I'm creating a novel in Scrivener 3.0 that makes heavy use of footnotes. In recent compile tests on a chapter, I'm finding that on one page the footnotes are being displayed laid on top of the text at the bottom of the page. This only happens on one page, and keeps happening regardless of if I move the footnote's source/order around etc. The footnotes will compile to .docx, but not to .pdf correctly. In fact, the page where this problem occurs has 3-4 footnotes that are not being compiled as footnotes at all, but as hoverable, broken links with names such as "scrivcmt://6D63D1EB-D043-45C5-936C-722D24AC073F". This, I believe would be the internal link within Scrivener to the footnote, however for some reason those 4 are not being converted into actual numbered footnotes in the pdf compile.

I've attempted compiling in multiple formats to a .pdf, and I've tried deleting footnotes (in case having 16 in one chapter was too much for some reason). I've checked that each footnote is in default formatting, and that no strange formatting exists around the footnote on the page. I've provided below screenshots of the page where they are failing for unknown reasons. One interesting note is that when I compile to .docx all the footnotes are there, but one of the missing footnotes is duplicated. I have no idea why.

I was able to work around the problem by removing nearby em dashes and by separating my footnotes by more space from each other in the text, but this feels like an imperfect solution. Why would scrivener not be allowing multiple footnotes close to each other when compiling to .pdf? Why would em dashes conflict with anything?

Misformmated footnotes

  • I'd check if I had any form of special character in the text (step through the whole footnote and make note of if the cursor does not move on each step—i.e. "hidden special char"). If this is Windows, perhaps you've inserted a carriage return without a line feed... or something... Perhaps using "Edit > Zap Gremlins" might help (backup first!) Otherwise, I'd ask this question on the L&L forums.
    – Erk
    Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 14:58
  • I don't have a complete answer, but I can confirm that there are issues with Scrivener 3 Windows footnote compiling. I'm fighting with that now. One thing I've found is that carriage returns in the footnotes just don't seem to work.
    – Mark
    Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 23:31
  • I don't use Scrivener as I find Word works better for me, but if you can convert to Word, you could then export your file(s) as PDFs and compile them if necessary from there. I've had problems with FNs in Word where track changes have been applied, but they've sorted themselves out when changes have been accepted/rejected. Have you tried switching from FN to Endnote in Scrivener/Word and back? Does that help? Commented Jun 11, 2022 at 10:00
  • 1
    This is off-topic for this site. You should reach out to Scrivener support.
    – levininja
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 13:33
  • Scrivener has a great forum where other users and members of the Scrivener staff help with these kinds of issues. I would ask this question there: forum.literatureandlatte.com
    – Ben
    Commented Apr 4 at 11:58


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