Tables don't show up in Compiled Draft

Tables don’t show up in the compiled draft.

This happens when I create the table in Scrivener, and also when I import a doc that already has tables, and then export the doc into Compiled Draft.

What format are you exporting to - they should most certainly show up in RTF etc, so I’m wondering if it’s a compatibility problem. Also, what program are you opening the file in, as that makes a difference too?


I was exporting to .docx and opening the file in MS Word for OSX. Tried several times with no luck.

However, exporting to .rtfd files worked (for both MS Word and Pages)

Blimey, I didn’t realise the .docx export stripped tables… That is rubbish! I use the standard OS X exporters for .doc and .docx, and they aren’t great (if you try saving from TextEdit using these formats you will see the same limitations). In general, the best format to use is RTF, as this will open in all versions of Word and Scrivener supports all its main features. DOC and DOCX are a bit of a dilemma, really - on one hand I’d like to drop them altogether, given that RTF is better for going from Scrivener to Word and they are buggy and depending on Apple’s exporters, but on the other hand it puts off new users if they download the program and don’t see DOC or DOCX, as they assume that means there is no Word export (because most users aren’t as familiar with RTF).


Keith, how about the best of both worlds: drop the doc/docx exporters, and re-label the RTF exporter to mention Word, like “MS Word/Rich Text” and “MS Word/Rich Text with Attachements”? Since RTF(D) is the best format for using with Word, I think it’d be best for everyone involved if people are steered that way from the get-go.

This sounds like a good idea to me. I think most folks would be able to follow this.

Actually Word doesn’t open RTFD, only RTF. :slight_smile: The trouble with that is that RTF isn’t just for use with Word - RTF is the best format for most other word processors, too. Although it’s not a bad idea…
All the best,

Didn’t you for a while just have two different menu items that did the same thing? Have one that says “RTF” and another that says “DOC”, but they both just export RTFs internally, with the latter one setting the extension to .doc, which is perfectly fine by Word’s standards. It seems a bit silly, but then you don’t have either Word users looking for DOC and getting annoyed because Word “isn’t supported”, nor do you have users of other word processors wondering if “RTF (Word Compatible)” is something Microsoftesque that will blow up their program.

Actually, yes, sorry, the issue is more with DOCX. The current version of Scrivener does some checks when you go to export to Word DOC format. If the exported document contains no images, comments, footnotes or header/footer, then it uses the standard OS X exporter; if any of these elements are included, then it exports as RTF “under the hood”. Prior to 1.50, Scrivener just exported to RTF under the hood no matter what, which was fine for Word (I got the idea from Nisus, as it’s exactly what they do). However, I had some reports of users trying to these DOC files on mobile platforms (and certain other programs) which couldn’t read them because they didn’t understand the RTF format. That’s why I changed the behaviour. What I didn’t realise when I changed the behaviour to the conditional checks was just how bad the out-of-the-box DOC exporter was. For 2.0, I have thus made this a preference instead: by default, Scrivener once more exports DOC files as RTF files “under the hood” no matter what, regardless of document elements. But users can go to the Import & Export preferences and change this behaviour, setting the DOC exporter to use the standard OS X exporters instead.

So for the future, the only real problem is DOCX (I’ve seen a Mac magazine review of Nisus criticising it fro not supporting DOCX, which is what worries me).

All the best,

Actually Nisus Writer (Pro at least) does export to .docx, but you have to use “Export” from the File menu, not “Save As”. And importing .doc or .docx is much quicker in the newly available 1.4.1 if you’re on an Intel machine, as they have made an “Intel only” version using the much quicker Intel-specific release of the OpenOffice file translator which they use.
That said, tables created in Word — I don’t know if it’s just the Chinese version, and/or Chinese colleagues who have no real understanding of creating tables — especially if they are nested, have their problems in Nisus and OpenOffice, as I had reason to discover recently … drawing outside the margins, cell-boundaries in the nested table being outside the boundary of the containing cell … things like that.

Oh, and I don’t know if this is a Chinese-Windows only issue, but if I email an under-the-hood-RTF to a colleague, they can read it, but if they forward it to another colleague, for that colleague the whole file comes out in binary code! Vanilla RTF works properly.