compiling - sections, page breaks, styles

In the process of writing a dissertation and I’m compiling to word, since I need to sync via endnote with references. To make the process easier, I’m trying to compile styles for chapter headings, section headings, sub sections so that I can easily make an enumerated list there for a ToC in word before migrating to another layout package (like indesign), but for the dissertation itself I may well stay in word.

The ToC is most easily generated when doing advanced find/replace for styles and changing my sections and subsections to Heading(x) styles in Word. Others have described this process and it works totally fine for my purposes.

However – and I’m not sure this is a bug – when I try to separate the top level folder (the chapter) where the folder title, and a quote (as text in the folder) appear onto a page by itself (with a page break at the end), the first instance of a section heading (ie Section 1.1) appears fine, but is not styled properly.

  • If style is “section” in Scrivener, all headings except the very first one use this style. The first instance takes the font family and size, but simply not the style, appears as Normal + in word styles pane.
  • if I simply go with all defaults in section layout structure, and have no page breaks after the folder level structure (pure defaults), everything is fine, and the first instance of a section heading appears normally with the appropriate style from within Scrivener.

I can’t figure out if this is something to do with pagebreak in section layout that I haven’t noticed, or its a glitch. But I’ve narrowed it down to one tick one box (id use defaults, or override in top level section with pagebreaks) it either works, or doesn’t. I get the same results whether I use .docx or .rtf as compiled output.

This is not major for me (I can do some manual work still) but was curious if anyone else was having this too.
Hope that’s clear. Can send through screenshots, if it helps.
Thanks in advance – great product!

scrivener 3.02; Macbook macOS 12.6.4; Word 16.12

There are a number of potential factors going on here that may be difficult to address without a more detailed description of what is going on—for example there are so many different ways to accomplish this: “when I try to separate the top level folder (the chapter) where the folder title, and a quote (as text in the folder) appear onto a page by itself (with a page break at the end), the first instance of a section heading (ie Section 1.1) appears fine, but is not styled properly”.

So, in the interest of cutting past the variables, I’m attaching a sample project that seems to be doing what you want, give or take the particulars of the text layout itself, and I’ll point out how I am achieving the various effects (pardon me if I go over stuff you already know—future readers may benefit). Feel free to use whatever you wish from it—or point out where you are doing something different and how: (91 KB)

  1. When you open the project it should be to an Outliner view, chiefly for the purpose of demonstrating the Section Type structure setup in this project. Visit the Project/Project Settings... Section Types pane for details on how that all works. There are points in your description where it almost sounds like you are referring to Types as styles—but in Scrivener we would distinguish between named types as structural, or hierarchical, elements—and the manner in which text is formatted/structured in the editor. With a program like Word it’s all mixed up into the same view, but since in Scrivener outline structure has a hard dichotomy with content, we use different terms. There isn’t a section style, but there is document Type called “Section”.

    Perhaps you do have a style called “Section”, and that is what you mean, but I wasn’t clear on that and it seemed like you meant it more in the sense of a whole section, or binder item.

  2. You can click through the example text but there is nothing much to see here outside of the epigraphs in the folder text—one of which I’ve opened to the side in a Copyholder. I suppose one notable thing is what is missing—styles. You won’t find a hint of headings or styled text anywhere in the drafting area. I deliberately chose a “writerly” font that has nothing to do with the final output to emphasis this point.

  3. So with default settings, head into File/Compile... and give them a spin. Everything is set up to go to RTF. Open the result in Word and click around a bit—see how everything is styled? That’s all the compiler. Better yet, go to the top of the document and insert a ToC. Works out of the box! No messing around with search and replacing by formatting and changing sections into “Heading X” styles in Word every time you compile—those shenanigans were only necessary before we supported styles. :slight_smile: Now you can just call a heading “Heading 1” in Scrivener and if said heading is used or passed-thru the compiler then it can become a formal outline element in the output.

  4. Back in Scrivener, load up compile and double-click on the “Styled Headings” Format in the left sidebar. We’ve got three section layouts:

    • Unnumbered Section: assigned to Front Matter type documents. That’s how we got the “Forward”.
    • Chapter Break: in the Title Options tab, note that I’m using a line break instead of a full paragraph break, to separate the chapter label from the folder title. That should on the whole work better with ToC generators—so we don’t technically have two “Heading 1” lines. We’re also using the Text checkbox on this, since that is where the epigraphs are. They, as styled text in the editor, will convey their own formatting without any help—but since we are overriding formatting for this Section Layout to Times, the editor text will have its font updated (since the Epigraph and Attribution styles themselves do not have anything to say about the font family).
    • Section Text: you mentioned text uses hierarchical numbering with subheads, so I added this in as a demonstration of two things (a) how to do that with a Layout, and (b) to get some “Heading 2” text in there for the ToC example. Of course if one needed subsections and sub-subsections they would need to create additional Layouts with Heading 3 and so on styles.
  5. Next, in the Separators pane, here is where we achieve the page break formula you described. Everything uses “Single Return” everywhere except for the “Unnumbered Section” and “Chapter Break” layouts. The former is straightforward—for front matter we just want a cut before each section. The latter is more interesting in that we are using the Override separator after option, which changes how any following Section type documents will be act. In this case we end up with a chapter page all on its own, without having to do any contorted “First Section” Types or whatnot.

  6. The last pane that is of any interest to this example is Styles. Here is where we have our Heading 1, Heading 2, and yes even Normal set up. You can click through them, though should all be pretty self-explanatory. What is more interesting is going back into the Section Layouts pane, and noting that if you click the ¶a button while selecting different chunks of text in the mock editor, you’ll see paragraphs are getting “Normal” assigned (so you shouldn’t be getting that “Normal+” stuff, and of course the headings.

A clear style-based compile strategy like this should make for a flexible and easily to adapt system as the project migrates from Scrivener into final editing and typesetting & design.

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Out of interest, why don’t you just use Heading(x) styles in Scrivener to avoid having to replace them in Word after you’ve exported?

As for the bug, would it be possible for you to send us a sample project (zipped up) with instructions on how to reproduce it, so that we can take a look? (To AT

Thanks and all the best,

Hi Amber,

I have some questions that you address here but I can’t seem to open the file you attached for demonstration purposes.

  • How do I insert a line break (instead of a full paragraph break) in the Title Options menu? (I get a full paragraph break simply by pressing enter. For a line break I tried
    but that’s not how it works.)

  • I would like to have a chapter page all on its own, just like in your example, but don’t quite understand the Override separator option that you say will help me accomplish this. What do I have to set it to in order to get a page break after the chapter title?

Many thanks for any help you may provide!

Hmm, I don’t know why the project isn’t loading for you, I just tried it myself and it opens fine. What sort of error message did you get?

That aside:

  • You can insert line breaks via the Insert ▸ Break ▸ Line Break menu command, or the associated keyboard shortcut: ⌘⌥↩.
  • The Separators pane is where you will find the override separator option. You want to set that for the chapter break section layout itself, so that it overrides the following Layout’s (in this case “Section Text”) natural separator. So you check the indicated checkbox, and then set the separator type to “Page Break”.

Thank you Amber! It hadn’t occurred to me that you could use the menu while editing compile formats!

It’s rather strange: when I click your file, nothing happens at all. Must be some kind of software glitch at my end…

Weird, I’m assuming you double-clicked it in Finder first to extract the project from the .zip file? Scrivener won’t open the .zip directly. Otherwise I don’t know what is going on there. At least it sounds like you’ve got most of the setup figured out. :slight_smile: