Controlling Auto-Numbering Start Value?

Hello! First post. Hope I don’t screw this up. :slight_smile:

I have a fairly standard “Parts with Chapters” novel. I use auto-numbering throughout, and that works great when I want to compile the whole book.

What I’m interested in doing (and am having less luck with) is compiling each “part” as its own file–as though it was a serial novel.

When I do this, the auto-numbering system (of course) starts counting parts and chapters at “1”… with predictable results. “Part 4” of the novel compiles as “Part 1”, and “Chapter 18” of the novel becomes “Chapter 1” (because it is the first chapter in part 4, say).

What I’d like to be able to do is tell Scrivener to start auto-numbering (for parts and chapters) at (n) for this specific compile, and let it do its thing otherwise.

Is there a way to do this? What obvious thing am I missing? I searched the forum here and didn’t find it, and haven’t seen it in the documentation on auto-numbering either. But I’m hopeful!

And, thanks so much for making such an incredible tool. It has radically changed my life. :slight_smile:


Hello, welcome to the forum! Glad to hear the software has been of benefit. :slight_smile:

So, when you select the book in the Compile contents pane as your compile group, you should see a second button appear to the right of that main drop-down, with an option to Treat compile group as entire draft. With that off, compile will do all of the number counting in the background for the whole draft folder, meaning the eighth folder being printed as a chapter will start with 8 instead of 1. Does that do what you are looking for, or are you using some other method to select “Part 4”?

HAH! Wow. Yes, that is exactly what I needed - but I didn’t know that was there!

Here’s why:

What I have been doing is using filters in the compile pane to select what “parts” I want to compile. But by doing that, I had left the “book” selection you pointed out alone (pointed at the top-level), and so that drop-down never appeared for me.

What I learned: filters are not the right method for publishing in parts! Got it!

Thank you so much!! :slight_smile:


You’re welcome! Yes, filters are great, but better for selective tasks like weeding out things like notes and alternate revisions.

Hey there! Coming back to this topic, with a new problem.

It’s a little complicated. I hope this makes sense.

The situation: I have a novel, laid out in “part” folders that contain “chapter” folders inside them. Pretty standard stuff all around.

The goal: I want to export PDFs (and .mobi files, and more formats later perhaps) for a) the whole book, and b) the same text but split into three smaller books (like a serialized version of the story). So I would like to end up with “Novel full version” and also “Novel ep.1”, “Novel ep.2” and “Novel ep.3” - and in the end, the reader could get the same story from both approaches.

The problem: I can’t seem to get part/chapter numbering working at the same time as multiple front-matter sections.

Here is why (I think):

As you see from the top of this thread, my first attempt was to use filters when I exported the “ep.” books, to export only those relevant chapters. That didn’t work, because it messed up the chapter/part numbering (ep2 would start with Part 1 / Chapter 1, which was weird and inconsistent with the full novel). So, that didn’t work.

But, cool, using the method of organizing my docs in such a way as to let me select the correct “ep.” sub-folder in the primary compile group drop down in the compile dialog box solved that problem. Now I have three files, with parts and chapter numbers that match the full book.

The problem is that when I go to compile one of the “ep.” files, and select the correct sub-folder for the compile, the “add front-matter” option gets greyed out. :frowning:

I currently have different front-matter folders for different formats. I was hoping to use that system to add different introductions to each of the “ep.” versions, different title pages, etc. But it is starting to look to me now that if I want to go this route I’ll have to handle front-matter by adding pages to each section that I then manually control. :frowning: If so, dealing with that across multiple formats is going to be a bummer (obviously - that’s why the front-matter feature exists in the first place :stuck_out_tongue: )

Am I missing something? Is there a way to get front-matter attached to a sub-section in compile? I can’t be the first person who has wanted to produce sliced-up versions of his book from the same structure, I figure. :slight_smile:


Ah okay, my suggestion to use the proofing settings to bump the starting number up was meant only in a narrow sense since, after all, this is a proofing tool (i.e. printing out chapter 8 and not chapter “1” just because that’s all you selected) it doesn’t insert front matter, because ordinarily if you want to proof chapter 8 you aren’t going to also want the copyright and dedication pages. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure if you’re going to find any set of options that works for precisely what you are doing. If you are responsible for designing and constructing the physical books as well as everything else, you’ll nearly always need multiple tools for the job. Scrivener has a lot of checkboxes, but it can’t have a checkbox for everything anyone will want to do. :slight_smile:

Hmm, one tip I can think of, something I’ve been doing for ages when I need a counter to start higher than “1”: put in your front matter folders a quantity of auto-number counter tokens equal to the number of chapters that precede the first in this volume. To provide a simple example, say we are on volume 2, and volume 1 had six chapters. In a file in the front matter we could put:

<$n><$n><$n><$n><$n><$n> <$R>

Now the next time the compiler uses “<$n>” in your chapter title, since we’re up to six, we get “Chapter 7”, and the next time we use “Volume <$R>” we’ll get “II”. Then you’d simply remove the “123456/II” lines from the compiled output using an appropriate file editor.

We might, in a future version add a special code that can bump the starting number for a stream up, so you wouldn’t need fifty “<$n>”’s to print the number “51”.

Coooool. I think that’s going to do it. At least, I think I can use that to get where I want to go. I was looking for something like that before and wasn’t able to figure it out.

Thank you again!!!