Back Matter based on Compile Group

Manual Section 23.4 includes “Linking Front/Back Matter to Compile Groups”, and it shows us how to do this for Front Matter. It doesn’t show how to do it for Back Matter. I’ve tried a few things, but nothing works. What seems obvious and analogous to the procedure for Front Matter doesn’t work. Saving a choice of Back Matter for one compile group carries over to the other.

What am I missing?

Here’s the Binder structure I’m guessing you want (for two books in a series):

I’ve tested and this is all working as expected my end. Make sure the back matter folder is set to “Back Matter” and not to a specific subfolder within it, perhaps?

That’s not what I do for Front Matter. I lock it to “Print” for PDF and “eBook” for ebooks. That works for Front Matter, but it doesn’t work for Back Matter. Here’s the Content pane for a PDF:

Oops, locking doesn’t work for Front Matter, either. That is, changing Compile Group doesn’t change which Print folder is chosen for Front Matter.

Does that mean I need a different Compile format for PDF and eBooks?

The two have very different capabilities. So yes, even aside from the Front/Back Matter, you’ll want different settings.


No. I compile PDF, ePub, mobi, and DOCX all from the same Format up to now. The only thing I have to change is turning off or on a Replacement to reduce image sizes for the editor (in a DOCX). Everything else works smoothly. No feature differences among output formats require adjustments beyond that.

I wouldn’t need the Replacement if it not for the fact Word insists images are always 72 dpi, whereas Print on Demand (Createspace at least) wants 300 in a PDF. Scrivener gives the DOCX a 300 dpi image, but Word mangles it, displaying it sometimes at 0 width, sometimes at 0 height. (I haven’t tested this in version 3; maybe that issue went away?)

(72 dpi is too small in a DOCX for Vellum, as well, but I’ve abandoned Vellum.)

The ONLY reason I may (apparently) need multiple Compile Formats is that Front Matter and Back Matter don’t change based on Compile Group, as I thought they would and the manual seems to indicate they will.

If each compile group and output format combination needs its own Compile Format, that’s 2 books (at the moment) times two output formats (print and eBook) = 4 Compile Formats. If I change ANYTHING in one, I have to change it in all four. I don’t think that’s the flexibility I was led to believe compile groups and front/back matter locking would give me.

If that’s the way it works, locking seems irrelevant besdes. Each Compile Format will have its own print or eBook output format and its own Front and Back Matter. Locking does nothing.

As I said in my original reply, the problem is that you are setting your front and back matter items to “Print”, which is contained inside “Wings of Fire”. Scrivener automatically swaps the front and back matter folder to match the name of the current Compile group if there is a folder with the matching name inside the selected front or back matter folder. But there is no “Wings of Fire” or “Dragon Wings” folder inside the front and back matter folders you have chosen (“Print”) - the folders are outside and so will not be switched. So, you need to change your folder structure if you want this to work.

The other factor here is that you want to use different front and back matter folders for different file types. By default, front and back matter folders are per Compile Format, since that is going to be the most common way of using them, and normally you wouldn’t want to have to set the front and back matter folder separately for every individual file format. However, if you want do that, we’ve thought of it - that’s exactly what the little lock icon next to the front and back matter folder menu buttons is for. If you hover over that, the tool tip says, “Lock front/back matter settings to current file format.” And that’s exactly what it does.

So, putting all of this together, here is what you need to do:

  1. Rearrange your front and back matter folders so that they look like this:

Front Matter


Wings of Fire

[wings of fire print front matter]
Dragon Wings
[dragon wings print front matter]
Wings of Fire
[wings of fire ebook front matter]
Dragon Wings
[dragon wings ebook front matter]
Back Matter
[arrange the same as front matter]

Note that the key here is that you now have the front/back matter for different books inside a folder for each file type rather than the other way around.

  1. For PDF/Print etc, select the “Print” folder in your front/back matter folders, and then click the lock icon to lock the “Print” front/back matter to that format.

  2. For ebook formats, select the “eBook” folder in your front/back matter folders, and then click the lock icon to lock the “eBook” front/back matter to that format.

Now everything will work exactly as you want.

I’ve attached a sample project showing this in action - try switching between the “Dragons” and “Wings” compile groups and also between Print or PDF and ePub 3 formats. (288 KB)

Thanks, that makes sense! Now I suggest you illustrate that in the Manual.

I think the manual explains this pretty well - this exact use case is described on pp571-2 and even has a screenshot showing the sort of structure I described above.


Sorry, you are correct, and I was a dummy for reading it backward.