Once yet again, another day with Scrivener, another day that text substitutions just randomly stop working — this time, it’s smart quotes that made me notice it — with NO way to make them work again. I used to be able to delete a project’s “ui.plist” file then reopen the project, and that would do the trick of restoring smart-quotes, spell-check, and other text substitutions on OS X. Other times, doing a manual save would do the trick, or switching to Page View and then back again. None of those methods work anymore. Now no matter what I do, I’m stuck with a project that will not check spelling as I type, and will not do smart-quotes, m or n dashes, or fractions, or anything that the OS X text substitutions are supposed to take care of . . . Any idea what’s still causing this to happen? I feel like this bug has been around since at least version 2.4. Any help is greatly appreciated! I’m on OS X El Capitan 10.11.3 Beta (15D13b), but have ALSO been having this problem under the 10.11.2 stable release on another machine as well.
Argh, yeah, though to be more accurate the bug in its current incarnation did not appear until a minor point update was applied to two different OS X versions in the autumn after 2.4 was released. Up until that point, 2.4 worked perfectly fine, then without a single code change or release from us, the spell check and auto-correct engine started to flounder across multiple OS X versions.
Sadly we still have no clue why, it’s hard to say when our involvement with these features is basically just asking the text kit to include substitution and spell/grammar check options for the user (which as I understand it, even adds the menu commands to our layout), and to date we’ve only had one reproduction in-house and that was a couple of years ago—as pervasive and stubborn as it is on machines that have it, it does seem to require some element of configuration or system state. And if you want to see how widespread and old this problem is (it goes back well before the most recent incident mentioned above) have a look at Apple’s forum. You will even find people reporting the symptoms you describe of auto-correction and spell/grammar check failing in programs like Pages.
It’s frustrating that it’s still happening in 10.11, the two tricks we do know of that can reduce the odds of it appearing is to use the standard or fixed-width text editor view instead of the Page View model, and secondly to use the direct-sale version instead of the MAS version. Both of these steps greatly reduce complexity, but who knows precisely why they do make an impact. That will not guarantee you never see it of course, just reduce the possibility of encountering it on an affected machine.
For me, this problem goes away with a restart. But sooner or later it comes back, usually at an inconvenient time. Not that there are any convenient ones.
But what about attempts to communicate with Mr K? A random bug giving you the option to throw your hands up and say “what can I do? it’s a bug!” may be just the convenience you need …