Scrivener 2.4.1 Preferences Issue with Java on Mac OS X 8.5

Observation: Inside the Import/Export preferences panel associated with “Enable custom converters for Microsoft Word and OpenOffice documents (recommended)” function, Scrivener demonstrates a repeatable behavior problem.

In summary, following the “Set Up Improved MS Word and OpenOffice Converters…” function selection, the “File Converters Set Up” panel appears as expected. However, its two key functions, “Install Java Runtime” and “Check for Compatible File Converters”, fail to activate their expected behaviors. That is, the Install Java Runtime button results in no follow-on action whatsoever detectable by the user. And the Check for Compatible File Converters button produces a message panel saying that Java Runtime must be installed before the compatible converter check can take place.

System Configuration Detail: I’m running Mac OS X 8.5 and it has Java Runtime Environment 7 update 40 installed; it’s been verified and shown operational. (Based on Oracle feedback, this is Java’s latest version for the Mac OS as of Sept 28th.)

Be that as it may, I cannot link my Scrivener software with my installed/operational version of Java. The symptoms I see indicate there is likely a problem with Scrivener’s File Converter set up form in its Import/Export preferences. I mean, the Install Java Runtime function is broken.

Please advise and Thank you. I did not see anyone else complaining about this broken function on your forum, nevertheless, I’ve done my homework insofar as Mac OS system preferences, Safari preferences, and Scrivener preferences are concerned.

I think it most probable that Scrivener has a behavior bug with its “Install Java Runtime” function.

Moreover, I very much need to import and export .docx files with min loss of formatting, so I ask that you please be responsive and let me know what I should expect, or better yet, what I should do to eliminate this problem.

For me to use Scrivener with min loss of formatting (aka min pointless effort) I need Java and correct file converters linked, installed and operational on my Mac.

Please advise, and Thanks so much for your help.
So long for now.

Bill Buchanan

The “Install Java” button just calls on OS X to bring up the Java installation button, so this sounds like an issue on your Mac (which would be why no one else has reported it). To test this, please open up Terminal.app from /Applications/Utilities and type the following:

/usr/libexec/java_home --request

Hit enter and let me know what message Terminal reports after doing so.

Once Java is installed, the .docx exporters are very good, just as good as the RTF export. (If you just need to go to Word, you can equally use the RTF export, which will result in exactly the same quality file.)

All the best,
Keith

Hello Keith,

Thanks eversomuch for your most helpful response. And you were right. The problem was related to my Mac’s Java configuration, as shown by your recommended command-line below:

(Before)
Bills-Mac-Pro:~ billbuchanan$ /usr/libexec/java_home --request
Unable to find any JVMs matching version “(null)”.
No Java runtime present, requesting install.
… (After install)
Bills-Mac-Pro:~ billbuchanan$ /usr/libexec/java_home --request
/System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home

Conclusion: There is more I need to understand about Java and its configuration. I say this because I was mislead by my Java control panel (in System Preferences) and Oracle Webpage Apple applet verifying/demonstrating all was well with my Java installation on my Mac.

It happens that my source files imported into Scrivener as .docx are immediately useful without touchup or text addition, but my files imported as rtf required additional formatting plus additional text too.

While this touchup plus additional text behavior may appear unusual, it’s accurate, and I believe it’s because my original source files are created in Adobe FrameMaker. I mean, my source files come from Adobe Framemaker, the pass through MS Word 2010 for conversion into .docx or .rtf. and are then imported into Scrivener.

I explain this process to ask: Are aware of any file conversion filters I could use which would allow me to import my Adobe FrameMaker files directly into Scrivener?

Thanks again for your help, and so long for now.

Bill B.

Bill, I would suggest that part of your problem may be continuing reliance on Safari.
Since I switched to the Mac version of Google Chrome a year ago,
I have had zero problems with Java, Flash, or any other plug-in elements.
You might want to give Chrome a try.

Hello Keith,

I’ll get the Mac version of Chrome and follow your suggestion. (Turns out, I’m already using Chrome in Windows 7 running under Parrallels on my Mac now). It didn’t occur to me to suspect Safari…

I’ll keep looking for a filter or more efficient way to transfer my scenes from Adobe FrameMaker to Scrivener and from Scrivener back into FrameMaker. If I find anything that may be helpful, or of interest, I’ll let you know.

Thanks again for your help and suggestions,
Bill B.

The web browser you use shouldn’t have any effect on Scrivener. Note that it was another user (like me) not Keith (the developer) who made that suggestion. For example, I use both Safari and Chrome on my Mac and, although I prefer both over Firefox and (on Windows) Internet Explorer, of the two I much prefer Safari and use it for most sites. This has the added benefit of allowing me to open sites on my iOS devices that are open on my Mac (and vice versa), as well as shared bookmarks and, generally, a more user-friendly browsing environment. But preferences vary, so if you prefer Chrome, by all means use it. It’s a good browser, but it’s unlikely to have any bearing on Scrivener’s use of Java.

