Scrivener 1.5.3 won't print or show print preview

Problem: Can’t print a page with Scrivener 1.5.3 upgrade for Windows 7.

Problem: Print Preview is blank in dark grey without text.

When I initially upgraded to the new post-beta version of Scrivener 1.5.3 for Windows 7 recently, I was dismayed that I couldn’t print a single page of my manuscript (Novel format). I also noticed that the Print Preview box was dark grey and empty of text. There was nothing wrong with my printer since it easily printed from Notepad, Word, etc. and in all other areas Scrivener continues to function superbly - easily my favorite writing software.

So, I uninstalled the new version, rebooted, and returned to using Scrivener 1.2.5. My manuscript once again printed OK.

Then, thinking that having both versions in separate folders on my computer at the same time was causing the prior conflict, I uninstalled 1.2.5 and rebooted. Then I only installed the new 1.5.3 version. Once again, I couldn’t print a page or see any manuscript text in the Print Preview box.

Finally, I uninstalled 1.5.3, rebooted, and re-installed the earlier version 1.2.5. Printed OK.

Two days ago, searching your technical support forums, etc., I eventually came across a post by “Leon” who described having a similar problem. Replies suggested that he had a problem with his computer/ printer outside of the Scrivener software upgrade 1.5.3. I can no longer find his post or I would have replied to it. I still feel that Scrivener tech support was passing the buck of responsibility for missing or incorrect code for printing in a premature upgrade version of Scrivener.

So, for now I will continue productively using the earlier 1.2.5 version - it allows me to print - until a revised upgrade is available. I hope one day to be able to make use of the great features offered in the 1.5.3 upgrade - and be able to print a page.

If anyone has a solution to this frustrating problem, I certainly welcome your advice.

Use the forum search to do a search on “Leon” to find the posting you referred to.
It turns out to be at viewtopic.php?f=34&t=20805&p=139983&hilit=Leon#p139983


Thanks for the link back to “Leon” post.

The replies there were not helpful to me.

As I mentioned in my post, when I revert back to the Scrivener 1.2.5 version, I can print again.

The only printing variable in my computer system that changes is my software version of Scrivener.

I have removed 1.5.3 and downloaded and installed a new .exe several times, thinking the file may have been corrupted during download or installation.

Except for the inability to print/ preview print, version 1.5.3 works exceptionally well.

The only conclusion I can surmise is that a line of code is missing or different in 1.5.3 that prevents printing on my HP Color LaserJet 2605dn. My printer driver works fine.

Scrivener 1.2.5 prints my projects.

Scrivener 1.5.3 won’t print or show print preview.


Hi sweet,

This isn’t a common issue for 1.5.3, so we’ll need to do a little more digging to figure out what’s triggering the problem on your setup. Could you first verify that Scrivener is using the correct printer by going to File > Print and making sure your preferred printer is selected there? If there’s no printer installed or recognized, the preview will be blank; obviously you do have a printer set up, but if Scrivener defaulted to the wrong selection or is otherwise not able to access the printers, that could explain the issue you’re seeing. Along those lines, a user did experience a problem once a while back with Scrivener being blocked by his security software (Comodo, I believe) from accessing the print drivers; if you have security software installed you may want to double-check there that it hasn’t put Scrivener on a block list.

Hi MimeticMouton,

Thank you for your reply with suggestions of help.

I re-installed Scrivener 1.5.3 and checked that my printer was recognized as before.

I found that I could print a page from the Help>Manual, so then I knew that I was just having a problem printing my manuscript.

Then I finally got the title page of my manuscript to show up in the Print Preview box and print it.

However, now when I select a chapter in my binder to print, all I see in the Print Preview box is my title page called ‘Print Preview document1.’ I have tried to print other chapters and they all appear as only my single title page ‘Print Preview document1.’

I have tried making sure my cursor was in the Editor section and even highlighted some text to print. Still ended up with ‘Print Preview document1.’

I have checked my security software per your suggestion for blocking - they were all clear.

The closest I got to being able to print my manuscript was when I highlighted a chapter in my binder in the Print Preview popup box and the Print Preview showed the title page and all the rest of my chapters as ‘Print Preview document1’ that I can scroll down. I could not select just one chapter to preview and print.

I cannot select ‘Chapter 01’ in the binder and execute ‘Print Current Selection.’

