a non-lamer who now hates scrivener

I have been using computers since the days of the commodore 64 and have even programmed in basic 2.0, but scrivener is making me feel like a total lamer, and I am about to uninstall it.

The problem started when I wanted to create a custom project template for short story series. Because creating a template from scratch is not supported, I had to use the Short Story template and modify it. I couldn’t even delete some of the useless elements of the short story template, but at least I got my custom template the way I wanted it.

So I have a subfolder containing two text files. I want to compile the two of them, together, and export them into a doc file I can open with word–WITHOUT BEING BLOODY TOLD THAT IT HAS TO BE RICH TEXT FORMAT WHEN I OPEN IT IN WORD. I kept getting blank exported documents until I realized that, in the expanded compile files listing, nothing is listed except the useless elements left over from the original Short Story template. And there seems to be no way to edit or modify the existing compiler template for my custom Short Story Series template.

I read the whole manual from beginning to end and even searched it. Like 99.999% of help documentation put out by anyone anywhere, it is totally useless to me.

So maybe I’ll just go back to writing original content in MS Word.

I know the feeling. Scriv has a pretty steep curve and it seems like it is calling you names sometimes. You’re not alone.

All I can say is stick with it. Eventually it gets to be second nature and it “clicks”. I know that doesn’t help much right now. Try to tough it out.

I’m hesitant to offer help to someone who hates things that I think are pretty nifty, as often that vitriol spills over toward the helper, but I’m nothing if not a glutton for punishment. :open_mouth:

It sounds as if one of those “useless elements” is the Draft folder, which can be renamed to anything you like. Whatever you compile MUST be inside that folder in order for the compile dialogue to pick it up. One thing you can do to sub-divide your Draft folder for compilation purposes: select a container within that folder to act as the “top” level … authors of series do this by creating Book1, Book2, etc… folders under their Draft/Manuscript folders, and then in the (expanded) Compile dialogue, choosing the drop-down that falls below the ‘Format As:’ text label and drilling down to the ‘book9’ folder.

While Scrivener is very flexible, it does require the presence of the Draft folder (or whatever it’s been renamed to), which has strict requirements for the files it contains (ie only RTF files, no pdfs, or image files in the binder, etc…). It also requires, if I’m not mistaken, a Research folder, just to give people somewhere else to dump non-Draft files if they don’t understand that they can create their own top-level folders. That too, can be renamed.

As for the RTF->Word issue, there’s nothing that’s going to change about that any time soon; only larger companies with bigger programming staffs can keep up with the ever-changing file format known as “.doc”/".docx".



and then in the (expanded) Compile dialogue, choosing the drop-down that falls below the ‘Format As:’ text label when the Contents pane is selected and drilling down to the ‘book9’ folder.

Okay, thank you both so much. Robert, I hadn’t been able to delete the drafts folder, so I had renamed it “Random Crap” and left it empty except for a blank text file. Once I copied the three working text files into it (actually, I had to duplicate them and then move the duplicates), I was able to export them to a doc file. I first had to rearrange them manually within the drafts folder because, for some reason, they didn’t paste in the same order as they were in my WIP folder.

The formatting I took care of fairly easily, but there is one huge problem: there is some kind of header that says “Surname/TITLE” and then the page number. Word is not able to delete that header. Such headers CANNOT appear in files formatted for upload to ebook distributors such as Smashwords, Lulu and Amazon. I have to find a way to remove that header or Scrivener is totally useless to me unless I just copy and paste stuff manually from Scrivener text files into blank Word documents. Please let me know whether anything can be done about this. If nothing can, then I can’t see myself being willing to continue using Scrivener despite its many fine features.

See Compile/Formatting and uncheck all in the Title column.
See Compile/Page Settings and adjust Header: as desired.

See Help/Interactive Tutorial and do that before all else if you haven’t already. Really. There’s a lot of Scrivener that is not intuitive and can’t be guessed.

Thank you, Almansur, that worked. I’m going to figure out on my own how to get Scrivener to stop putting a million hard returns and the word “” at the beginning of each chapter. You’ve been very helpful and I’m glad I can keep using the software.

You might find easier to start from scratch rather than starting from a template that you wish to change every aspect of. Click on the “Blank” category in new project window, choose “Blank” and off you go. If you open that new project alongside the one you’ve been battling against, you can drag and drop the text elements from one binder to another.

Not wanting to be too rude but to go on a forum and first tell us how clever you are with Basic and using a Commodore and then slag of a piece of software that most find incredibly useful seems very lame.

To state it cant perform fuctions that are easily achievable i.e. starting with a blank and making your own templates is advertising the fact that you have either misunderstood the tutorial, or not actually read it.

Nice that there are people with patience and goodwill enough to assist you. Maybe you should give up scrivener and dig out your Commodore again.