36 Chapters, 72K Words, and I can't get the output I want

I’ve transferred my manuscript from LibreOffice to Scrivener (3 for Windows) and I’m ready to output in a format that I can share with agents and beta readers. But I’m tearing my hair out trying to get it formatted the way I want.

I’ve got numerous subsections in most of the chapters. I’d like for each chapter to start on a new page headlined by a chapter title, and then at each break between sections I’d like to put in a separator, such as a horizontal line or perhaps three asterisks separated by em-spaces. I also don’t want my inline formatting lost; when I’ve tried to compile into .doc or .odt format I’m losing my emphases/italics.

First time trying to output a major project from Scrivener; can anyone help?

Sure. Zoom session?

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The Magic is in the Separators tab in the Compile Format Designer. You get there by double-clicking the name of the Format you use in the left-hand column in the Compile Overview screen.

For the Section Layouts you’ve Assigned to your Chapter and sub-section Section Types, make sure the New Page and Custom Separators Options are selected, respectively.

Let me know whether you managed to dwield the Magic or not…


Making a little progress. Still haven’t found how to change the chapter numbering so that it starts after the preface, prologue, and front matter. Also still having formatting issues. I’m going back to the tutorial and working through it step by step. Thanks for your reply.

That kind of Magic is in creating separate Section Layouts for Prologue and Epilogue.

Good luck.

Still fighting with the Compile output. I’ve managed to get it mostly acceptable, but it’s still converting text that I have specifically put in italics to plain Roman text. But not everywhere; it’s hit and miss. Also, I’ve got my Binder organized Book>Chapter>Scene, as this is intended to be an ongoing series with multiple Book manuscripts in the same Binder. I’d like to have the header show the book title and page number, but it kept showing the project title (for the series) until I edited it manually. I did look through the documentation, but I couldn’t see how to select what I wanted automatically. And how do I put it in italics?

Editing to add: The italics thing is really annoying. I’ve used italics extensively to indicate characters’ internal thoughts as well as more conventional things such as book titles, etc. To see about half of them eliminated, seemingly at random, is very frustrating.

It’s probably not random. What’s the difference between italics that are passed through and those that are not?

Do you use a Style for some of them? Do you indicate some of them with underscores? Are some of them in sections by themselves?

Also, what format are you compiling to?

I’m compiling to PDF. It looks as if the suppressed italics are in sections I have marked as “Body Text”. They show up fine in the editor, but are converted to Roman type when compiled. I’m not using underscores for italics.

Are you using a Body Text style, then? (Something we don’t recommend.) And are you redefining it via the Compile command?

I am using a Body Text style, yes; that was the only way I could find to keep the text from coming up in a font that I hate. I’m not intentionally redefining it via compile; there is a Body style in there but I’ve left the options as default. No Body Text style in the Compile options that I can see.

At this point I’d need to take a look at the project to offer more detailed advice. You can open a support ticket, here:

But figuring out how to get non-styled text to keep the font you want will serve you well in the future. Probably it’s as simple as disabling the font override in the Section Layout.