Compile questions

I’ve been dabbling with Scrivener for a while, but am now in the middle of writing a short chapter for a book (and making every mistake possible in how not to use Scrivener, lol).

One issue I’ve been trying to figure out is the compile part. I’ve figured out how to enable/disable documents from being included, as well as that each document or section can be tagged. The bigger issue is one of formatting. I’ve made a bit of headway, but not much.

The published provided me with a short Word document to serve as a template for the formatting they require. It shows how each heading, subheading, and body text uses fonts, indentations, justification, and more. However, I’m really struggling to get Scrivener to compile something even remotely close, and my deadline is rapidly approaching.

Can anyone provide me with a few pointers as to how to set up the desired formatting from the Word document into Scrivener? Worst case I’ll export everything is plain text and reformat everything in Word, but then I wouldn’t be leveraging the power of Scrivener. The formatting isn’t very complicated, I just haven’t figured out how to get it into Scrivener, and the few parts I’ve tried to set up haven’t been used when I compile the completed text.


Most importantly, which I found hard to get my head around, is do not format in Scrivener.
I have a 90,000 word thesis and only have one preset style in the entire work. Everything is formatted using the ‘no style’ format. Some text is formatted using what I have called ‘block quote’ where I quote extensively from an author and hence need to indent that quote.

Secondly, use folders to create headings. The thesis is in the main Binder. Each chapter of the thesis is in a folder. Each subsection of the chapter is in a nested folder within that folder, and so on. As an aside, this makes it very easy for editing, as you can easily see an overview of the ‘table of contents’ in the binder view, and easily move sections from one place to another.

Then you need to setup the compiler. In mine, it is setup to compile folders as Heading 1, subfolders as Heading 2, sub-subfolders as Heading 3. All text that is ‘no style’ compiles as ‘normal’ and the block quote creates a new style in word called block quote.

Then, when this is compiled to Word, all I need to do is then format Headings, normal text etc according to the format required – in your case as requested.

Final tip … although you may be pressed for time, just create simple text in one or two nested folders, and compile using two or three different Scrivener templates, including the default. You will then see how the compiler treats text and folders. You may find the default sufficient for what you want.

But remember … do not format in Scrivener

Hope that helps


The basics of the compiler is covered in the interactive tutorial. Did you look there?

Using no format may make for more versatile output, but absolutely you can format text as you like by hand. As KB says, you needn’t use all of Scrivener’s features. I find it useful to treat Scrivener this way. It makes it more like a word processor. Do as you will.