Can synopsis and notes be included in compile?

version 3 windows, wondering about what can be included in compile, really interested in getting synopsis and notes included. If so how do you do it. (point me to the documentation)

thanks a bunch

I have no idea where it is in the documentation, but I just sorta pressed buttons and I think I found it? Idk, I’m tired.

Sure, this is easy enough to do. I would actually recommend starting with a compile format that is quite close to what you want already, and it can be more easily tweaked to add Notes, but in following the below you should be able to modify any Format:

  1. Select the “Outline Document” Format in the left sidebar of the compile overview screen.

  2. Use the Assign Section Layouts button to set up the layouts for how the different elements will print. Maybe you want major sections to use “Chapter Title” and all subsections to use “Title and Synopsis”, for example. This should give you a preview that looks a bit like this:

  3. Once you save that, double-click on the preview of the layout using a synopsis to edit its settings.

  4. The window will open to the Section Layout design pane. The documentation for this is in §24.2, Section Layouts of the user manual PDF. There is a lot that can be done in this pane—but mainly all you’re going to want to do is in the area marked (b) in Fig. 24.2, by clicking the “Notes” checkbox for this layout.

That’s it, the rest is just detailing:

  • As you will see in the Formatting tab below, we’ve already set things up to look cohesive for you. If you want to use a unique font or layout for notes vs synopsis though, you can do so using familiar tools in that lower half of the window. Maybe the synopsis could be inset a centimeter or so, and italicised, for example.
  • If you do go with unique styling for each, and would prefer to not see the little subtitles, click the ∙∙∙ button in the top right, and disable Insert subtitles between text elements.
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Hi, I want to add the Synopsis and Notes when I compile. I tried to follow the advice from a previous post that says to click and include the Notes and Synopsis, but after I compile, They don’t appear in the PDF.
I am a newbie, not sure why this is not working, seems like a basic function.

I posted yesterday the same topic but the answer didn’t help.
I am trying to export the Notes and Synopsis when I compile my document. I clicked on the Notes and Synopsis to be exported. But the PDF doesn’t show them. Am I missing a step? Or is this a bug?
I recorded a screen video to show: Scrivener no notes

PS: Please don’t close this post until it is resolved.

Hi @raf
No need to worry, topics are never closed.
Yours was moved to a similar thread and nothing more.
You should pursue/further develop in that said thread where the moderator moved your original post.
→ Which is here [Post edited after the new thread was moved.]

What @Vincent_Vincent said. It helps everyone to keep all conversations relevant to a particular question together.

For that reason, I am consolidating your question into the original thread.

If you found the previous response unhelpful, it would be useful to explain what you did and what happened. In particular, does your screen look like the screenshots at the top of this thread?

I did follow the previous solution discussed and I did a recording of my experience and the resulting PDF not showing the Notes and Synopsis.
Sorry, I don’t know what else I can add to explain.

Thanks for re-opening this thread, it had been closed by @AmberV .

No problem. You are welcome.
But I am not a moderator. I did nothing. The thread was never closed to begin with. :wink:

If you click on your icon at the top right of the forum…
…you’ll see a list of notifications concerning you directly. If a thread of yours is moved, you’ll get notified about it, and clicking the notification will take you to where it is now at.

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The problem is that yellow box in the middle of the compiler, warning you that you have nothing assigned to any of the Layouts. In this condition the software will simply just dump out the text of the files without much modification. The notes and synopsis flags that you checked are all set to Layouts, but you are using none of them, in other words.

To fix this, click the Assign Section Layouts... button, below the middle column in the compiler. What you assign to which things is up to you, but it should be pretty straight-forward. On the left you have the types of things in your project, and on the right, how the selected type of thing should print. Make sure each of these is using one of the layouts that has notes and synopses.

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I was able to follow your last suggestion. But now I am getting all kind of extra things I don’t need: Chapter numbers, every text uses a different font, additional spaces…
It seems that your software is very capable, but quite complicated.

Is there somewhere a tutorial for dummies on how to just start creating a simple layout for children picture books? Simple text layout, some illustration notes with Spread/pages numbering, set in one font 12 points size?

I think I’m giving up and going back to Word!
Anyway, thanks for responding :slight_smile:

The Scrivener Manual reached through the help menu may be a little overwhelming, but when you search for a subject can be very enlightening.

For simpler help, a book may be a good solution for you.

Uncheck the checkboxes in the Section Layouts that you don’t need. Rework the necessary Section layouts to produces a coherent design.

Personally, I would design a children’s book in InDesign. After the writing is done and the illustrations are made, Scrivener is not the tools to produce a relatively complicated book like a children’s book. An alternative for Adobe is Affinity Publisher.


Well, sure, it is a program designed for those that need a different approach than what tools like Word provide, so it is expected to be a bit different (“complicated” though, this is subjective, more a matter of familiarity in my experience—I find MS Word to be hideously over-complicated and would give up on using computers entirely before using such a contraption to write with, for example).

But that aside, it sounds like you may need to step back to something less elaborate and opinionated with your settings, and work up from that, rather than whatever it is you are currently using. For example, the “Default” setting at the top of the Format sidebar is pretty much vanilla output, save for a few optional headings you may choose to include. In my experience it is easier to learn the things you want to do, in software, than it is to learn how to turn things off you don’t want.

Is there somewhere a tutorial for dummies on how to just start creating a simple layout for children picture books? Simple text layout, some illustration notes with Spread/pages numbering, set in one font 12 points size?

I don’t know precisely what that entails, and so I cannot think of anything specific to that, off of the top of my head. It sounds to me like what you need is similar to how a graphic novelist would use Scrivener? You basically just need to get something out that describes what you want visually? I guess it depends on how you want to do that, but it’s worth considering that Scrivener is more of a text-heavy tool than layout oriented. If you were thinking of using it to “wireframe” what you want for an artist, it might be a bit clumsy in that role. You speak for example of visualising page spreads—I would not want to use Scrivener for something like that, at least for that part of it. I might write the story in Scrivener and then import the text into something that is good for that, is what I mean to say.

Specifics aside, given you were not aware how out to assign a look to the parts of your outline, some basic and general tutorial might be helpful over something more specific, like what the Interactive Tutorial in the Help menu covers. It’s section on compiling is fairly short and goes over the fundamentals. You would not have encountered this problem had you gone through that.

I think you’re right, my needs are way simpler than what Scrivener offers. I am not trying to write a complex novel. I am a member of the SCBWI and there is a link for the members, so I thought it was good to use for children books. But my focus is children’s picture books as an author and illustrator.
Anyway, I found another app that seems more simple to use for shorter storytelling: Storyist.

Thanks again.

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