A button for Reaching the Compile Format Designer window

Despite four ways available, reaching the Compile Format Designer seems to be a consistent usability issue. People just have no clue it exists.

May I suggest a clearly visible button called “Edit Compile Format” - just like the Assign Section Layouts… button - at the bottom of the left column in the Compile Overview window?


See that little pencil icon in the Section Layout pane?

That’s probably the most obvious of the (many) alternatives.

You may be right. Still, how come so many users come here asking about how to add Separators, for example? Or cannot find the settings for headers and footers?


I have to agree with @AntoniDol here. None of the options are ‘visible’ let alone obvious. I’ve used Scrivener 3 since it’s beta and to this day, every time I need to edit the Compile Format I have to stop and think how was I suppose to do that.


In my experience, people often do not take advantage of the support resources that are available. Among other things, two full chapters in the (Mac) Scrivener manual are dedicated to the Compile command. While we will certainly take your suggestion under advisement, there’s only so much the user interface can do to simplify an inherently complex function.

Thanks! Remember it’s not about the complexity of Compiling, but about the invisibility of access to the Compile Format Designer.


But that little pencil doesn’t show up unless a user clicks in or scolls that pane.

If I have an editable project format and click it in the list, I get dotted lines around the visible layout in the Section Layout pane, abut I do not get the pencil icon until I click in or scroll that pane. Then the pencil icon appears. It’s very cryptic and undiscoverable.

If the icon were present all of the time and had a tooltip when you hovered over it, it would be more discoverable for users.

A button would be more discoverable and be more friendly for screen readers and other assistive technologies.

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If such an icon appeared next to every format, that works. If not, which format will open when you push it? Double-clicking on a format opens it, in keeping with long-standing behavior for files and apps on Windows and Mac.

The format that’s selected in the left pane Formats list is the one that would be opened, same as clicking the gear icon in lower left and selecting Edit Format.

The Compile Overview panel is easily the busiest in Scrivener. There are two gear icons, a flag thingy, a filter, four pull downs, and two check boxes (not counting the binder checkboxes). As @kewms pointed out, this is an inherently complex function, and this panel surely reflects that.

But–the only bit of the current panel that isn’t overwhelmed and is able to (in my eyes) leap out of the busyness is the Assign Section Layouts button, which is why @AntoniDol’s idea of a similar button for Edit Compile Format is such a good one. Yes, it would be redundant to the other ways of launching the editor, but the current gear box on the lower left is pretty much invisible inside this busy panel, and double-clicking on the format like @drmajorbob mentions isn’t explicitly obvious, so you only know to do it if you already know to do it.

An alternative would be to swap out the nearly invisible gear box on the lower left and replace it with a pulldown clearly labeled “Compile Format Designer”, so that the user a) sees it and b) knows what it’s related to.

Kudos to @AntoniDol for suggesting this. It’s the most practical Wish List suggestion I can recall seeing here in a long while. :nerd_face: