Split at selection, and then my text disappeared--I cried.


I hope you can help with something that is most likely a stupid mistake on my part, that I’m not understanding Scrivener completely yet. I’m trying to learn to make the most of the lovely corkboard feature and I used the “split at selection” command. When I did this, it did indeed split the text and create a new document within that folder, but the text split at a different spot than where I clicked at and then when I moved that new doc within the folder, ALL of that text disappeared!

Yes, I admit to having a small breakdown when I could not locate the text ANYWHERE. I have a backup mirrored to an external drive, so I opened that document and cut/paste the text back to where it had been…I hope.

Anyway, from this description, can anyone tell me what I actually did and where that text went to? It was not in the trash folder.

Thank you for any enlightenment you can give me.

All best,

Since you have a backup, what happens if you create a test copy of that backup (just for testing purposes), trying going to precisely the same spot, and splitting again. Does the same thing happen? If so, could you send us a copy of this project and tell us exactly where to try splitting? If we can reproduce the problem on our machines, it will make any bugs much easier to find.


I would love to do that, but I’m not up for sending out a WIP. I will create a new file with bogus info and see if I can recreate the problem. Although, that won’t be of any help if there is an error in this particular file. Because this file is the original one I imported into the BETA versions of Scrivener Windows, so there might be some artifacts causing a problem?

I’ll let you know if I can replicate it on a bogus test file.

Thank you.

No worries, that’s completely understandable. Something we suggest that you might consider is using Edit/Find/Project Replace to scramble your project. If you can get it happen reliably 100% of the time in that project, but nowhere else, then making a copy and using global replace to substitute a dozen common letters around will turn the whole thing into gibberish without, in most cases, upsetting the original source of the problem.

But, if you can get it to happen in a bogus project, let me know the steps you took to get there as that would be insightful.

Excellent, I’ll see if I can make scrambled eggs out of it first because that sounds like it will help better. :mrgreen:

Thank you.

Actually, I can get this reliably to happen, but I chalked it up to a WINE quirk.

If I select text and click “split at selection,” I’ll get a blank (new) document and another that’s the original document starting from the paragraph/sentence selected titled the same as the original with a “-1” appended to it. For instance if I copy paragraph 2, the new document will contain everything from paragraph 2-end, not just paragraph 2.

Or is this supposed to happen this way?

Edit: looks like the blank document is blank, if the first paragraph is selected. If, say, the 2nd one is selected, the first document will be the 1st paragraph, and the new one will be everything from paragraph 2 on, no matter if the other stuff was selected.

I’m sorry to say that I could not reproduce it, either on a copy or a bogus copy. Which would point to user error, I believe.

Apologies for the distraction. If I can get it to happen again, I’ll take screen shots. Otherwise, I’m chalking it up to something stupid I did. I just wish I knew what that was.

Thank you.

I’m not sure if I’m following this example because it seems to contradict the first line. Here’s an applied example of what it should do, where the selection is denoted by green text:

File A:
Paragraph 1
Paragraph 2
Paragraph 3


File A:
Paragraph 1

File B:
Paragraph 2
Paragraph 3

In light of your edit, if you were selecting paragraph one and splitting, then yes it would make a sort of sense that File A would end up empty since everything was selected to be split off to File B. That should in fact however be prohibited since that isn’t a very logical thing to do. So there is a small “bug” there.

I wouldn’t say that. Most bugs require a sequence of steps to reproduce. That’s what makes them hard to find. Most often the last action you did—where the bug became visible—really has nothing to do with the bug itself. That’s why we need steps and sometimes sample files to reproduce them. The worst bugs are the ones that happen because of something you did five minutes ago in a menu or something. You’ll probably never see it again.

Gotcha. So If I only wanted to select paragraph 2 and leave 1 and 3 in the original file, “split at selection” is always going to give me everything from paragraph 2 on? (So better would be to cut/paste into a new document?)

Correct; split only ever takes one file and splits it into two pieces at the current cursor/selection. If you want to extract a single portion from the middle of a document you can either split it twice (once at paragraph 2, then second at paragraph 3) then Documents/Merge 1 & 3 back together again—or Cut, Ctrl-N, Paste. Which is easier to use probably depends on how much is being extracted and how sure you are of the cut points. Split & Merge would work better if you know the scene is definitely shifting, but you aren’t exactly sure where the tangent stops and returns to the original theme. So Splitting at the top, scrolling and reading until you find the bottom, splitting again and merging would be easier than trying to maintain a selection over multiple pages while reading and hoping you don’t click somewhere wrong, erase the selection and have to start over. :slight_smile:

But for one paragraph yeah, cut and paste would certainly be easier.

Gotcha. If I’m doing something that invasive structurally, I’ll generally fork it and keep the original in an “alternate universe” file, in case I want to roll back. (It’s a bit more final than a snapshot, which I generally use for a change that’ll stand, but needs a quick backup.)

Good to know. Thank you Amber.

I MAY have the same problem.

I went back to edit a chapter only to find the entire contents of that chapter gone. The heading is there, the notecard is there. But the entire content of the chapter has gone away.

I don’t remember if I split that chapter or not. I may have.

Right now, I’m totally bummed. This was a day’s work, more than 2000 words. And I really, really hate writing again something I’ve already worked through. I may have had brainstorms as I wrote it the first time that I won’t have again.

None of my backups contain the missing content.

At this point, I’m afraid to continue using Scrivener and may go back to Word.

I’ve emailed tech support.


It may have been something I did, since I found the lost chapter in the Trash.

I never use the Trash directly–I have a “Deleted Items” folder. But I may have Trashed it accidentally when I renamed it…??? I don’t know.

I’m just glad to have it back.

If you pressed “Shift-Delete” with the item selected in a corkboard/outliner/binder view, then it would send it to the Trash like that. Glad to hear you found it! The first thing to do when you find something missing is to use Project Search in the toolbar to look for a bit of text you know is in that missing piece. Project Search looks in the Trash as well (for this reason). To find out where a search result is located, you can use the View/Reveal in Binder menu command.