Compiling to PDF not working properly

Mac Version: 10.14.6
Scrivener Version: 3.1.4

I’m having a lot of trouble compiling my chapters into a pdf. It comes out with maybe 30 words on each page instead of looking like my text does in scrivener. I’ve gone through numerous walk-throughs on Youtube, as well as googling this problem over and over, but nothing fixes it. I found one post here that advised converting text to default formatting, and oddly enough, that did work but only briefly. The compile resulted in a proper pdf file. I tried tonight to compile, and it’s back to the initial problem – 30 words on a page. I cleared formatting again, but this time it didn’t fix it. What in the world is going on? I am about to pull my hair out. Please help!

Attached is a picture of the hot mess pdf.

This would be a page size and/or font size issue. Just looking at your screenshots, I’m guessing you’re using a largish font, double-spaced, with a smallish page size.

In the Compile Format editor, look at the Page Settings pane to see your page size and margins. Look at the Formatting tab for the relevant Section Layouts to see the font size.


I’ve never changed the font, it’s just on times new roman, 12pt, but it is double spaced. I’m new to scrivener and I’m not familiar with which settings I need to change.

I also noticed another weird possible clue. When I try compiling to an rtf, it puts a text box around the text, and the text looks just like it does in pdf. Not sure if this is any indication of whatever is causing the problem.