compiling still not working for novel

I installed Scrivener beta 2.1 and I tried to compile the project using the Novel MS format option. I had reviewed the project in Scrivener and everything looked okay.

Once I had compiled it, I opened up the .rtf document in Word and suddenly my file was more than twice as many pages as I expected. When I scrolled down, half of a couple of chapters ended up having only one letter per line, e.g. the word “looked” takes up 6 lines. Then, the following chapter had the title of a subfolder in the Chapter space after compiling. I cannot delete the subfolder without ending up deleting everything in the folder. (I imported each chapter after one of the betas deleted the whole project and would not recognize the backup but that was like the third beta that came out.)

I had umpteen pages with only a single letter on each line.

And the Chapter title pages are still scrunched

Started writing a play (April is Script Frenzy, of course). I’m still not certain I believe in Scrivener as a script-writing tool. I’ve played around with it a little bit, and after customizing the scriptwriting settings and having those stick (at least for now; I suppose I should close Scrivener and see if it stays, but at least it’s not crashing), I believe in Scrivener for scripts a little more, but what I’d really like is a page-counting tool … There’s the thing that will count pages based on number of words, but CeltX tells me how many pages of script I have based on the size of a page while I’m typing …
Sorry. I suppose that could have gone into a wish list post …

Anyway, I was compiling y script to find out how many pages I had, and to see which compile would be the best option, and I tried RTF first, and found that my script that has a cover page, a character sheet, a setting sheet, and the beginnings (a third of a page is the longer one) of two scenes–this script was suddenly 33 pages. Because it was a letter a line.
The PDF, on the other hand, worked beautifully. And that works out better, anyway: Screnzy requires a PDF upload so their nanobots can count the number of pages. But, you know, until we can compile into ODT, RTF is my normal go-to …

Er, I can’t test this right now, but I think the Windows version has Project Statistics, yes? I’ll double-check this later, but that should give you a page count for the Draft (with an option to count only what’s set to compile?) based on your compile settings. True it’s not a live count in the bottom of the screen, but it’s simple to pop it open after a streak of writing to check your Frenzy progress.

Sorry I don’t have Windows running or the manual open to double check this, but I know you could basically do that in 1.54 on the Mac so I’m guessing Windows has something comparable.

You’re right. It has that option. But it counts pages based on words*. I did tell it to count 200 words as a page, rather than 350 (based on the roughly 20,000 words a 100-page script tends to be), and at this point (with two complete pages and three incomplete pages–so, not a lot), the Scrivener page-counter matches the PDF file. I’m just worried that eventually, once I have 50 or so pages, Scrivener’s word-counting function will be off from the PDF, and I’ll have to compile multiple times a day (to make sure I got that 3.33 pages for the day), because for a script, it’s not about words. It’s all about the size of the page, and there’s a lot of white space built in.
CeltX just gave a dashed line (or something similar) and a page number to indicate that you had moved to a new page. It was really easy to keep track of. And it was based on the size of a page.
And I don’t see why Scrivener can’t have the same thing … eventually.

But thank for the response; I appreciate it …

*There’s also this question of paperback pages vs. printed pages, and I’m not certain what that means. I’ve been paying attention to the printed pagecount, because that seems to be closer to what I want. But it was confusing when I first looked at it …

To clarify, the paperback page count uses the words-per-page count as a rough estimate of how many paper-back-sized pages your book would be. The printed count will go off your compile settings, so it will use that page size, margin space, etc. That’s the one you want to use for your Script Frenzy count, and it should be fairly reliable.

The difficulty with Scrivener giving a dynamic page count in the footer as you work is that there’s a lot to account for. Since you can work in small chunks, not every document in your binder is going to be a full page. You might set some to have a page break before them when you compile. You might choose not to include all the documents in the compile. You might have a lot of annotations or footnotes which you decide to strip (thus reducing the page count). And one of the biggest things–you might entirely change the formatting when you compile. Your documents in Scrivener may use a one font family and size, with single spacing for paragraphs and no paragraph indents, and then you might compile in an completely different font, double-spaced, first-line indented. It would drastically change the count. So Scrivener does it’s best to calculate all that roughly when you open the Statistics, but it’d be hard to do constantly while you type.

The new Mac version of Scrivener does have a Page View mode that simulates writing on individual pages, and from that, if you set it up so that your work space matches your compile settings–ie, you use the same margins, same paper dimensions, same formatting–then it will provide you a fairly good estimate for the section you’re working in (and you can load it all up in a Scrivenings session to get the big picture count). So I know you don’t have that yet on Windows, but it’ll get in there eventually. And even with that, it’s still an estimate–you can still end up with something different if you’re dealing with page-layout issues like footnotes, etc. But for a script you’re less likely to have the formatting trials, so it’s pretty good for that.

Thank you for the detailed and informative answer. I will continue to stare at the printed page count.

And, I’m not so worried about a page count at the bottom of the page; two clicks to find my page count is fine (especially since I only care about page-count when I’m dealing with a script). I do covet the Mac Page View function, though. That’s what I’m used to from CeltX, and it’s what I want for Windows-Scrivener.

Thank you again. You have been very helpful.

I have been having the problem described by the OP for a number of weeks, despite two beta upgrades in this period.

I compile and the first 50 pages or so are ok, then one word per line for hundreds of pages, and the manuscript also cuts off before the end.

(When opting to export files instead as a backup alternative, Scrivener puts up the “Export successful” notice and promptly freezes, requiring shutdown from the Task Manager.)

I need to compile my work regularly and without having a reliable way to do this, I have had to temporarily abandon Scrivener.

Does anyone have a solution to this problem? I’ve emailed Lee about it a couple of times but had no response to date.


I’m also having this problem. my manuscript went from an rtf that was around 300+ pages to almost twice that

I have found the same in the script format.I’m doing the scriptfrenzy and went to compile as is in word.doc . I was surprised at 141 pages when the statistics said 11 print pages. the I looked- everything was one letter a line!
I’m also having problems with the cut to and scene headings, sometimes they work, sometimes they flip to earlier up the page and sometimes they don’t work at all.

Re: the one-letter-per-line compile problem, this has been noted and Lee’s working on it. Meanwhile, someone else looked into the problem and has a fix you could check out: