Troubleshooting uploads and conversions

We're so excited you've decided to upload your content on Scribd! Publishing on Scribd involves a two-step process: you upload the document, then our system converts it. Uploading transfers your documents from your computer to Scribd, while conversion transforms your documents from their original file formats to the results you’ll see in the embeddable Scribd document reader. Usually the whole publishing process happens quickly, but on occasion, there may be issues with one or both steps of the process.

Upload Failure

Upload failures take different forms: an upload may freeze and never finish, it may finish but not appear in your list of documents, etc. However your content fails to upload, there are a few common issues as to why this happens:

Internet Connection

First and foremost, a successful upload needs a steady network connection. If your internet service happens to be slow or unreliable at the moment, this may be affecting your ability to upload documents on Scribd. There are a few websites (none of which are affiliated with Scribd) that you can use to test your internet speed, such as https://speedof.me/. If you are having issues with your internet service, you may need to find a more steady connection and try uploading again.

Browser Add-ons/Extensions

We know a large portion of Scribd members like to enhance their browsers with add-ons or extensions to help make browsing easier or add extra layers of security to your system. If this sounds like you, make sure that your browser security settings and add-ons (like AdBlock or NoScript) allow upload and download traffic from Scribd.com.

Firewalls

The next thing to check is your computer's firewall and antivirus or security software. If you're unable to upload anything to Scribd, you may want to temporarily disable any virus/firewall/spyware software and try again. If the upload succeeds, carefully check the documentation for your security software and then re-enable your security software.

There are also cases in which workplace or public space IT policies block sites like Scribd across the network. Scribd cannot override access preferences in these cases.

Filenames

Occasionally our upload system has trouble processing filenames, which can cause an upload to freeze. If the filename includes non-ASCII characters, try removing these before attempting to upload again with the new filename.

 

Conversion Failure

If a document has been uploaded successfully but some or all parts of the document don't load or function as expected on Scribd, this may be an indication that the document was not properly converted after it was uploaded. This happens less frequently than upload failures, however there are a few known issues which might cause a conversion failure:

Password-Protected Documents

Example of PDF security settings

A document's author might use their PDF’s built-in security settings to limit features and prohibit unauthorized editing by the public. Under the law, we must respect the security settings of the original source document and so secured PDFs (also sometimes called "encrypted" or "password protected") cannot be uploaded to Scribd.

To verify your PDF's security settings, open it in your preferred PDF reader and locate the document’s security settings in the properties menu. If your document is 'secure,' you’ll need to save a copy of the document with these security features turned off. The screenshot to the right shows the "properties" page of a secured PDF in Adobe Acrobat.

Large Documents

Scribd supports documents up to 100 megabytes in size, though it’s worth noting that documents which approach this size limit are more likely to encounter conversion issues.

Optimizing your PDF can decrease the size of your file without eliminating content, which may help ensure your upload converts successfully. Users of Adobe Acrobat Pro should check out Adobe's online instructions for reducing PDF file size using the Acrobat PDF Optimizer. There are also a number of third-party optimization tools available from a variety of software providers.

You may also encounter issues when uploading PDFs to Scribd that use layers and transparency. If parts of your uploaded document look right but certain elements seem to be missing, you might be experiencing a transparency-related problem. If you use Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can try Acrobat's “Flattener Preview” function to flatten the layers, which will simplify your file while taking transparent areas into account. Then, try uploading the flattened version of the PDF to Scribd. Be sure to note — once you save your file there's no way to "unflatten" it, so you might want to save it under a different filename.

Corrupt or Malformed Documents

Corrupted or malformed documents run a higher risk of conversion failure, even if the error is not visible in the body of the document. Errors are more liable to crop up in documents loaded with file information like embedded multimedia, high-resolution images, revisions and tracked document changes, or extraneous metadata.

If a Microsoft Office or OpenOffice document persistently fails to convert, open the document in its original application and save a new copy in the original format. If the upload still fails, try saving the document in a simpler format, such as RTF (Rich Text Format). If errors persist, try converting the document to PDF and then upload to Scribd.

Documents with Hyperlinks

During the conversion process, Scribd identifies links in your document and duplicates them in our online document viewer. If links work in your Word document, PDF file, or PowerPoint presentation, then they'll generally work on our site.

Commercial PDF applications like Adobe Acrobat and applications that can save documents directly as a PDF (such as Microsoft Office and OpenOffice) will create PDFs with working links. However, PDFs created through a printer driver (print-to-PDF) typically will not contain working hyperlinks, even though URLs in the document may appear blue and underlined. If you convert your documents to PDF exclusively through a printer driver, it may be best for you to upload the document in its original format whenever possible.

Scribd may also have problems rendering links in Word documents that contain a lot of metadata or tracked changes. In this case, we recommend saving a copy of the document that does not contain any extraneous data and uploading this new copy.

Before reporting broken hyperlinks in your uploads, please make sure they work in your original document, including transcribed webpages. For example, the text "http://scribd.com" will not automatically turn into a link to that address after the document is uploaded to Scribd. Instead, you must be sure to create a clickable link in the original document before you upload it.

 

 

If you're still encountering issues in the uploading process, please contact Scribd support and explain the issue in detail, including any error messages you might see; we'll do our best to help get your work published on Scribd!

 

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