Compiling an Outline Doesn't Seem to Work

I like the Scrivener outline view. It provides a nice way for me to pre-plan the bits I need to write before knocking them out one at a time as manageable chunks. However, I often run into the need to share my outline with others who don’t use Scrivener, and the ideal way for me to do so would be as a PDF or Word document. And in particular, what I’m looking for is what seems to me like the very simple ability to get what I see on the screen produced as one of those document formats.

I find I can sometimes use the option to print the current document to a PDF. Why it’s grayed out much of the time I don’t understand, but on those rare occasions it’s available it usually works. But it would be far nicer if I could compile an outline with numbered headings and properly indented levels. And nothing I do in that compile dialog makes one bit of difference.

I’ve been trying to learn from an article I found on the subject, but again nothing I change there matters. I can create a custom outline format, and I can tick boxes to include titles, synopses, etc., but every single time I get the same output: the content of my document, which I don’t want, compiled without any of the outline stuff I do want, regardless of whatever boxes I’ve ticked.

Can anybody point me in the right direction? Thanks.


I’ve just tested it on mine, and I see the following:
If I took “Enumerated Outline” compile Format as it was, indeed, it gave me the text, but without any titles, numbers etc.

I went to “Assign section layouts” and corrected to have this:

And the resulting PDF looks like this:

Is this the result you’re looking for?

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I do believe that would give me what I want, yes, but how did you do that? I don’t see any obvious way to get the section layouts to look the way you have them. And I guess I don’t understand what the boxes do when I double click a format to edit it at all. Is there any documentation that explains this interface? I find it entirely opaque. Thanks!

Ok, what I did was:
Format: Enumerated Outline
Click on the button “Assign section layouts”

I see section types: Heading, Section.
For each of them I clicked on “Decimal Outline Item”:

(both have the same layout chosen now)
Click OK
The result is this:
Now I can click Compile and get the result as listed above.

If you want to add summaries, you can click this little yellowed Edit control:

Click button “Duplicate Format & Edit Layout”, it will create a duplicate of this Format and allow you to edit the Layout, so you can add in Synopsis:

Now Save and run Compile.
I don’t use synopsis, so this is not very useful for me, but it did add the few I have in my project.

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First, I apologize for the delay; I’ve been so busy with other things. Second, thank you so much! A bit of fiddling enabled me to take what you’d provided and get what I wanted. I think maybe there’s something about my mind/brain that just doesn’t get how that whole UI is supposed to work. Even after you’ve explained it, it still seems very confusing to me. Thanks again!

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