Chapter Numbers Fail When Compiling A Chapter At A Time

Hi L&L,

I’m having problems with my chapter numbers when I compile a chapter at a time (I’m compiling for PDF).

If I compile the whole book, everything’s fine and my chapter numbers do what they’re supposed to do.

However, if I select a filter to say include only the current selection … in this instance, Chapter 2, it compiles Chapter 2 with the heading Chapter One.

Am I missing something/doing something wrong here?

Thanks Guys/Girls


Are your chapters in subgroups (such as folders)? If so, then you can set up Scrivener to apply the chapter number as though the entire draft were being compiled, even though you are only printing one of them.

After selecting Format > Compile…, the Summary pane appears (note that you can also do this from the Contents pane of “All Options”). After “Compile:”, the default is to compile your Draft folder. Click on the “Draft” option, then choose the subgroup/folder containing the chapter you want to print. The display changes to show a button called “Compile group options…” next to your selection field. If you click on that button, you will see an option to “Treat compile group as entire draft” – make sure that this is unchecked/deselected. Now, when you compile, Scrivener calculates the numbering as though the whole draft folder were involved, so your chapter number should appear as you wish.

(Section 23.5 of the user manual (Mac version) describes how to use this option to achieve the opposite effect, i.e. selecting this option to force each subgroup/folder to restart the numbering.)

I hope this helps.

Hi Astrid,

I really appreciate you helping me with this.

I can’t find that option to “treat compile group as entire draft” … that sounds EXACTLY what I need but can’t see it there.

It says in the manual that a secondary menu should appear with “compile group options” but I don’t see that menu option.

This is Scrivener 2.2 (15858) for Mac OS. I’ve included a screenshot of what I do see.

Thanks so much


Hi Gilly,

Towards the top of the pane, where you have selected “Current selection”… click on that selection, and you will see that the top item offered in the list is Draft (or Manuscript, or whatever you may have renamed it to be). If you have subgroups/folders, these will appear immediately below the Draft option, indented. Select the folder/subgroup you want, and the “Compile group options” button will magically appear (in the position currently occupied by “Include subdocuments” in your screenshot).

If your chapter isn’t in a separate folder or nested subgroup of documents, you might want to introduce folders to your binder structure to enable this feature.

Hope this helps.

Hi Astrid,

No, that doesn’t happen for me. So I suspect it’s because my chapters are all subfolders (not subfiles within subfolders) under the main draft. I did that for a specific reason when I first set up the book … but I’ll be damned if I can remember what that reason was now!!

I’ll have a look at reorganising it into subfiles and see what happens.

Thanks for your help. I’ll post if that ultimately solves it for any future forumers!

All the best

You could just compile the whole thing to PDF, and then from the, select just the pages you want to print from there. Not as convenient, but certainly easier than reorganizing your project…

Hi Robert,

Thanks … It’s a good idea. It did cross my mind, and if reorganising into folders doesn’t work for me, it will be my only option I think. The problem is, I was hoping to convert a chapter at a time to Kindle.

Oh well!

If you wish to make post-compile changes for Kindle, then it’s best to use ePub out of Scrivener, and then something like Sigil to edit the .epub file. Once you’ve done that, open the .epub file in Kindle Previewer to automatically create a .mobi file.

Hi Astrid,

You’re an absolute star - that totally solved the problem.

Reorganised the whole book so that the chapter subfolders no longer contain the chapter itself; created a subfile for each chapter under each subfolder and compiled using the subfiles instead of the subfolders.

Can now compile, using the ‘Compile Group Options’ and deselecting the option to ‘Treat Compile Group As Entire Draft’ and it now recognises that chapter 2 is chapter 2, giving it the heading accordingly.

Took a bit of time with 35 chapters, but got there in the end.

And Amber … thanks for the Kindle comment. The compiled chapter was previously crashing the kindle app, but tested it with the compiled subfiles (instead of a compiled subfolder) and it seems to have worked.

Thanks so much - L&L team on the ball as always.

All the best