Problems with importing a novel from Word on a PC

Until now I’ve used Scrivener only for new projects, but I love it so much that at the weekend I finally imported my 80,000-word novel from the PC to do a major rewrite in Scriv.

Fine. I exported the novel in a single file as RTF from Word on to a flash drive, then imported it into Scrivener. It was quicker and easier than I expected to divide the chapters into separate documents. Then I duplicated the chapters into a new folder so that I could compare original with rewrite on a split screen.

Still fine. Then I started doing some work on the Corkboard and Outliner and I got the spinning beachball. I forced quit and tried again. Spinning beachball. Changed preferences to 3-minute autosave. Beachball. Downloaded 1.04b, deleted 1.03, emptied Trash. (This is boring, I know.) I got the spinning beachball. It didn’t happen with any of the projects begun in Scrivener, by the way, only the one imported from Word.

If I let it spin for a few minutes, then my Powerbook heated up and the fan switched on. Another couple of minutes and it sounded like my expresso maker.

I have this irrational belief that if you stare at a problem for long enough, the solution will come to you. After some considerable staring, I opened a new project, dragged three or four chapters from the problem project into it, then converted their format to the Default Text Format. Tried doing stuff in Corkboard and Outliner and all was well.

In brief, I returned to the original project, converted all the documents’ formats to Default Text – very quick once I found I could convert a whole folder at once – and I haven’t had a glimpse of the beachball since.

I searched all through the forums and couldn’t find anyone else with this problem, so I thought I would post this in case anyone else encountered the same.

This sounds like a bug - and one related to fonts. (Uh, yeah, I bet you could have guessed that, huh? :slight_smile: )

I’d very much like to investigate this. Could you please do me the favour of putting together a small project that displays this behaviour and then e-mailing it to me at

What I’m thinking is just something along these lines:

  1. Create a new project.
  2. Drag in the problematic document.
  3. Split the document into a few pieces.
  4. Delete the rest of the document.
  5. Turn the text into gibberish by going to Find > Project Replace and doing a few random single-letter replacements (“a” for “t”, “s” for “p” or whatever). That way I can’t read your work - you can skip this step if you don’t care about this.
  6. Check that you can reproduce the spinning beachball in this project.
  7. Zip up the project and send it to me, and include in the e-mail the exact steps I need to take to reproduce the spinning beachball of death.

Thanks in advance!