Chapter numbering policy

I am trying to work out the best way to handle chapter numbering. In my Word days I left this to Word, moving around chapters in the outline and letting them auto renumber at will. I am not sure how or if to deal with this in Scrivener. Any advice please?
Should I…

Number manually
Try some auto numbering technique I have yet to find?
Forget about the whole thing because I will always have to export the finished manuscript to Word and do it there anyway

I ask in part because I finished my last book in Scrivener and ended up doing the chapter numbering manually. Which proved to my editors, finally, that I can’t count.

You can use the auto-numbering. Auto-numbering in Scrivener isn’t live as it is in word - rather you just insert a keyword that will get changed to a number upon export. See the Edit > Insert menu. Or you can just add in the codes by hand. For instance:


Will get changed to an arabic numeral (counting from 1 and incrementing every time it is encountered upon export).

For more details, see the Menus > Edit Menu section of the Help file.

Hope that helps.

Dear David
Judging by your photograph youre a lot younger than I am, so, I feel Im standing on reasonably secure foundations, when offering these words of advice and encouragement: to be innumerate is no big deal! We all have our limitations, and we cope, by learning to live with them ( be they: physical; sexual; intellectual; emotional; psychological and financial; that covers all mine, you may have others), but as long as you can read your bank statement, and are able to differentiate between £1, £10, £10. 50p, £1050, £10500, I would`nt trouble myself unduly, if I were you.

Take care

PS Dont turn your back on Deaver, you cant trust him!

Aha! And you can restart numbering within a section too! And when it exports to Word it exports the number as a character and not a code!

Poifect. I imagine the best way to replicate the chapter folder for each new chapter is simply to duplicate the first one then. And add in the restart code <$rst> in the first chapter for each section (which is actually a lot easier than restarting in Word or Pages). My goal with this book is to achieve everything, including the post-delivery revisions, entirely within Scrivener, only exporting to Word when I send it off to the publishers. This helps enormously.

I was innumerate when I was young, Vic, so age is irrelevant. After JD’s work on The Chopin Manuscript I’d trust him with anything. Writers who kill people for a living are, by and large, the most generous authors of all. It’s the romantic novelists you have to look out for. Spawn of Satan.

That sounds right, yes. There is sub-numbering of one-level available for arabic numerals, too, but it sounds as though you have what you want.

I’d be interested to hear how you get on in delivering everything in Scrivener - you should be able to for a novel (I wouldn’t expect the same for an academic paper or screenplay, but for a novel I would hope everything is available that you would need).

All the best,

The issue with doing the post-delivery editing in Scrivener is an odd one. Neither of my publishers do any electronic editing (few big publishers do as far as I can see). I get edited paper manuscripts just like the old days. But occasionally I will get references to ‘something on P81’ or the like.

This is often very confusing, because an American publisher will print out in US letter and a UK one in A4. Along with font substitution issues this can make such communications pretty much meaningless. I normally just say, ‘Tell me how the sentence starts’. Then search on that. No reason why I can’t do that in Scrivener. Mind you I have been writing in Word since the thing came out in 1984 so this is not an easy break…

PS. Is there a trick to get page numbering to start on page three? I can see the ‘skip page one’ control but if you put quotes or something between the cover page and the first real page you’d want that skipped too. No big deal if not… I just wondered if there was a cunning trick.

I’m afraid not, no. In that circumstance it would probably just be better to put the quotes page outside of the Draft and print it off separately.