Can you compile a Scrivener-file into PDF without leaving Scrivener?

I just started with the great program Scrivener.

I would like to know if you can open a compiled Scrivener file in PDF format right away? So get a preview (directly) without opening the file manager and viewing the PDF file from there?

Thanks for answering

I don’t use the Windows version, but I’m pretty sure you can view a PDF if it’s stored in the Research Folder.

Why are you wanting to do this? What is the issue? What problem is being fixed by worrying about this?

There should be no real “cost” opening your PDF Viewer application in a seperate window if the file is not inside the Scrivener Project? Multiple windows and apps is the point of a modern computer system using windows.

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You can even set the compile panel option to automatically open the PDF for you in your default program. :wink:
You’ll get to see the result right away after each compile.

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Thanks Vincent,

Unfortunately I can’t find the option to automatically open PDF in Scrivener. I work under Windows 10, with the latest Scrivener version. Could you please explain to me with a screenshot how I can automatically get a PDF file on my screen after compiling?

Thank you very much!



In addition to @Vincent_Vincent 's screen shot, have a look at Chapter26 (page 573) of the Scrivener Manual for guidance on printing.

Yeah. About printing :
I don’t compile directly for print. What you can see in my screenshot is actually my print setup.
I go to PDF first as it doesn’t work so well right out of Scrivener (pages missing mostly).

And also, as you can see, when I print a document for a pen & paper revision, I first set the font color to red. (I do it in the editor directly. Ctrl+A, then font to red.)
That serves two purposes :
1- This way I know that I have a printed copy of my chapter somewhere, and therefore won’t waste time editing the project’s version inside Scrivener.
2- Printing something red in black and white uses less ink than printing something black. (Can’t speak for all printers, but it is true the least with mine. By eye, I estimate about 25% less ink is used this way. It is not as crisp, but it is perfectly readable.)

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Thank you very much! I have found the issue in the Dutch version.

By the way, something I do for frequently proofed projects is this:

  1. Compile to the desired location. Choose something stable, you will always compile to this folder, using the same file name, and it shouldn’t be deleted now and then.
  2. Use the Navigate ▸ Inspect ▸ Project Bookmarks menu command. Switch to “Project Bookmarks” at the top of this sidebar if necessary, and click the ··· button, selecting “Add external file bookmark”. Navigate to, and select the PDF you compiled.
  3. Now when you want to proof the output, right-click on the bookmark and select “Open in Other Editor”. This will automatically split the window for you, so you can use one side to make revisions and the other to read.

Whenever you reach a point where you want to update the proofing copy, just compile right over the original file. You may need to do step 3 again, but I find sometimes it picks up disk changes and reloads automatically. Eventually there should be a refresh button as well; they forgot to add that.

Alternatively to the above method, the File ▸ Import ▸ Research Files as Shortcuts... menu command will drop a live link to the PDF in the binder. You may find that overall more convenient than using bookmarks, and like bookmarks, since it’s a link to the original on the disk, you do not have to continually import the latest copy every time you revise.

Now if you want to get fancy, in that same general compile options tab, the gear icon in the screenshot above, look for a setting called Insert links back to Scrivener in each section. With default settings, clicking the links in the PDF will open the item in the other split. This way, if you spot a typo you don’t have to hunt it down by hand.