Unable to Open Scrivener 2 File in Scrivener 3

I am running Scrivener 3.0.3 on a MacBook Pro running Mojave 10.14.

This morning, I was working in my file Vampires Novels, which was created in Scrivener 1, updated multiple times in Scrivener 2, and updated multiple times in Scrivener 3.

I attempted to open my file Witches Novels, which was created in Scrivener 1, updated multiple times in Scrivener 2, and had not been opened since 8/31/2018 (before Scrivener 3), using File > Open Recent Projects.

Scrivener crashed, closing out all Scrivener files on my screen, and generating an Apple Error message. When I re-opened Scrivener, I got Scrivener’s crash log message, which I completed and sent.

Repeated attempts to open Witches Novels crash Scrivener. Attempts to open other Scrivener 2 files crash Scrivener. I can, however, open Vampires without a problem.

I have quit and restarted Scrivener multiple times. I have rebooted my computer multiple times.

Thanks for any guidance you can give.

You’re probably running into a known bug that will be fixed in 3.1. You can either try the public beta for that, if you’d prefer to stick with latest stable release, for this project you will likely need to reset its UI preferences. If the project has yet to be formally updated to the v3 format, then that checklist will refer to one file that isn’t relevant, “ui-common.xml”. Just ignore that instruction and put the ui.plist file aside.


Is there an ETA on the update that is currently in beta?

Nothing certain yet, but I wouldn’t expect it to be too long. Until then, make sure to leave the inspector unlocked from any splits when you close a project. I don’t know if that’s what you were seeing, but that is known to crash on project load.

I didn’t consciously have any splits in the Inspector. But is the Inspector “split” when I have my Synopsis at the top and Notes at the bottom? If so, that’s the case with each of these files, and would definitely explain what’s happening.

Hey Novelista,

I guess what Ioa is refering to with locking the inspector is best described at Number: 13.1.1 in the User manual. This would be page 315 of the manual that comes with Scrivener 3.03 or page 319 of the manual that comes with the Scrivener 3.1 beta.

So if you use Splitscreen, which for example would mean that you have 2 editor windows open next to each other, you can assign the Inspector to always show information about the one editor you locked it to, instead of always changing to the active one. The active one is the one you are currently working in.


That’s correct. The feature I’m referring to is when the main editor is split—maybe you have a corkboard on the left and an editor on the right, for example—you can set the inspector to stay locked to the text editor on the right, even if you click on index cards in the corkboard on the left. It can be useful to do that in some situations.

The feature looks like a lock icon along the very edge of the inspector, in the older version. In the new version you have to right-click in the inspector tab row to lock it, so it’s a little more difficult to come across.

If you don’t think that’s possibly the culprit, if you still have the “ui.plist” available, you could send support a copy and I can take a look at it, see if it crashes one of my projects when I use it. If it’s another bug like the above, we’d love to fix it.

Hmm… I haven’t used the Inspector that way, so that’s not the bug I’m dealing with.

I sent a zipped file of WITCHES (the Scrivener 2 file that crashes Scrivener 3) to Oliver yesterday. I’ll wait to hear back from him!

Great, thanks. I’ll check with him and have a look as well.

Okay, we’ve had a look at the type of crash we get from it, and have determined it is indeed the inspector lock bug. The padlock button in the old version must have been clicked at some point and it’s been left that way ever since. If you don’t often use split editors then most of the time the feature would have been inert anyway, doing nothing. That’s my guess anyway!

At any rate if you run into any other old projects you can’t open at first, try the UI reset checklist above as a first step. Sorry for the hassle with this.

Just a quick follow up – the new version I installed today cured this problem for the files I had not corrected manually.

Thanks so much for your help!

Great! I expected no less, but it’s good to get confirmation. Sorry for the inconvenience in the meanwhile.