Change position of "Compile Draft"

I just experienced some confusion about differences between the Export command and the new Compile Draft one. I kept trying to get a multiple-file folder exported as a single file via Export > Files… and of course that produced many files instead of one.

Finally I noticed Compile Draft, way down at the bottom of the File menu. I hestitated because I didn’t want the entire draft, just part. But it brought up a dialog offering choices, and it worked, very nicely–just took a while to get me there.

Suggestion: raise the Compile command to the Import/Export box

Import >
Export >
Compile >

and after Compile give these options:

Part of Draft…
Entire Draft…

To me, Compile Draft was not entirely clear, and its position on the menu suggested a final, end-task instead of an intermediate one. I am not done with drafting, just sending part of it as a DOC file to an editor.

Hmm, I kind of like where it is now personally. I use it when I’m finished with a project to get it into another program for formatting and printing. I think it is quite different from an export.

You are right, if you are seeking a compilation of ALL the files in your Draft. But what if you want to compile PART of them? The logic driving this task leads a user (me, at least) to Export, not Compile.

The Export command currently sends out a slew of files, which are not in Draft order. (That’s a consequence of the Finder sort order, not Scrivener.)

To preserve the Draft order, you must use Compile Draft. It does offer a choice of compiling some or all of the Draft chapters. It’s good to have that choice, but “Compile Draft” is not a helpful command. I suggested a sub-menu to clarify, but Keith rejects that idea.

Anyway, I hope you see my point. It’s a real issue, for a writer who wants to share a chunk of draft with an editor or co-writer who doesn’t use Scrivener. Maybe it would be clearer to add an element to the Export menu, such as


And an exported Folder contains a compiled set of Files within that Folder.

druid - I do see what you’re saying but compile, to me, means a draft is leaving the program even if it is just part of a longer draft. The export command is, to me again, for getting everything out of a project which includes the draft but also any research files, etc.

I think it’s just one of those things though. Horses for courses and all that.

I would also expect that this command, like the Export Draft function in 1.3, will be more than adequately explained in the finished tutorial.


I already explained in the beta testing thread ([url=]here[/u]) why it would make no sense for this menu item to be split up into two submenu items (“whole draft” and “part of draft”), given that the one sheet performs both of these actions. It would require having two separate Compile sheets, one which dealt with part of the draft, and one with the whole draft, but both of which did exactly the same thing in every other respect. So that part of your suggestion doesn’t make much sense to me from either a UI or technical standpoint.

As for repositioning “Compile Draft…” so that it appears under Export, that may make sense. On the other hand, its position at the bottom of the menu draws attention to its importance. I open to opinions on that.

Antony - what do you mean that you would expect this to be better explained in the finished tutorial? The Compile Draft command is already explained under “Exporting the Draft”, which should familiarise users with the command. Perhaps I could rename that Import and Export section to Import, Export and Printing…

All the best,

Ah, sorry - not a rag on the tutorial at all. I just assumed you hadn’t yet written that section in the beta tutorial*, because otherwise I don’t quite see how Druid’s confusion would have come about. Unless he didn’t read the tutorial in the first place, of course.**

*I’m still on 1.08, because I’m halfway through a big job and don’t want to have to reload/redefine all the Extras, autofill script elements, etc., until it’s finished.

**I don’t know how it is in the current builds, but perhaps a more strongly-worded ‘suggestion’ that users should read the tutorial is in order? It would avoid a lot of questions that seem to have come up lately, as Scrivener increases in popularity.


I’ve kept up with all the tutorials except the more recent ones, when this big change appeared. Since August I’ve been finishing a novel, and my editor wants to read part of it in Word. A nervous, distracting time for an author. I upgraded to the latest beta and ran into a snafu. I’ll get used to the new Compile command. Of course, we all should keep up with the tutorials. But even a veteran user may not, now and then.


@Druid - That’s fair enough, I certainly understand how easy it is to lose track of the outside world for a while when you’re hard into writing. But one has to ask why you would then download the latest beta without first reading the change log, especially if you’re aware that you’ve been ‘out of the loop’ for some time.

I’m not ragging on you, but this issues was discussed at length here on the forum before Keith made the change. So your initial post was rather odd.