Complie question

Ok, I understand that the compile process is one of the beauties of Scrivener, but sometimes it can be downright confusing…

What I have is this:

Which as I understand it should compile the contests of the folder ‘Confessions’ into one HTML file.

What I am getting out of the compile process is the whole manuscript in the HTML file, rather than just what I have selected.

What am I doing wrong?


Josh, don’t take my answer as coming from the wise - as you’ll see in the posts below, I’m having my own death-struggle with Compile - but have you tried taking the checkmark off the Pg Break Before column at ‘The Beginning’, ‘Shopping’ and anything else you don’t want included?

Checkmarks for page breaks shouldn’t make a difference; only the ticks for the “include” column. I’m not able to reproduce this at all. What other settings do you have? Could you have accidentally changed the option in the drop-down menu at the bottom from Compile “included documents” to compile “all”? Obviously it’s not like that in your screenshot, though, so it it seems unlikely. Hm, very odd.

I have tried the setting with ‘included documents’, ‘excluded documents’ and finally ‘all’ I’m not sure if this is something inherent to 2.1 or not, but,

These settings:

Yield this result in an RTF export:

Although, I did just try this and also selected the individual scenes for export as well as the folder. Am I mistaken that in 2.0.5 (or what ever the previous release was) you could select a folder (Say ‘Confessions’) and it would export the contents of that chapter only?

Maybe my brain is just fried, or there was some other change to the process behind the scenes…


Not automatically, but in 2.1 as in with 2.0.5 you can definitely do that. What you need to do is use the little drop-down menu at the top of the Contents compile pane to set your “source”, or what is referred to as the “compile group” in the documentation. Scrivener assumes you always want the entire draft folder compiled by default. So to work the way you’ve described, first turn those “Include in Compile” checkboxes back on (you really only need to use those for things that are definitely always on or off, like notes to yourself), then select the folder you wish to compile in the Binder, fire up Compiler, and switch the compile group to “Current Selection” (Hint, you can click once on the drop-down menu to open it, and then start typing in “Curre…” to jump straight to it; useful when this menu is quite long). After doing so, you should see a single folder pop up, the one you selected. Click the “Include subdocuments” checkbox that will appear at the top of the list. Now you should be good to go.

Do note this preference is sticky once you use it. So from this point on the program will indeed automatically work the way you suggest. It might be that it was set up this way before in 2.0.5, but since the Compiler has been revamped so much in 2.1, you lost that preference.

Ok. This makes sense now.

Although, logic still suggests that when you check a folder (or document) that has subdocuments the child documents should automatically be selected. (But maybe this is only my own logic and not the logic of others :slight_smile:)


It’s a personal logic, yes. There really is no right answer to that one. Consider that folders have logical power in Scrivener’s compiler, because they push items up a level, and levels can mean the difference between a chapter and a scene in the Formatter (for just one example). Thus, folders can play an entirely structural role without making any appearance in the output at all, except by the indirect action of impacting everything below it by +1. The ability to strike out a structural element like that without losing the contents of it grants quite a functional punch, and makes some otherwise difficult problems easy (like say, treating front matter one way and chapter files another way).

Besides, as I intimated above, these checkboxes really should be used for static declarations. There are a bounty of ways for isolating and filtering output that do not require toggling checkboxes on and off every time. This is how things were done in 1.x, but it really was an annoyance to have to toggle a bunch of checkboxes every time you wanted to compile just one chapter or another.