automating "Assign Section Layouts"

I have a simple document structure that I use a lot. I want to speed up the compiling process. I made a new format Simple and saved it into “My Formats”.
Here it is:

Every time I make a new scriv document, after choosing my Simple format, when I come to compiling, I get the yellow warning “No layouts from this format have been assigned…”

I understand that in order to compile, each Scrivener project needs

  1. each file to be placed into a category such as ‘heading’ or ‘sub-heading’ or ‘section’, or some other system.
  2. each of these categories needs to be hooked to a layout (e.g. ‘text with heading’, page break yes or no, etc).

I know that (1) can be automated using “Structure Based” method.
But I want to know how to automate (2). I don’t want to have to set up layouts each time. I’d like simply to choose the format Simple and compile straight away.
Is this possible? I have read the manual and looked at the videos but can’t seem to solve this.

Thanks for any help


Have you tried creating a project, setting up #2, and then saving that as a project template? That should preserve the link between layouts and section types, so that when you create a new project from your custom template, that step will already be done.

Yep, rdale’s solution is exactly right. You simply set up your Section Types (and “Structure-Based” if necessary) in a blank project (or a project set up as you would like new projects to be set up) and save it as a project template, then use that template for new projects. This is exactly the sort of thing that project templates are for, in fact.

All the best,

Problem solved, using the methods above. Thanks for the very quick reply!


Glad you have it sorted. One other minor tip: once you’ve set up the project template, if that is the template you are going to be using most of the time for new projects, you can Ctrl-click on the template in the Templates panel and choose “Set Selected Template as Default”. That way it will always be selected whenever you open the Templates panel.