Troubleshooting Import Errors

If you receive an error while importing a file into Notability, these suggestions may help resolve the error.

1. PowerPoints and Word Docs: Reconnect Notability to Google Drive.
Notability uses Google Drive to convert Microsoft Office files into PDF files, which are easier for the app to use. If you receive an error when importing a Microsoft Office file, try logging out of and back into your Google Drive account and then try to import the file again:

  • On iOS, go to the "Manage Accounts" section of Notability's settings.
  • On Mac, go to "Notability's > Preferences…" in Notability's menu bar.

If reconnecting to Drive doesn't help, please ensure that your Google Drive account isn't low on storage space. If you go to drive.google.com, a column on the left side of the screen will show how much storage space you have left.

2. PowerPoints and Word Docs: Convert to PDF before importing.
If you have the apps Keynote or Pages on your device, those can offer a temporary workaround for importing PowerPoints and Word docs.

On iOS:

  1. Open a PowerPoint or Word doc in Keynote or Pages.
  2. Tap "…" in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap "Send a Copy" from the menu that appears.
  4. Tap "PDF" from the menu that appears.
  5. Tap "Notability" from the menu that appears.

On Mac:

  1. Open a PowerPoint or Word doc in Keynote or Pages.
  2. Click "File > Export To > PDF…" from the app's menu bar.
  3. Click "Next…" from the menu that appears.
  4. Click "Export…" from the menu that appears.
  5. Open the newly exported PDF in Notability.

3. Try a different web browser.
In some situations, the way a web browser handles a file can interfere with the export process. If you receive an error while sending a file to Notability from the iOS Chrome app, try sending the file from Safari instead.

4. Try a different sharing option.
When sending a file to Notability from another app, there may be two options with Notability's icon: one that says "Notability" and one that says "Copy to Notability". If you have only tried the "Notability" option, try the "Copy to Notability" option instead.

If you're sending a file to Notability from a web browser and the share button (the square with an up arrow) leads to an error, try the following instead:

  1. View the file in your web browser.
  2. Tap anywhere on the file.
  3. Tap "Open in…" (iOS 9) or "More…" (iOS 10) from the menu that appears.
  4. Tap "Notability", "Copy to Notability" (iOS 9), or "Import With Notability" (iOS 10).

5. Let us know!
If you still receive errors, feel free to let us know! We'd be happy to help investigate. Please click the "Submit a request" button in the top right corner of this page and send us the following:

  1. One or two examples of files you've had trouble with.
  2. Where you're trying to import the files from.
  3. The specific error message you receive.
Have more questions? Submit a request