Monthly Archives: August 2013

A bug to watch out for: em-dash + close quote in Scrivener for Mac

Just a quick note that one or two of you might be interested in. If you’re a writer who uses Scrivener (and if you’re a writer, why wouldn’t you?) there’s a problem in the Mac version that you should be aware of. Say you’re doing this:

typing typing typing—"

That’s typing, followed by an em-dash (shift-option-dash), followed by a quote mark. With smart quotes turned on, you would expect it to turn out like this:

typing typing typing—”

Instead, here’s what you get:

typing typing typing—“

Ugly ugly ugly. If you do your own formatting and typography, you really want to check for these gremlins before your final export.

Anyway, here’s the explanation I received from Scrivener support:

Hello Mike,

It is a bug, but it is a bug in Apple’s text handling system, rather than something in Scrivener itself. The reason you haven’t seen it this way in other applications (Word, for example) is that some applications use their *own* text handling system rather than the one provided by Apple. Due to our
extremely limited resources (Scrivener for Mac is developed by a single individual) we aren’t able to develop our own text handling from the ground up and have to rely on the one provided by Apple.

You will see this same behavior in the “TextEdit” application.

The best workaround I can offer at the moment is that you type a dummy character after the em-dash, followed by the closing quote and the rest of the sentence (or carriage return, or whatever comes next). You can then go back and delete the dummy character. Not a great solution, but the best we can
offer until Apple fixes this.

I even tried playing around with some custom replacements that would override this behavior, but it did not work.

Literature and Latte Support

I should add that you can always type shift-option-[ to manually create a closing quote.

ARCs of The Long Way have arrived.

Advance Review Copy in hand!

Advance Review Copy in hand!

As we count down the days until the October release of The Long Way, we’re excited to finally have a few printed review copies. These are great for final proofing—it’s always so much easier to spot errors on the printed page instead of a computer screen. We already know we want to make a slight tweak to the margins to improve readability. But overall we’re thrilled with how this is coming together. It’s great to have something to hold onto after all the years of research and writing.

Just a temporary cover while we wait for the real thing.

Just a temporary cover while we wait for the real thing.