Compile a single chapter at a time

I find myself constantly needing to export (compile) a single chapter from the manuscript to send to the alpha readers. Currently (unless there’s a better way I’m not aware of) this requires me to go to the Compile dialog, uncheck all the other chapters except the one I want to compile, compile, then check the other chapters back so that my wordcount is accurate. That’s annoying. Wish there was an “Export” option that would work just like Compile but for just the selected document(s).

Thanks! Otherwise, love the app!

I presume your chapters consist of a folder with a number of child documents. Select the chapter folder you want to send out, then in the Compile dialog, ‘Contents’ pane, click the up-down chevrons in the pill-type menu above the main window listing the files and which I guess probably says “Draft” at the moment. At the bottom of the list that drops down, you will find “Current selection”. Choose that, tick the “Include sub-documents”. You’ll find that the compile will be only that chapter.

Another option at the bottom of that menu, there is “search results”, so another way is to give your chapters an individual keyword, use Project Search to find chapters with the appropriate keyword, and then compile with that setting.



I’m not sure if that is what OP is looking for, but this is what I do when I want to compile an extract, chapter or whatever, from the Draft or Manuscript: in the Compile menu I opt-click the top item to clear all. I then click to chose the pages or chapters I want to compile. So far I think it’s all quite easy and straightforward.

I have one gripe/wish though. The pages of the compilation will be numbered 1, 2, … I’d like the pages to have the page numbers they would have had if they were part of the entire compiled draft. i.e. I’d like to be able at a glance to see where a particular extract fits into the whole manuscript as it stands for the moment. That’s a feature (or workaround if there is one) that I would applaud.



You try what I suggested some time … you’ll find it much easier and quicker, because all you have to do is select the folder icon in the binder and away you go. Want to compile a different chapter? No clicking all the files you want in the list in the compile pane, just select the folder in the binder, and if “Include subdocuments” is on, all and only the files in that chapter will be on the list … want to remove one of them? Just remove it there. Seriously, just try.

And when you want to compile the whole book, just go back to that little menu and choose “Draft” at the top—or I suppose it might say “Manuscript” or whatever your Draft folder is actually called.

As for the page numbering, I seem to remember even that might be possible, but it’s not something that has mattered to me, so I can’t remember.


Thanks guys, that does help! One small thing – it may be worthwhile to put the “Current Selection” menu item on top. I have 36 chapters right now, and a bunch of other gunk outside the Manuscript folder. So I’m having to scroll through the menu fairly far to get to the Current Selection item.

But yup, the way you describe works well. Thanks!

One other small suggestion – I wonder at the necessity of having to manually designate something a folder vs. a file. I would think if something contains subdocuments, it’s a folder. If it doesn’t, it’s a file. That was a huge source of confusion for me (rtfm probably :wink:) when I tried compiling and wasn’t getting the results I expected.

Anyway, thanks for the awesome product! Because of Scrivener I’ve actually been able to complete the first draft of my novel. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have gotten there in Word. Thanks!!

That’s maybe not a bad idea to put it at the top, for discovery reasons at any rate. As for accessibility, a nice trick to know about Mac menus is that typing the first few letters of a menu entry will jump to it; typing “curr” is often enough for me. If for some reason other things start with those letters and make it inefficient, you can jump to the bottom of a menu with the End key (fn-RightArrow on compact keyboards).

It gives you options, basically, both with how you interact with them in the binder, and how they can be compiled. You can use folders to designate groups that print a heading or cause a page break, for example, freeing you to use informal file groups as “off the record” outline organisation that, when printed, read like continuous text with no section breaks. If you tend to prefer outlining more closely to the structure of the material, that’s probably less enticing, but the option is there if you want it.

Congrats on the first draft! And thanks, glad to hear it’s been of help.