problem with list bullets

hi there, sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, i couldn’t find any response to it. I am working on a document that i need to share with others on a PC. I have created some bulleted lists, and no matter how i tweak my export settings i cannot see to have the bullets recognized once i open the exported document in WORD on a PC. The ONLY work-around strangely is if i export to an html format, but doing this plays with my fonts (even having unchecked the option for exporting drafts to leave my formatting alone), and doesn’t include my embedded images.

Surely there must be a way (which i am foolishly overlooking) to use whatever type of basic bullet for a list and have them show up on a PC as other than gopldy-gook 0s and funny-looking boxes.

many thanks,

Hi oneworld9,

Unfortunately, this is not a Scrivener issue. Keith uses Apple’s text engine,
which has very rudimentary implementations of certain features, including
lists and tables. They just don’t export very well.

There have been hints that this situation might be improved with the release
of Leopard, but no promises.

My own solution to this has been manual. I export to Word, then auto-create
tables in Word. A drag, I know, but a small price for me to pay for the rest of
the advantages of using Scriv.

Best to you,


Tim, many kind thanks for your response. Good to know so that i can put to rest my efforts at a work-around (by tweaking something or other in Scrivener).

Could i trouble you (if you’re still following the thread) to briefly explain the “auto-create lists” method you use in Word?

Tim, many kind thanks for your response. Good to know so that i can put to rest my efforts at a work-around (by tweaking something or other in Scrivener).

Could i trouble you (if you’re still following the thread) to briefly explain the “auto-create lists” method you use in Word?

Semi-automatic, might have been a better description.

When an exported list appears in word with its periods instead of bullets,
I delete the periods or other spurious characters (sometimes zeros appear),
then select the list and click on word’s bullet menu. It’s not a particularly
efficient approach, but it works, and I don’t have so many lists that it drives
me crazy.

Hope this helps,


I’ve noticed that the bullet points are conserved if you

(1) export a Scrivener draft as an RTF or Word document,
(2) open it in Apple Pages,
(3) export as a Word document from Pages, then
(4) open the Pages-exported Word document in Word

However, the bullet formatting is not ‘future-conserved’ if you edit the document. That is to say, Word displays the exported list formatting properly, but you cannot add another bulletpoint manually using the same formatting.

This work-around also works using NeoOffice, for those who do not want to shell out $80 for functional lists. :slight_smile:


Just thought I’d ping this topic. I notice that the bullet lists are being recognized as such in word, but with improper formatting. It looks like it just needs a tweak of the word exporter to fix. This would be great…it’s an annoying problem for me.

I actually ran into this problem on an app I wrote on the PC. Getting word export to work from a mac app must be challenging!


The problem is a bug created by Apple, rather than Scrivener… and I see this post is fairly old - unfortunately, it did not get improved in Leopard as some may have hoped.


My problem with bullets is slightly different to other posts, so thought I would add it:
Having inconsistencies in exporting bulleted list.
.rtf - no bullets exported (text, no bullets, no indent)
.doc - no bullets exported (text, no bullets, no indent)
.docx - bullets and formatting exported OK.

Bulleted lists created in text edit:
.rtf - no bullets exported, no indents
.doc - bullets and indent exported, no indent on 1st bullet
.docx - bullets and indent exported OK.

I guess I can convert docx to doc, but wondered of there was possibility of workaround /fix for Scrivener 2.0? Or is this still an Apple problem you can’t fix?
Many thanks,

Hi Stuart,

Yes, this is an Apple OS X problem unfortunately. The reason you are seeing problems in Scrivener’s .doc export but not in TextEdit’s is that Scrivener uses “disguised” .rtf files for its .doc export if you have headers, footers, footnotes or images in the file. That said, I have patched up the bullets export for RTF in 2.0, although it’s still far from perfect…

All the best,

Thanks for your swift reply Keith.

I came across this thread as I was perusing the forums (I’m a recent purchaser of Scrivener), and have been playing around with the program. My work-around for lists not exporting in a form readable by Word was to use list-like paragraph styles instead. I set up listItem, listItemSub1,…,listItemSub3. They are set up so that the first line is progressively indented by .25 inch as the levels increase, and the subsequent lines are indented .25 more. The first tab is set at the same point as the subsequent lines. So, for each list item I type a bullet (•) Opt-8 on my keyboard but YMMV, then tab, then start typing the list item. I set the style of each paragraph according to its level. Word doesn’t know it’s a list, but it looks like one. You can use anything you like instead of a bullet, and in case it’s longer than .25 in, you can also set the tabs in the list styles in increments of .25 in, so it all will just sort of line up and work.

Lists? We don’t need no steenking lists!

Greg Shenaut

Hmm. I don’t use any styling as I’m working, but use a pseudo semantic mark-up. I’d love to get into Multi-Markdown and into LaTeX again, but don’t have time. As I do all my formatting and prettifying in Nisus anyway, I put an annotation at the beginning of the list, {list} and another {/list} at the end of the list text, and when I go through the text I remove those and apply the list style of my choice. I do the same with quotations {quote} … {/quote}, image/diagram captions, examples, etc.

One day, I’ll work out how to automate that in NWP using PowerFind Pro, or turn really geeky and learn how to write a macro to do the job for me.

I like the fact that Scrivener is rich text, as that means I can set its interface to give me a working environment of font, size etc., but the appearance of the final “manuscript” or whatever is entirely done through NWP, or in cases with many diagrams and call-outs, InDesign.


Sure, I completely understand the value of that. It’s just that the target format I’m writing to, APA6, is so simple that it is virtually within the reach of Scrivener’s native formatting. There is considerable value in using that, if it’s possible. Paragraph styles are much more flexible than list formats, and they are very portable. I think that they may be the way to go for most tables and lists. I just wish there was some way to click on a bit of text and ascertain its named style, if any (this would make styles potentially much more semantic). I also wish that Word was able to use named styles imported from Scrivener. TextEdit does it, so I don’t know why Word won’t.

Greg Shenaut

The OS X text system used by Scrivener and Text System doesn’t support named RTF styles, which is why Word doesn’t read them. TextEdit and Scrivener use the OS X text system styles which are just based on formatting.