Compile: How to force part/chapter start on odd-numbered page?

This is for Scrivener on Windows 10. I am trying to adapt the built-in Novel with Parts template and having some trouble. Maybe someone can point me in the right direction.

My structure is Manuscript → Part → Chapter → Scene. I am trying to do something when compiling for PDF with the facing pages option enabled. I’ve got everything adjusted the way I’d like, except for the placement of page breaks.

For each Part, I would like a page with nothing but the Part’s title to appear on an odd-numbered (i.e., right-hand side) page. Similarly, I would like each Chapter to begin on an odd-numbered page. My problem is that when a chapter ends on an odd-numbered page, the next Chapter/Part begins on an even-numbered page.

The only option I can find in the Compile Format Designer is for a section to have a Page Break separator before the section (Compile Format Designer → Separators). But I see no way for that to be “Page Break to odd-numbered page”.

Is there any way to have a section always begin on an odd-numbered page and let the compiler decide whether or not there needs to be a blank page inserted for it to turn out that way?


That option is not yet implemented for the Windows version.
For now, you’ll have to insert a <$BLANK_PAGE>.

From the Placeholders document in the Help menu:
<$BLANK_PAGE> Tells the compiler to leave this page blank. At the end of compiling the text, Scrivener goes through looking for potentially blank pages and removes them, but if it finds this placeholder on an otherwise blank page, it just removes the
placeholder and leaves the page blank.

Does this capability exist in the Mac version? If not, where would I submit the feature request (I can’t find a [sub]forum for requests).

In the MAC Scrivener User guide, 24.2.5 New Pages:

Setting which page a section falls on Using the next two options (only available to print and PDF), you can set up common typesetting techniques, such as setting a “part” page to be displayed all by itself on the recto side, with the chapter page following it on the recto side as well and a blank page in between them to do so.

Always start section on The new section can be forced to always start on the
verso (left) or recto (right) side of the book. This will in some cases cause
an empty page to be inserted, in order to keep the chapter on the chosen

Start next section on If the following chunk of text also generates a page break,
this setting will control how it behaves if it otherwise doesn’t use the prior
setting itself.

If you’re on a Mac, why did you tag your post as “Scrivener for Windows”?
There’s also a Wishlist tag for your post.
Bugs go via the Contact option on the L&L website.

I’m not on a mac; I’m on Windows. But the forum post from many years ago says that when making suggestions for Windows, don’t submit requests for things that are already in the Mac version because they already know about it. I asked because I don’t have access to a Mac version.

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Just wondering if this feature has made it’s way to the Windows version yet, or if there is an estimated time on when it will arrive?

Also, just wondering what people are doing at present in order to get around this. (The problem I currently face is if I manually add an extra page break in, if I change content that adds or removes a page later on part way through the book, I have to go through manually each time to restructure the book again). Is there a simpler work-around for this at present, if this feature isn’t coming soon?

Thanks & Regards


No. No. Yes. No. :wink: :wink::wink::wink:

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Thanks for confirming AntoniDol,

My main concern is the ‘No’ to no expected time frame. If after 2 years, there’s no expected time frame, that’s a good indicator that it’s not being worked on at all, and that other things keep taking priority.

While it’s not the answer I’m looking for, I’m thankful. I much prefer a straight honest answer that gives me the info I need to make an informed decision than one that strings people along. Thanks very much for your candor!



@Scoot : Also, just wondering what people are doing at present in order to get around this…

This is the approach I highly recommend, not only because it does what you want right now with minimal effort, but because it’s the right way to do it, in terms of best practices (which means not having to mess around with all of the manual labour issues you refer to). Even if I were using a Mac to generate word processing documents, that is the approach I would take, I would not use Scrivener’s feature.

Do note this link takes you to other posts that go into greater detail, if all of this style-first approach is new, particularly in how to achieve that with the compile settings, and there is also a follow-up post further down in that thread.

That said, I’m speaking mainly here as someone more familiar with the LibreOffice way of doing things. I understand Word isn’t quite the same when it comes to styling. But since LO is free, it’s maybe worth trying. What I really like about the LO is that the stylesheet can drive just about everything you would want to do with page flow, headers and footers, dynamic numbering and so forth. I.e. from one simple “Heading 1” declaration in Scrivener you can end up with a relatively complete design in a matter of seconds—as long as it takes to open the design starter file and run a single menu command to import the compiled .odt file.

The main point of work up front is changing how one approaches compiling, and coming up with a Format that does as little as possible, rather than as much as possible. The more one thinks of what Scrivener creates as raw data (styled text, not formatted text), the better this method works.


Thanks Amber. I’ll look at checking that out. Greatly appreciated!

Sure thing! And I meant to clarify, I kind of went wild with the whole “do everything in post with the template” approach—but all of this can be piece meal. If you’re fine with what you have and just want recto/verso placement control, then that is all you need to modify about the stylesheet in LO:

  1. Compile to ODT.
  2. Add the styling stuff you need to the file.
  3. Delete the text and save it as the starter file you’ll import future compiles into.

For myself though, once I start looking at all of the amazing things I can do, I start thinking to myself, why even bother trying to get an approximate or minimal design out of Scrivener when I can do all of this stuff with the template file? So that’s where I end up treating Scrivener more as a raw data generating engine for creating styled documents. It’s one conclusion, not the only one. :slight_smile: