Add Photos to Blank Page


In my setting for my “Act” section layout, there’s a blank page after it says “ACT I” or something alone those lines, I’m curious how I would go about putting an image on that page because it technically isn’t a page in my binder?

Thank you!

If it’s not a document, you can make it one.

Image Management

How do I make it a document for that blank page? Won’t it just be a page after the blank page after the act ?

You are absolutely right: a blank page will always be created as a blank page.

If you don’t want a blank page, you would need to identify which setting is creating the blank page, remove it, and then create a page in the appropriate place in the binder and add the image (as a file or link) to that page for the compiler to use.

If you want at add an image on the same page where it says ‘Act I’, you could do that in the folder that creates that act; in a file placed in that folder; or using a placeholder in the compiler referencing the image during compile (this is useful if you want the same image or flourish as a divider on every act, part, or chapter).

If you could share a sample project of what you would like to achieve, I am sure someone here will be able to provide a solution for you.

I would personally go about this another way, rather than trying to use the binder to enact what is essentially a formatting decision. Reason being, if you change your mind or want something less elaborate for proofing copies or whatever, you need only switch Formats in the compiler, or choose a different Section Layout for your acts, rather than having to undo all of the extra pages in the outline. Plus it would be a bit awkward to do things that way anyway. The following has a lot of steps to it, but honestly not more than manual labour in the binder, plus I’m going over everything in great detail, and showing how each phase of the setup works, so that it is better understood what is going on. The actual solution is conceptually pretty simple:

  • Add images to your binder for each act.
  • Change your compiler to insert a custom suffix page to the act layout, instead of inserting a blank one.
  • Automatically insert the appropriate image into the custom suffix page. We’ll use simple file naming conventions to handle the “automatic” part of that.

Setting up an Image Page

First let’s set up the compiler to get it working the way we want.

  1. Go to File ▸ Compile... and double-click the section layout, in the main preview column, to edit the Format and jump straight to the right layout.

  2. Select the New Pages tab, where you will find settings for Always start section on…. Disable the second of these. This is most likely where your blank page is coming from. It is inserting a blank verso page to ensure the following chapter shows up on the right hand, or recto, side of the book.

  3. Click the Test... button to get a quick preview using the print dialogue. Just cancel it when you’re done verifying the empty page is gone. If it isn’t this is coming from somewhere else, such as the chapter Layout itself, which as you can see, can stipulate its own rules for which side it should start on.

  4. Now click over to the Suffix tab. Since we want to add an empty page after the part title, and put an image there, the Suffix is what you want as it will fall after the title. With the cursor in the text field, use the Insert ▸ Break ▸ Page Break menu command. You should see a vertical blue bar appear.

  5. Below that, we’re going to type in some test text, just to make sure we’re incrementally getting toward the result we want. First insert a newline after the page break (there is visually one already, but this is just how the page break presents itself, we want an actual empty line for the image so that we can format it), and then copy and paste in the following:


    If you know your way around the <$img...> placeholder, no, that’s not a typo. Again this a test. It allows us to see the placeholder since it isn’t valid, and it also allows us to get a preview of what text it is going to print—i.e. what image name it is going to be looking for in the binder, as the title_no_spaces placeholder is valid, and will print itself within the invalid image placeholder. Hope that makes sense, but if not, the result might be better self-expanatory.

  6. Format the line with the test placeholder. Centre-align it, and use the line-height dropdown to select “Other”. You’re going to need to do some math based on the page size and how large the image is, or just experiment until it looks right, but for now just use something to prove the concept, by adding around 144 pts to the Paragraph spacing before field. That’s 2", as 72 points is an inch (and so, if you’re using the 6x9 paperback format, with its 0.875in top margin, that would start the line 2.875in down from the top, which is roughly 1/3 of the way down the paper—thus if your image is about 3in tall, it would be right about in the middle of the page). You should see the padding appear in the text composition area.

  7. Give that another Test..., maybe this time setting the top-left file type selector to PDF instead of Print, so you can open this PDF up and preview the titles it will be looking for as image names.

  8. At this point, now that we have a PDF with the image names previewed, go back and add the dollar sign into the image placeholder. It should now look like:

  9. If you test again you’ll get a blank page, but that’s because none of these images exist yet. Save your compile Format, and then hold down the Option key and click Save to dismiss the compiler.

Setting up the Images

  1. Create a new folder anywhere in the binder, other than the Draft, to hold your part images.
  2. For each Act in the book, import the image of your choosing into this folder, and rename it to match the preview name you’ll find in the PDF. For example, if the first part is named “Fossils and Dust”, then you’d want to name your image, “FossilsandDust” in the binder.
  3. Once you’ve got them all imported and renamed, give it a test compile.

You’ll probably need to play with the line spacing on that image line in the Suffix tab, but you should be pretty close to done at this point. As you can see, it will benefit you to have all of these images the same height. Use a graphics program to add white or transparent padding to shorter images, to keep them consistent.

paperback-6x9-with_image_parts.scrformat (68.7 KB)

Here is the compile format I created to test this setup. Since the format itself doesn’t have any project-specific information, if you find yourself hung up on a step, the sample should work out of the box (provided there are images named correctly in the binder). But I encourage making your own from scratch, as knowing how this all fits together means you will better know how to make adjustments. Say you change your mind and want the image on the left side of the book, preceding the act title which is on the right side, and thus creating a full page spread instead of on the page after. You’d just move your work over from the Suffix tab to the Prefix, and switch which side the compiler inserts a blank page on in the New Pages tab.


That all depends on why it’s blank in the first place.

We can do a Zoom session, if you like.

one on one assistance


My book is 6x9 and I want to vertically align my photos in the middle. How can I do that?

I tried to do it in Word but Word just messed up my entire Scrivener document formatting.

If you can figure out how much space they need before and after, you could give their section layout space before (at Format▸Paragraph▸Line and Paragraph Spacing). But that won’t work consistently unless all the images are the same vertical size — which you can arrange using <$img:imageName;h=nnn>, where nnn is an appropriate number. You can make it the vertical size of the text extent, and then there’d be no space before.

Do you know of any applications that can let me align the image to the vertical middle? I’ve tried Acrobat but the option is greyed out, Word messes up for my formatting but does it and I cannot find anywhere else.

I just need to press my images and then press the align button :frowning:

Do what I suggested above. It shouldn’t be difficult.

Also look at my workflow for image management:

image management in Scrivener

I have merged this new thread with your previous thread on the same topic. Note that the above discussion goes into detail about more than just the basic matter of how to measure a padding amount and add it to the top of an image. The part that is specific to that alone is here:

That, on the other hand, is a concerning problem that probably does indeed deserve a separate thread of discussion. That shouldn’t happen, and you’re probably really going to want something other than Scrivener at some point, as it sounds like you are doing your own book design, which Scrivener isn’t excellent for.