Scrivener Compile To Word 2016


Not exactly a Scrivener issue (though it might be) but I just outputted a large document (my novel) from Scrivener to Word because I’ve yet to figure out all the ins and outs of the Scrivener compile system and Word I can do.

When I did that, it started highlighting British spelled words (legit British English like “metre”, kilometre", realised") and I don’t know why. None of my other documents do it and my language setting is correct (see attached).

Any ideas why?



What is word dictionary set to? Word is highlighting words that would be incorrectly spelled in American english.
Try checking under options and Proofing (have word 2021) but in there are custom dictionaries and you can probably download and UK dictionary. (don’t know how Myself)


The picture I attached is from Word and yes, both set to “English (united Kingdom)” :slight_smile:

The interesting thing is if I copy part of the first chapter into a new Word document I get the same thing implying the problem is with Word BUT, if I paste it as text only it doesn’t, which implies it’s something to do with the source document compiled by Scrivener.


Got me. Good luck.wish you the best

Scrivener makes no such distinctions at compile.
You could have a character be an alien speaking of wonderful bruyébitzous from his planet of origin that it wouldn’t make any difference.

I have no idea what could cause this.

I assume you’re compiling directly Scrivener → .docx.

Instead, try Scrivener → .rtf. Then open the .rtf in Word and see if you’re still having the problem.

Hopefully that’s successful and provides you a workaround.


As far as I understand it, Word allows you to set the language not just for the document as a whole, but for individual paragraph styles (which override the global settings, of course).

So, is it possible that you’re seeing a paragraph style which has been set to “The Wrong Sort of English”?

I think you can also check which paragraphs are broken in this way by using Advanced Find and searching with an empty Find field with the option Format > Language – this should help you find out whether it’s a transient setting or part of a style.

It may be worth trying, perhaps, if you haven’t already.


Thank Jim and others,

I did figure a workaround, more by luck than design. I did a text only paste, then an ordinary one just out of curiosity and the ordinary one was fine, as if the document’s initial setting was a defining characteristic. So I deleted everything but the first line, then pasted the document again, which was fine, then deleted the first line and it was still fine.

So yeah, I have a workaround, but I still don’t understand why it happened. Clearly I need to learn a lot more about Scrivener compiling :slight_smile:


1 Like

I’d look into @brookster’s suggestion just above – has the scent of getting somewhere that could make possible an adjustment. But glad the copy paste is getting you comfortably past this for the moment…

Thx Brookter,

I’ll look into that though given that Scrivener was configured for English (United Kingdom-en-gb) it’s a little strange how it would output in such a format.


There are three moving parts here: Scrivener’s styles system, the conversion software from rtf to .docx, and Word’s own hopelessly over-complicated style system. Which is causing the problem is anybody’s guess, but it’s easiest to check in Word, so that’s where I’d look first…

1 Like