Problem sending Scrivener file as Entourage email attachment

This is my first post on this Board and I will admit it - I am a Scrivener Newb! I am also a serious writer and a good friend who uses Scrivener recently highly recommended it to me as a writing/outlining tool - he convinced me to try it out and I became so fascinated by - and enamored of - some of its features - that I dived in and bought a copy…and so far it has proven to be an interesting and valuable thinking and organizing tool. So…that’s my disclaimer.

Here’s the problem. I am collaborating with another writer on a project - whom I also convinced to get a copy of Scrivener - and after a recent work session, I created a complex new Scivener document for outlining this particular project. So far so good…right? But now the PROBLEM - when I attempted to email my Scrivener file to my collaborator…my email program wouldn’t do it!

DETAILS - The program in question is Microsoft Entourage 2004 (which normally is an excellent and powerful email app) - which I am running on my trusty old 12" G4 Powebook (which is running OS 10.4.11, with oodles of RAM). When I attempted to add my Scrivener file as an “Attachment” to an email, here’s what Entourage told me, in boldface – (lets call my file NewProject here)

“Entourage cannot attach the item NewProject.scriv”

  • and then in smaller letters underneath, it adds -

“Aladdin Systems Stuffit Software must be installed on your computer in order to attach this item to a message”

Needless to say, I was stupefied - stunned - disbelieving - and irritated. What’s the story here? Why won’t my email attach a Scrivener document?

Fortunately, I have a copy of the compression App which Aladdin makes - which is part of its ‘Stuffit’ software - it’s actually called DropStuff - and when I used that to compress the Srcrivener file into what what Stuffit/Dropstuff calls an “archive” - then, sure enough, Entourage allowed me to attach the (compressed) file to my email. But I want to know WHY this happened?

I’m guessing that possibly the problem may lie in the fact that a Scrivener ‘file’ - may actually be a collection of separate ‘files’ grouped into a folder of sorts (in fact my Scrivener file contains several ‘folders’ each of which contain several dozen individual things Srcrivener calls ‘text files’) - so it’s possible that a traditional email program, like Entourage, may be confused by the folder vs file dichotomy? Or, maybe, Scrivener files are somehow incompatible with Entourage email coding? Or - are Scrivener files incompatible with OLDER versions of Entourage but not “newer” ones? Or…something completely different???

I dearly hope that some brilliant Scrivener user out there - and possibly even Keith himself - will take pity on my plight and enlighten me, bringing clarity to the shadows which now surround me. Can anyone tell me what’s going on here?

Hopefully in Oregon (where it’s cloudy and threatening to rain…but no snow today)


I would try using the “Save Backup To…” menu option under File, and make sure the Zip archive option is checked. This will create a single file that is a good deal smaller than your Scrivener project is ordinarily. The problem you are coming up against is that a Scrivener project is actually bunches of files, sometimes hundreds or thousands. Saving a zipped backup will compress it all into one file.

This will also automatically attach a date stamp to the file name, which will be of immeasurable help as you send stuff back and forth. You’ll know you have the latest copy by the date stamp.

Thanks for the suggestion, Amber - I tried it - using the ZIP option on Saving a Backup Copy - and it worked beautifully.

However, from a theoretical standpoint - what’s weird is - in my particular case, the Scrivener file I was sending was really not a big one with thousands of attached files - but a tiny one - with dozens of text-only files which Scrivener generated itself. The actualy file size was UNDER 1 Mb. And yet, still, Entourage REFUSED to even attach it unless I first ‘compressed’ it.

I’m guessing the reason why is that as you say, a Scrivener ‘file’ is really closer to a ‘folder’ - that is, an assemblage of many other files - and probably my email program won’t attach folders unless they are first compressed. That would explain it.

In any case - thanks for the tip and the quick posted reply.



Your conclusion is accurate. There really is no standard mail protocol for sending folders, which yes, is what a Mac bundle looks like to the rest of the world. It’s a problem of format, not quantity.