Troubleshooting ePub Export Errors

If you’re here, it’s because you’ve had an error exporting your manuscript from Atticus to ePub. 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.

Check Your Notes

If you do not have any notes (footnotes or end notes) in your book, please try this:

  1. Click on Formatting
  2. Edit your book’s theme by clicking the three dots next to the title and choosing Edit
  3. Scroll to the Notes section
  4. Make sure both ePub and PDF are set to End of Chapter, not End of Book
  5. Save your theme
  6. Try Exporting again
Screenshot of the Notes setting in the Atticus themes with both PDF and ePub set to End of Chapter and an arrow reminding users to SAVE after updating.
Right click and Open image in new tab to see a larger version

Header Image Opacity

We’re temporarily working through a little glitch with custom themes that use the transparency settings on background header images. If that is something you’ve used in your book, the first thing you can try is to delete the image from your custom theme. If it exports after that, you know that’s the trouble.

Our programmers are actively working on a fix for this, but there’s a quick and fairly easy workaround in the meantime. If you can recreate your image in a program like Canva or Book Brush, and use the opacity settings there to save your image exactly how you’d like it, when you import it back into Atticus you can leave the opacity at 100%.

It’s only affecting ePub files right now, not PDFs, and we are working on a more permanent fix!

Screenshot of a background chapter header image set to 100% opacity with an arrow reminding users to save their theme after updating this setting.
Right click and Open image in new tab to see a larger version

Corrupted Themes

You may have a corrupted Custom Theme. Please try exporting with an Atticus pre-generated theme. If that export works, please recreate your custom theme using the exact same settings as the original and try the export again.

Copied and Pasted Content

If, at any point in your book, you have copy/pasted content from any program outside of Atticus, please do the following:

  1. Highlight anything that was pasted from outside Atticus
  2. Cut it by pressing CTRL or CMD X
  3. Paste it back in place without formatting:
    • Press CTRL or CMD + SHIFT + V or
    • right click and choosing “Paste as plain text”

NOTE: Pasting from other programs will often bring foreign coding with it, causing the odd formatting issues. Whenever you’re pasting into Atticus we recommend pasting without formatting. This should clear up and prevent formatting issues, but you will have to reapply any special formatting you may want, such as URLs, italicized or bolded text, etc.

This issue is especially common in front and back matter pages so you might want to start there and try to export again after adjusting each specific chapter.

Imported Table of Contents

Atticus automatically generates a Table of Contents (TOC) for you, so having one in your manuscript before you upload it to Atticus is unnecessary. The internal links a TOC creates in a Word document don’t currently translate well to Atticus and can restrict exporting capabilities. 

Try removing your imported TOC and exporting again.

Empty Links

Not all links are created equal. Some programs create them in a way that Atticus has trouble identifying. This is especially true if you have exported your .docx from a third party program such as Pages or Google Docs, because it adds layers to the links that can cause problems with exporting. 

When these links are broken they appear empty and can be tricky to find. The best place to start is to look through all of your known links. When you click on them they will open a popup that shows the hyperlink. If you find a link without a hyperlink, re-enter your link ensuring that the proper ahrefs are used (http:// or https://).

Broken Lists, Block Quotes or Subheadings

Sometimes an extra space between content can contain special list or subheading formatting. However, if this space is empty, that creates an export error. Similarly, sometimes invisible coding can remain after formatting or changing certain features, such as lists, block quotes, or subheadings.

If, at any point in your book, you have created a list, block quote, or subheading even if you have since deleted that list or block quote, please do the following:

  1. Highlight the paragraph before and after the list/block quote along with the list itself
  2. Cut by pressing CTRL or CMD X
  3. Paste it back in place without formatting:
    • Press CTRL or CMD + SHIFT + V or
    • Right click and choosing “Paste as plain text”
  4. Make sure the spacing is correct for the elements of your list/block quote
  5. Highlight the list/block quote once more, being very sure not to include any extra spaces above or below
  6. Reapply the formatting in Atticus

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: 06/13/2023

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