Change format of ‘Chapter number and text'

I have selected ‘chapter number and text’ for my chapter headings. The font is huge and there is no space between the number and the title. Is there any way to edit this?

Also, the manual and various forum answers refer to the ‘separators pane’ in Compile. I’ve clicked on everything I can see in Compile but haven’t been able to find this, so I would be grateful if someone could explain to a bear of very little brain how to open it.

(I’ve been trying so hard to understand Compile. I have worked through the interactive tutorials three times and thought I’d grasped it, but then I watched the videos; the fourth made my brain hurt and I couldn’t finish. So if the answers are in that video, many apologies.)

Thank you. I appreciate the help.

The parts of the manual you should look at are:

  • §23.2.4, Editing Formats, pg. 555 (and probably the preceding section as well, since editing a built-in format as it sounds like you are doing is more like duplicating).
  • And of course, once you are editing the format itself, Chapter 24 is your reference to all of those different panes—including the Separators pane. If you’ve used Scrivener 2 in the past, you should find this area in general to be very familiar from the “All Options” tab. I’d at least go through the introduction to that chapter.
  • Once you feel you have a handle on what a Format is, §24.2, Section Layouts is the specific pane where such details as chapter heading formatting is set up. Again from Scrivener 2, this will most closely resemble the Formatting pane, though instead of the different types of formatting being outline level based, they use a more intuitive naming system. You can just look for “Chapter Number and Text” in the list and edit it.

References aside, a more step-by-step approach is given in the interactive tutorial, under “Compiling the Draft”. Search for the Creating Your Own Compile Formats heading.

Amber, it was kind of you to respond, but I am too stupid to understand what you wrote.

I did manage to find and open the separators pane. So that’s a start. But then I tried to understand chapter 24 and it’s just words dancing on a page. I didn’t manage to find any explanation of how to edit the heading.

When you referred me to a section of the interactive tutorial, I thought I’d have better luck there because I did understand that.

'References aside, a more step-by-step approach is given in the interactive tutorial, under “Compiling the Draft”. Search for the Creating Your Own Compile Formats heading.

But as far as I can see this section of the tutorial is silent on how to edit the heading.

So if anyone can explain to a very stupid person in very simple steps how to format ‘chapter number and text’ I would be enormously grateful.

I can’t better the manual, but do the cut-down compile options in the attached sample project help to clarify things a little?

Slàinte mhòr. (65.8 KB)

Chapter.pdf (36.7 KB)

Thank you for this, Jo. What I don’t see here is how to alter the words ‘Rataplan and Mizzle’ and ‘Scene’. I understand that I would need to do this in a setting somewhere rather than her on the page, but I scoured the manual without being able to come up with an answer–indeed, without even being able to recognise which section of what I read in the manual might answer my question. I”m not lazy and trying to get someone else to do the work for me; I have devoted a dozen hours so far to repeated tutorial viewings etc and am at the point where that seems like a ludicrous overcommitment of time. I did it because I wanted to FINALLY understand Compile. Still hoping…!

Well I don’t know what you’d really need to be doing with Separators. Separators let you insert things between chunks of text in the binder, based on their type and placement. For example you can have a sequence of scenes insert asterisks between them, like a traditional scene break. They aren’t going to be so much concerned with how the formatting of a chapter title is put together in and of itself. That’s something that goes into a section of text, not between sections—though I can understand the point of confusion since it is right along the edge.

As I mentioned in the third bullet point above, Section Layouts are the pane you will want to spend your time learning how to use. I’m not really sure how to go into much more depth than that without further guidance from you on where and what you find confusing about that, to be honest. You click on Layouts in the list, and you change their formatting and settings in the tabs below the list. That’s the basic premise of course—at point in that process are things no longer in coherance? Where does it become unclear that “change their formatting” is a possibility, etc.

All right now you have me confused with that statement. What would be “on the page” so to speak? In the example project provided, the editor was in Scrivenings mode, with the optional menu toggle, View ▸ Text Editing ▸ Show Titles in Scrivenings, enabled. So we have a few binder titles in the editor (which are “formatted” in the Appearance: Scrivenings preference pane, incidentally), but those have very little to do with compile output. The text content of those titles might be used in your chapter/section/scene/part headings, should you choose Layouts that include them, but what you see here is just a way of displaying the binder outline in your editor, so that you can keep track of where you are in a long passage of text that spans many sections of text.

You’re quite right; the Separators pane is a separate issue. I asked about that only because the first thing I did when trying to solve my problem was to consult the Manual and various forum threads and found numerous mentions of it there. I was worried that it might be important and I couldn’t find a way to open it. That was all.

You’re also right to ask what’s on the page. Worth a thousand words. Here’s a screenshot of what happens when I select ‘chapter and title’: no space between chapter number and title, and font so big the words need two lines. Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 09.54.07.png

Also, you said:

'You click on Layouts in the list, and you change their formatting and settings in the tabs below the list.’

This sounds really helpful. Where can I find this?

Sorry to be so dumb.

Which Format are you using by the way—the one that is highlighted in the compiler sidebar? You’ve mentioned using the “Chapter Number and Text” Layout, which is indeed one that is provided by the stock “Default” settings (and the screenshot looks like “Default”), but notably that setting will not include the title of your folder, hence my confusion, since it doesn’t seem you’ve progressed to the point of getting to a place where adding folder titles to a pre-existing Layout can be done.

That was addressed in the first bullet point of my initial post. The section of the manual I pointed you to has a detailed step-by-step explanation for how to edit a compile Format. Indeed if that has not yet been accomplished then naturally everything else may seem mysterious. That is why I put it as the first bullet point however. :slight_smile:



Slàinte mhòr.

Amber, I created a custom layout because I thought that’s what the instructions were telling me to do. Would life be simpler if I deleted it and went back to the default layout? I can’t believe I am finding something as simple as changing a font size so complicated.

Jo, thanks for the gif. I’ve watched it many times now, and I think I can see the sequence.

There’s a moment when you click ‘title options’ then the cursor moves down into the title prefix box , hovers but moves away again. Are you checking something there? Am I meant to make sure that the title prefix box on my laptop shows exactly what is shown in the gif? Because it doesn’t.

In the move that comes after that, you click on ‘Formatting’ again, at which point a third box opens up on the right. That doesn’t happen for me—the screen doesn’t change. What have I missed? Should I first make sure the symbols the appear in the ‘title prefix’ box are entered?

I don’t understand what happens in that third box yet. Maybe it will make more sense when I manage to open it up.

Thank you both for persevering with this, with me.


The movement after ‘title options’ is just to indicate the layout that is being used. If the 3 in your screenshot is the chapter number and Honolulu, June 1937 is the chapter title that is being picked up from the name of a folder or file in the binder, you would need to click on the same title options tab and enter a paragraph return (or a space) to separate the chapter number from the chapter title.

I apologise for this, but the third box is a red herring: it is just the gif looping round and starting again.

To change the look of the number and title, select the dummy text in the formatting tab and then use the font controls that are available in that tab to apply the design you want: font face, font size, font weight, spacing, etc.

Hope this helps.

Slàinte mhòr.


Thank you SO much. I hope I have learned not just how to do this specific thing but also how to navigate Compile with a bit more confidence. It’s still a monster, but maybe not quite a T. Rex any more.[/u]

Really appreciate your patience and perseverance.

Good news. Very happy to help.

Good luck with the book. I am sure it will be a big success.

Slàinte mhòr.