Fixing "Save PDF to Scrivener" Issues

"Save PDF to Scrivener" is a service provided by a simple alias file that is placed in a special folder on OS X, and OS X handles the rest. This allows you to "print" from any application (such as Safari) and then use the "PDF" button within the print dialog to send the resulting PDF to Scrivener. However, some issues can occur that prevent this alias from working properly, and this article details how to fix those issues.

Direct-Sale version of Scrivener

It seems that occasionally, on some systems, this file can become corrupted and thus the service will cease to function. Fortunately it should be easy to fix - you just need to remove the file and allow Scrivener to regenerate it. Here's how:

  1. Make sure Scrivener is closed.

  2. In the Finder, go to your local ~/Library folder. Note that on Lion and above, this folder is hidden by default, but you can still access it by going to the "Go" menu in Finder and holding down the Option key. When you hold down the Option key, more locations will appear in the "Go" menu, including the "Library" folder - select it to open the contents of ~/Library in a Finder window.

  3. Inside the ~/Library folder, look for a folder entitled "PDF Services" and open it.

  4. There you will find an alias file entitled "Save PDF to Scrivener". Move it to the Trash.

  5. Re-launch Scrivener. Scrivener will recreate the "Save PDF to Scrivener" file if it finds it doesn't exist.

Mac App Store version of Scrivener

Because Apple requires that Mac App Store applications be "sandboxed," this prevents Scrivener from creating the alias needed to make this function work. However, you can create it yourself.

  1. In the Finder, go to your local ~/Library folder. Note that on Lion and above, this folder is hidden by default, but you can still access it by going to the "Go" menu in Finder and holding down the Option key. When you hold down the Option key, more locations will appear in the "Go" menu, including the "Library" folder - select it to open the contents of ~/Library in a Finder window.

  2. Inside the ~/Library folder, look for a folder entitled "PDF Services" and open it (if the "PDF Services" folder does not exist, you will need to create it)

  3. Open a second instance of Finder by using CMD+N, or a second tab by using CMD+T.

  4. Browse to your Applications folder and find the Scrivener application.

  5. CTRL+Click (Right+Click) on the Scrivener application and select "Make Alias."

  6. Rename the Alias to say "Save PDF to Scrivener."

  7. Drag this new alias into the "~/Library/PDF Services" folder.