A Way to Count Actual Scenes?

My average scene length is remarkably constant from book to book. Therefore, when I’m outlining, I can tell, by counting scenes, how long the book will be.

Is there any way to count up the actual scenes, excluding folders (such as chapter headings)? For example, here

there are much fewer than 91 actual scenes.

Yes, I can count them manually. I just wanted to see if there’s some trick to do it automatically.


I don’t have Scrivener in front of me, but do search collections include a built-in count of the included documents, like the binder does?

If so, you can create a keyword called SCENE, assign that to each scene doc, and then create a search collection that only includes docs with Keyword = SCENE.

Hope that works!

If it is the same in Windows, the status bar (aka footer view) counts the number of selected items…

[attachment=0]Status Bar.png[/attachment]

Great ideas, but it looks like the collections don’t show a count, and the windows version doesn’t show a count of selected items. So close. You’ve given me some ideas.



Okay, I finally got to play with Scrivener on this. Here is a way that will work, but it requires going outside Scrivener.

In Scrivener, select your Drafts folder.
Select Outliner view.
Export the Outliner to a file via File > Export > Outliner Contents as CSV.
Open the CSV in Excel.
Filter on the Title column, and drop Chapters & Parts & anything else that is not a Scene.
Excel will count the Scenes for you!

This isn’t so bad to implement because you’ve named your non-Scene docs consistently. And you don’t need to remember to set Keyword = Scene.

An alternative would be to set either Label or Status = Scene in your Scene docs, and in then you can filter those in Excel.

My guess is that V3 for Windows will have the same functionality as Mac, so you’ll be able to do this inside Scrivener at some point next year!


My suggestion, before going that far outside of Scrivener, is just to set up a special compile that numbers scene documents, and have it output the numbered titles of those scenes. You would accomplish this by first saving your current compile settings if they’re unique to your project, and then…

  • Go to the formatting pane and de-selecting everything.
  • Add back titles for scene documents, assuming they can be uniquely identified by level and basic icon.
  • Using the “Section Layout Button” for scenes, add in <$n> to the title Prefix.
  • Set the font to be fairly large.
  • Finally, compile for “Preview” and scroll down to the end–if the font from the previous step is large enough, the numbers should be easy for you to read without requiring you to scroll too far.
  • Save the compile preset so you can always select it for this purpose later.

In the future, you’ll then be able to compile using the “count my scenes” compile preset to quickly get a count of all scenes in your draft.

That’s perfect RDale! Here it is in action:

annelyle.com/blog/2012/02/28/tra … scrivener/