I must have an incorrect program setting that is preventing printing just a single chapter.

Any help on this will be very much appreciated as I am trying to finish a manuscript and cannot print single finished chapters at a time.



Scrivener 1.5.3 does print and the Print Preview does work.

My apologies to the programmers at Scrivener for suspecting an error in their code.

I found that toggling the icon in the bar above the Editor section for ‘Show subdocuments …’ allows me to finally print individual text files and chapters from the Binder.

My thanks to those of you who generously took the time to offer some advice.


Oh good, I’m glad you got this worked out! It sounds like then maybe there was just some confusion about what text the Preview/Print commands act on compounded with the wrong view mode in the editor. You may have this all sorted now, but to sum up, Preview/Print acts on what is displayed in the editor. Thus if you’ve loaded your entire Draft in Scrivenings, it will print everything there; if you load just a couple documents from the binder and display them in Scrivenings, it will print just those documents. If you load them on the Corkboard, it will print the synopses from the index cards. So it sound like you were loading a “Chapter” folder or such but only viewing that container’s text in the editor, rather than its subdocuments, so only the container was appearing in the preview–and if it was blank, then you’ve got a blank preview and nothing printing. It’s still odd to me that it was grey, rather than a blank white page, but maybe there was another other mystery setting that has since been fixed in your configuration.

I’ve just run into the same problem but haven’t tried to reinstall. I didn’t really see an answer or solution to this problem in the previous posts.

This all started yesterday when I tried to use the keyboard shortcuts for Print Preview (Ctrl+Alt+P) and Print (Ctrl+P). Before that, using the Print Preview and Print options from the File menu worked just fine. Now I can’t print at all from within Scrivener, although I can copy the text from the file I’m working on (a scene from a chapter of a novel) into Word and it prints just fine.

I can get the Scrivener Print dialogue box to display using File | Print. I have checked and yes, the correct printer is selected, but when I click the Print button, nothing happens. Scrivener isn’t talking to the printer. The Windows printer status icon doesn’t even appear, so Scrivener may not be communicating with Windows, either.

Toggle the icon in the center of the toolbar above the the Editor section (where you type your text).

The icon looks like 3 small overlaid sheets of paper.

Roll your cursor over it and it says “View the group’s subdocuments as scrivenings…”

Click on the icon with your mouse.

Check your Print Preview or just Print your document.

Should work for you.

I had this problem for several weeks until I compared the new Scrivener 1.5.3 with version 1.2.5.


Thanks! Success (mostly). I found that if I just toggled the scrivenings setting off (gray background) and back on (yellow background), nothing changed. But if I toggled it off, then checked the Print Preview function, it worked. Toggling it back on then allowed it to work that way, too.

BUT! This still isn’t a complete solution. It appears I’ll have to do this every time I turn Scrivener on because exiting and restarting the program got me back to the same problem. So unless something eventually resets on its own, this appears to be a response rather than a true solution. Better than nothing, certainly, but not the full fix.

I had the same problem, documents wouldn’t show up in print preview nor would it print. I did what you suggested with the three pages button, and it worked. This is clearly a problem that started with the update to as far as I’m concerned. I never had to do that before.

Now after weeks of thinking something was wrong with my printer, and switching default printers around, and finding nothing but empty space in my printout tray, I’m glad I read your post.

Jay Dee,

I am pleased to help. It took me a few weeks and plenty of lost time to finally discover the simple solution. After coming up empty-handed each time I searched the forum for help, I began to examine why I had no trouble previewing/printing with version 1.2.5, but I only saw an empty popup grey box when I tried doing that with the new version 1.5.3. That’s when I found the toggling icon (looks like three overlaid pages) above the Editor.

Best wishes,

Would someone who’s been having this problem be willing to make a short video showing the whole sequence, with the entire Scrivener window visible, from selecting the document to print, opening Print Preview and seeing it without a page display (grey background), returning to the Scrivener window and toggling Scrivenings mode as necessary, and then reopening Print Preview to display the correct document text? I don’t think I’ve ever reproduced this quite like is being reported, and from the descriptions I’m still not entirely clear what’s going on here and whether this is a bug, a UI problem about when actions are enabled or disabled, etc. and I’d like to get to the bottom of it. Thank you!