scrivener will not open help or saved pdf

just running through the tutorial and I attempted to compile a PDF …followed all directions…yet when I try to open the saved pdf I get a dialogue box “the file is not a scrivener project file”…I have tried to open it several ways, with the same resulting box. I tried to access the HELP menu to see if there was a solution there and I get the very same dialogue box.

The File/Open… menu command is for opening existing Scrivener projects (such as the tutorial), hence the message, this is not a valid Scrivener project. That is all Scrivener knows how to open that way. If you want to work with other types of files, you need to include them in a project. This is a fundamental aspect of using Scrivener—the project is the base from which you do all of your work with the program.

So with that in mind, what you are really wanting to do here is import the PDF file into your project. The easiest way to do this is to simply drag and drop the PDF file from Windows into your Binder. But you can also use the File/Import/Files… command, if you don’t have the file handy in Windows Explorer.

Now you should be able to click on the PDF in the Binder and view it along with the tutorial content.

It sounds also as though you may have changed the .pdf extension to open in Scrivener on your Windows account rather than in a PDF reader. Try right-clicking the PDF file in Windows Explorer and choosing “Open with…” and then “Choose default program”. If you have a PDF reader installed, it will probably appear at the top in the Recommended Programs, but just browse for your program if you don’t see it listed. Leave “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file” checked at the bottom, then click OK to open the program in your reader and simultaneously reset the PDF extension to open with that program in the future.

thank you for the info…I actually figured it out by the time I got back to here. however, I am still not able to access the Scrivener Manual through the HELP menu (or any other way for that matter) so how do I get access to the manual?

Do you have a PDF reader installed? Windows doesn’t come with one by default, or at least some didn’t–8.1 might have a built-in reader. Choosing the manual from Scrivener’s Help menu or the New Project window just tells Windows to open the manual PDF file in whatever program is associated with the .pdf extension, so if you’ve not got something it will just bring up a dialog saying something like “Windows cannot open this file”.

I do have a PDF reader installed on my computer…I need step by step directions on how to access the manual. I am entirely new with schrivener I just barely finished the tutorial. I simply cannot access the manual either through the new project or the help menu. and i really need that manual.

You can downloaded it here

All that should be necessary to open the user manual from Scrivener is selecting it from the Getting Started category in the New Project window and clicking “Open” or choosing it from the Help menu if you already have a project open. This just causes Windows to open the user manual PDF file in Scrivener’s installation folder in your default PDF application (i.e. whatever program is associated with the .pdf extension).

If you’re getting an error message when you try this, could you take a screenshot using the PrintScreen key, paste it into Paint and save it as a JPG or PNG file to upload here so we can see it?

Otherwise, if nothing is happening at all, it could be that your installation folder is missing the user manual. In that case, I’d reinstall Scrivener, since you may be missing other files as well. You can download a fresh copy of the installer from the website and just install it over your existing installation when Scrivener is closed.