Scapple previews in Scrivener not working again

This is the return of a problem that was solved quite a while ago now, so I’m not sure why it’s returned (I’ve not updated anything between the last time it worked (last week) and now).

MBPro - Monterey - Scapple 1.4.2 - Scrivener 3.3.6

Clicking on an imported alias of a Scapple map used to provide a clear graphic of the Scapple in the Editor. Suddenly today I only get a single small square with an arrow and no sign of the Scapple content. Last time this happened I think it was a QuickView (Look) that was broken.

I rely pretty heavily on having writing organisation Scapples on hand in each Scrivener document, so I hope this is something that can be fixed/I can fix pretty quickly.


This has also happened to me; reporting this was even one of my first posts in 2020, but I deleted it since there was no response after some time.

In my case, it happened off and on; I theorized it was the size of the Scapple file?

I know this is of no help to you, but I am curious what the explanation is (if any.)

Apparently it wasn’t deleted, but it doesn’t appear in “My Posts.”

Thanks - it doesn’t seem to be related to the size of the Scapple - it is treating new Scapples, newly imported as aliases to the Scrivener document in the same (unhelpful) way. What confused me is that nothing about my computer has changed since the feature last worked - just a few days ago.

It does work properly on my iMac - I asked my partner to check but that’s in my office at home and I’m writing 200 miles away.

Wild guess here - are you using a synced file? I wonder if an incomplete sync between devices may be the culprit? Intermittent occurrence while working remotely and only seeing the placeholder could be clues.

Thanks - nice idea, but I’m working on local documents only while away from home. And everything was fine last week - when I was first away.

This afternoon I have deleted some of the Scapples from some of the Scrivener docs, then re-imported them from where the MBPro originals are saved in the the local Dropbox - I then re-imported them as Research Aliases … and the problem persists. I can ‘open with external editor’ - which opens Scapple and displays the correct Scapple board (with any changes I’ve made recently) - but it will still not preview properly in Scrivener.

Thanks again.

Not sure how or why, but an incremental update of Monterey on the MBPro seems to have fixed things.


Who knows! The intricacies of the Quick Look system on macOS can be baffling at times. For future reference, a full reinstall of Scapple should fix it, if this happens again. You do have to actually reboot (yes, like it is 1995) after moving it to the trash and emptying the trash though, because Quick Look has a bad habit of getting modules cached and stuck that way, so that even if the software has been updated to fix a bug in the module, it goes on using the old version.

Other things to check (if it happens again):

  • Whether it works in Finder when pressing Spacebar on the file.
  • Whether that works when looking at an alias that is pointing to the original .scap file.

We would expect these to all act the same as Scrivener’s use of QL, and that if it doesn’t work anywhere, there is some installation issue (that it seemed a minor OS update unstuck).

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