I’m sure Keith or others could explain the technical details of Java installations etc, but once properly installed it should all work fine regardless of which apps call on it. The fact that it doesn’t suggests something is afoot. At that point, I’ll let people more qualified than I talk you you through the required steps to get things working again.

Hello Nom,

I should have noticed that it was Druid of Princeton who suggested Chrome, and I am afraid I didn’t give him proper acknowledgement in my response. It was my oversight, and I apologize because his “try chrome” suggestion addressed an Oracle web page “verify java” behavior concern that puzzled me while using Safari.

Summary: Oracle’s “verify java” apple (made available and run from inside Safari) consistently reported all was well with my java installation, and it was not(as Keith suggested).

And by the way: You’re right! Most happy to report that I understand running Chrome or Safari will likely have no impact on Scrivener’s use of Java. However, as a heads up to me, it was interesting to learn that Druid had some issues with Safari, so I’m happy to run them both for a while and decide what I think.

Now that my java issue’s resolved, and my Scrivener .docx file import/export function behaves properly, I’m better set to more efficiently use Scrivener.

Considering my file work flow and writing environment, my biggest problem now becomes directly importing Adobe FrameMaker files into Scrivener, thereby skipping MS Word file conversion all together. (I won’t sidetrack our conversation with my book-based management, formatting, and story creation reasons for using FrameMaker:-)

To date, it seems a happy marriage of Scrivener, Scrapple, Adobe Illustrator, and FrameMaker offer a creative “block out the noise/distraction” environment for story development.

Thank you again for your feedback. It’s been a pleasure for me to speak–and connect–with you all by way of this forum.

I’m looking forward to more problem-focused conversations like this in the future! They’re good fun, most interesting, and helpful!

So long for now,
Bill B.

Not to start a browser war, but I left Safari because
I could NOT share bookmarks with OS or iOS devices.
'Whether through the old Synch or newer iCloud, it just did not work reliably.
If you use Chrome on all devices, the copying of bookmarks is immediate and universal.
As for “user friendly” I guess that’s a matter of taste.
I got very tired of making manual updates to extensions or the browser itself
And especially of trips to (ugh) iTunes or the (ugh-ugh) App Store
And wading through all the cr*p they try to sell you.
With Chrome, updates are a matter of logging out, and logging in.
And I love the suite of excellent web apps that instantly save to Google Drive.

PS: you are probably right about Java, but Flash is definitely better on Chrome.

No war from my end, I’m perfectly content with other people having different preferences. Chrome is, without doubt, an excellent browser. Almost, I dare say, as good as Safari… :wink:

No need for apology, I pointed out the author only in case others reading it thought it was “official” Scrivener advice rather than informed comment from a user (I consider Druid very well informed).

I’m curious about the different behaviour of Java you report in Chrome and Safari. Would love to hear an explanation for it (Keith? AmberV? Bueller?). Guess it just goes to show that anything is possible.

Note: although I generally prefer the aesthetics and usability of Apple’s products, I’m not a one-eyed fan. Apple products have their faults. For example, I find mail merge between Pages and Numbers much easier and more intuitive than between Word and Excel. But I was ready to throw my Mac out the 4th floor window when (a) Pages would ignore text cells during a mail merge unless they had a carriage return in them (see how long it takes to troubleshoot that condition without prior knowledge!) and (b) when I copied the date between a number of cells in Numbers, it incremented each one by a year - which I didn’t discover until after I’d completed the mail merge and printed umpty-dozen multipage reports, in triplicate, plus supporting documentation. But I digress…

I need to recheck my “latest” notes on safari, but app specific JRE (installed inside the program) is a common feature for system that need to adhere to IP/licensing constraints. It also allows an install without needing a full OS level install which is useful if you are not able to be an admin on a system.

There’s a lot of drivel about user space installation I could spout, but I’m only on the second cup of coffee.

Hmmm. I just double checked my system and, as best as I can tell (which, admittedly, leaves a lot of room for error) Java is system wide on OS X 10.8 and Safari calls on that system installation. Then again, I know far more about ADHD and depression, or teamwork and effective leadership, than I do about “user space installation”. Truth be told, I don’t even know what user space installation is and, sadly, I suspect an explanation wouldn’t change that assessment. A Jaysen beats a Bueller every day of the week and I’m happy to acknowledge your expertise.

But I am curious now…

I’ll toss something in the “open BS” area formally known as “and now for that latte” at some point today.

I keep checking…

Yeah. You’re still disappointed. Sorry. Things blew up and I actually had to do work at the office. Keep checking. It will be there soon.

I checked, I saw, I read; then immediately checked where I left my coffee pot…