Unable to change external PDF editor to system PDF Editor

Dear developer & team,

I used to have PDF Pen as my standerd ‘system’ PDF-editor (which means: all PDF’s automatically open in PDFPen, assigned though Finder Info Panel). A while ago I changed this to PDF Expert, but Scrivener continues to open all of it’s internal PDF’s in PDFPen through the right-click menu command ‘Open -> in External Editor’, whatever I try to change this behavior. I can’t explain this , except that is has to be a bug. Or is there some incompatibility between Scrivener and PDF Experts engine?

Thanks so much in advance,


I just tested and had no problem at all.

How did you change the settings? I marked a pdf in Finder, right clicked on ‘Get info’, changed the ‘Open with’ and clicked ‘Change all…’.
Changed it back and forth and tested it both inside Scrivener (Open in External Editor) and outside in Finder. The changes worked immediately.

That didn’t work for me though. I tried it multiple times but to no avail.
However, this morning I found the solution that worked for me! :stuck_out_tongue:
For those experiencing the same problem please follow these steps: :arrow_right: :arrow_right:

  1. Activate the document/PDF in the editor.
  2. Click and hold the arrow in the lower right corner (‘Open in external editor. Click and hold the choose’).
  3. Choose your favorite editor.
  4. Confirm ‘Would you like to make “PDFpenPro” the default application for opening PDF files?’
  5. Enjoy your favorite external Scrivener editor, separate from you system/Finder defaults :mrgreen:

It might have been useful to add the scrivener default external editor to a preferences pane though, to make it obvious it is separate from the system default editor/PDFviewer. On the other side: the preference panes are already very crowded and confusing for relative newbies like me. So: looking forward to a much (UI)-simplified Scrivener 3!

And you did remember to click the ‘Change all…’ in the ‘Get info’ window?

Yes I did, thank you. I guess as long as you don’t change the default external editor from within Scrivener, you can change it through Finder. But once you do, the Finder/system-default change won’t be adopted by Scrivener anymore and you have to change it from within the app. It’s rather confusing.

I tested it, and yes it seems to work that way, and it makes sense. It you decide that files within a Scrivener project should not use the standard external editor, you control it from within Scrivener. Scrivener is not changing the general OS X connection between file types and editors, only within projects.

I’d noticed before that Scrivener was not so UI-friendly on the things like that, but it didn’t work for me in this fashion nevertheless. But the very thing I was frustrated about was they don’t support online external editor such as they d with software solutions. I use PDFfiller thing for that https://edit-pdf.pdffiller.com/ and that was bad to find out that I couldn’t add it to my Scrivener. I don’t think they would add its support directly in further updates, but I do hope they will make this feature customizable quite a bit