Troubleshooting docx Export Errors

If you’re here, it’s because you’ve had an error exporting your manuscript from Atticus to .docx. While we are working hard to make sure these errors don’t happen, if you’ve received an export error, please work through the steps below:

  1. Log out of Atticus by clicking the profile icon in the top right
  2. Check if there are any updates pending on either your browser or your operating system
    • If there are, please complete the updates and restart your computer before proceeding
  3. Return to and log back in
  4. Do a hard refresh 

Performing a hard refresh every time you open Atticus is a great habit to get into. This will ensure that every improvement, update, or tweak made since the last time you refreshed is integrated into your system. 

Windows Chrome Users: Press CTRL + Shift + R
Mac Chrome Users: Press CMD + Shift + R
Safari Users: Press Option + Command + E
Explorer Users: Press CTRL + F5

Try exporting again.

If you’re still not able to export, continue with the following.

Important Note:

Word doesn’t have the ability to display the complex coding Atticus uses to format and design your book though, so it will only retain basic formatting, such as chapter titles and, of course, all your content. It’s ideal for editing and a back up version of your manuscript, but if you need a fully formatted version, you’ll have to export to either ePub or PDF.

Test ePub and PDF Export

If you’re able to export to ePub and PDF, it sounds like there might be something in the document that isn’t quite compatible with the conversion to Word.

  1. Do you have any blank space at the bottom of one or more of your chapters? If so, this blank space might be hiding foreign coding. To correct this:
    1. Place your curser after the very last character in your chapter and press the down arrow a bunch of times.
    2. If there are any invisible lines, the cursor will move. Once it’s as far as it’ll go, hit backspace until you get back to the last line of the paragraph.
    3. You’ll want to repeat this for each page and chapter in your book to ensure that there are no blank lines below the text.
  2. Do you have any text in your document that looks irregular, blank lines that can’t be removed, or any lines that appear improperly indented? If you see anything that doesn’t look right, can you try this:
    1. Highlight the affected area and the paragraph before and after.
    2. Cut with CTRL/CMD + X
    3. Remove blank lines that remain, then press Enter to start a fresh new line
    4. Paste without formatting using CTRL/CMD + Shift + V
  3. Do you have any special characters in your text like emojis, or symbols that appear as squares when viewed in the iPad preview. If so, can you try deleting these characters and then try exporting again.

Exported PDF is larger than 100MB

If you’re able to export to PDF, check the size of the file. If it’s more than 100MB, the overall size of your project might be so large, the .docx is timing out before it can export.

If your book contains a lot of large images, it might be helpful to make sure that they’re the right size for your project. Most printers recommend images to be around 300ppi—anything larger than that will just add bulk to your file size without improving the final appearance of the images. You can learn more about image sizing here.

If you’re mainly worried about getting a .docx export with all the text, another option would be to make a copy of your book. You can do this from the Home dashboard – just click on the three dots next to your book title and choose ‘duplicate.’ Then remove any large images from this copy of the book.

Still Not Exporting?

If none of these tweaks lead to a successful export for you, please email

Thank you for your patience and support in helping us make Atticus stronger, faster, and better for all users now and in the future!

Last Updated: 05/09/2024

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