Pictures on export?

New to Schrivner. About to pull the trigger and get Schriver but I have one rather large question to ask first. I write using lots of pictures (or illustrations). I want my output to keep the formatting if possible or at least I want to output my draft as text and pictures. From my reading here on the forums and my demo of Schriver so far, it appears that Scrivner will only output from draft to text.

I just tried outputting a page with a picture on it (and some text) and it didn’t come through. Am I Missing something or is this feature there - but I just haven’t grasped how Schriver does this yet?

I will get on with my writing project in hopes of this being a positive reply (and soon). Crossing my fingers…

Thanks all.


Hello David,

Could you explain what you do exactly when you ‘output’ a page?

I have tried several things, from choosing ‘File -> Export -> Files’ to ‘File -> Compile draft…’ to output a page / file. I had a project with several images in research so I just randomly dragged one in a file with text. It showed up fine in the exported version, but only if I chose the right file-format to export to. Plain text will obviously not work, but Rich Text with Attachments (RTFD) works fine for me, as do webarchive and .doc.

If you can tell us what you do, I’m sure we can help you get those images in there.



Hi David,

It may be a limitation of the program in which you open your exported text rather than of Scrivener. Scrivener exports pictures fine for most formats - .rtf, .doc, .rtfd etc - but TextEdit, for instance, won’t doesn’t support images in RTF and DOC files. So, if you exported a document with images in it to .rtf or .doc and then opened it in TextEdit, you wouldn’t see the images; if you opened it in Word or Nisus or Mellel, you would see them. (But not in Pages, mind you - Pages doesn’t properly support RTF - shame on Apple - which Scrivener uses as its base format.)

Hope that helps.

I assumed it would not as the export section of the tutorial said it only exports text. I would be delightedf to find it would keep my pictures and illustrations where I embed them as I write.

What I did:
I dragged one page of the tutorial under the drafts folder in the Binder.
I pasted one JPG in a line of that text document.
I selected export with attachments and sent ot to the desktop.
I tried opening hte file by dragging it over apps, by contect clicking the file (open with …) and by opening an application and telling it to open the target file.
I have an old version of Word in CLassic. That started Word but could not see the file at all.
TexEdit opens the file as text only
Mariner launches but will not open any pages.
Abiword wont launch
NeoOffice launches but opens a blank page.

THe only way I can see this working so far is to print and save as a PDF file. Which of course is another matter to edit (unless I purchase a PDF editing program).

Is there a preference to change the file export type ending so that this would actually work?

Thanks very much all for the prompt support.


I can’t do much more than just summarize what has been written above. But since exporting under Mac OS – it’s not a Scrivener problem – is a little tricky it might be of some help for you.

  1. Scrivener does export .doc, .rtf, and .rtfd WITH pictures. Scrivener is meant to give you the perfect surroundings for the creative process but that would be quite useless if exporting would make some of your contents vanish.

  2. Programs using the Apple TextEngine without a hack (like Scrivener does) can not display pictures in .rtf files. That includes TextEdit and also Quicklook. Pages often works different to programs using the TextEngine but in this case, sadly, they are showing the same behaviour: no display of pictures in .rtf.

  3. Rtfd is Apple’s own way of including pictures in text files – see Actually, .rtfd is not file but a container displayed as a single file in the finder. If you right-click on a .rtfd file and choose Show Content you will find a txt.rft and something like myPicture.jpg.
    TextEdit, Quicklook and other programs based on the Apple TextEngine will display pictures in .rtfd files.
    BUT: A lot of other writing programs do not know nothing about rtfd at all. Dedicated wordprocessors seldomly (never?) use the Apple TextEngine because it doesn’t fit their needs at all. They have there own ways of handling text including their own .rft importers and exporters.
    Which of course do include pictures. And when they handle the common file format .rft with pictures properly there is no need for them to take care i. e. open .rtfd. Especially not for programs with non-Mac origins like NeoOffice. I’m not sure if there is any program besides Scrivener that does handle both .rtf and .rtfd with pictures correctly.

Meaning: When you export to any program using the Apple TextEngine, .rtfd is the format for keeping the pictures visible. If you export to other programs – mainly dedicated wordprocessors, which is likely after you have drafted in Scrivener – you have to use .rtf. – – How your ancient version of Word behaves I can’t tell you.

Beside from that – or better: before all of this – you should give the Scrivener manual another look. Export is not the first choice of getting text out of Scrivener (personally, I use it almost never), Compile Draft is. Compile Draft allows you to create different sets of export formats, including the export file format of course, and save them.

Thank you. I think it will be alright. Yes I do need to read the manual more slowly, thanks for the suggestion. I sat in the garden late last night, alone, with the fountain, the soft yard lights, the laptop and my cigar. I wrote. It actually felt good. I will be getting Scrivener, you can count on that. Thanks. 8)