupported feature, as it’s a way of skirting the compile feature. But I’ve loved being able to do this.

Recently, I switched from Word 2004 to Word 2011. Now, when I paste chunks of text with inline annotations into Word 2011, the annotations no longer appear as comments. Instead, they appear as red text within the normal text. This is a real problem in my workflow.

Yes, I could just use the compile feature. But I find it much faster to copy and paste. Assuming my problem is a problem with Word 2011, is there anything I can change in either Scrivener or Word that might fix this? Or should I simply reinstall Word 2004?


This is down to a change in the pasteboard format that Word users in 2011. Basically, Word now prioritises grabbing RTFD from the pasteboard instead of RTF. Scrivener places both of these formats on the pasteboard, as RTFD works best for TextEdit and other Apple programs, whereas RTF works best in Word and OpenOffice and suchlike. But Word 2011 ignores the RTF (which contains embedded comments) if RTFD is available, and the RTFD does not support Word comments.

Fortunately, the fix is easy as I added an option to Scrivener to work around this for Word users. In the Preferences, go Import/Export and select the “Export Options” pane, and tick “Use Word 2011-compatible copy”. When this is ticked, Scrivener won’t place RTFD on the pasteboard, meaning that Word will grab the RTF and you’ll get the behaviour you want. The only downside is that when you paste into TextEdit and Mail, images won’t come across.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Yes, totally helps. Amazing! Thank you so much for your help! I knew it was a problem with Word rather than Scrivener; but I also figured it was something you knew how to fix! Thanks again!

Glad you’re back up and running!