Documentation Diagrams & Debug Output

The documentation needs more diagrams. Not screenshots - diagrams. Complex hierarchies and precedence issues are far easier to see in a diagram than in words.

The interaction of Global and Project compilation presets and their interaction with output formats is crying out for a diagram. Ditto the various mechanisms for generating page breaks in the output or setting fonts… you see the output but have no idea which rule yielded the result you’re seeing.

Here’s a radical idea… have a DEBUG output format specially for Scrivener which dumps short codes into the output file telling you the exact origin of each piece of formatting… let’s say I have a preset called CreateSpace with the Separator setting “Insert page break before documents with sub-documents.” option ticked. The debug file would have [CP:CreateSpace Sep:SDPB:True]… if however it was a manual page break from Contents panel [CP:CreateSpace Con:PB:True]

I do agree with you, for some things, especially the conceptual, a diagram can be a more effective method of illustrating a concept. The lack of such stuff is more a symptom of time deprivation than anything else.

The tools for creating such a compile preset should in most cases already exist. The checkbox you mentioned, in Separators, is an exception (and one that will not always exist)—but with the others you could use a custom text marker for the separator to see the result in test compiles. Meanwhile all Formatting types/levels can be coded using the Prefix/Suffix title fields. You can also switch off all placeholder evaluation so that numbering codes and such can be evaluated. That can be particularly useful if you use complex Replacements and other tricks to build more involved counters and meta-data variables from other conditions in the text.

What type of problem are you trying to solve, however? Ordinarily this level of analysis is not necessary. Are you looking for a stray page break code? You can actually search for those if you need to. Just insert one with Edit/Insert/Page Break and then select and cut it, then paste into project search.