E-book compile in 2.1

Hi KB and gang,

First off, 2.1 is amazing! So many cool improvements. I love, for example, the “different Front Matters for different outputs”, along with the other goodies. It’s really good stuff!

I did want to resurrect a question I had a while back about including a “Start” tag in Kindle outputs. With all the improvements you made to the Compile function in 2.1, the Kindle outputs are now really top notch, and Scrivener is about to become THE one-stop ebook generator everyone is looking for out there. The only tiny little thing it’s missing is the way to identify the “Beginning” of a book in the Kindle version, so that the Kindle will skip the Front Matter and open at the selected “Start” point when you first open a book on it. Most commercially produced Kindle titles have this function and it would be really cool if Scrivener could do it.

Looking at the software, you may have a really easy way of implementing this in the Compile window. When Compile asks you to “Include Front Matter”, would it be possible to simply automatically insert an html “start” tag after the Front Matter since Front Matter is identified separately in the compile?

I know it’s easier said than done, but I figured I would bring it up because I know there is a need for this function with Kindle publishing.

Thanks for all the super cool improvements with 2.1!

The trouble is that I don’t think Kindlegen allows this, does it? Do you know how this start tag is embedded in the file format? Is it in the OPF or NCX file, for instance? If you have any idea where in the format this is added, I’d be happy to take a look.


P.S. Thanks for the kind words by the way!


The way I was able to make it work before is editing the html file and inserting the tag
before the paragraph ("<p" tag) of the point that was the “Beginning”. Does the compile to Kindle process go through an html step when it gets sent to kindlegen? If so, there might be a way to include that tag. Just a suggestion, as I’m not a programmer, I’m just an enthusiastic problem solver and workflow optimizer :slight_smile:

It all has to become HTML first, yes, so if this is all that is necessary, it may well be possible. So, to reiterate (mainly because it’s late on a Saturday and I’ve been on the wine, so I want to ensure I recap on this post when I’m sober :slight_smile: ), if you have an tag in the HTML before you pass stuff through Kindlegen, that’s all that’s needed?


Hmm, okay, I just tried adding an tag to a document, but it had no effect, at least not in Kindle Previewer…

Hi, Keith. Try it without the closing tag; it’s one of those special tags Kindlegen is looking for such as section breaks.

Here’s a sample of my HTML from my first chapter:


and this works in Kindle Previewer.

Hope that helps,

Mossman, thanks for this info! Looks like you’ve been on the same quest I was with this. I’ll have to give this tag a try as well.

Hi KB, I’m just checking back to the forum after being gone a while. Thanks for doing the tests! It’s interesting to know about the HTML step. Did you get the chance to try Mossman’s suggestion? Sounds like it might be the ticket.

Okay, I finally figured this out. Adding an tag does nothing when using Kindlegen to create the .mobi file - further research showed that this is only used when uploading the HTML files to Amazon’s servers, which then take that tag and turn it into a guide item in the OPF file. So the solution was to create a guide item in the OPF file before passing it into Kindlegen. Thus, as of 2.1.1, Go To > Beginning on the Kindle should take you to the first manuscript page and skip any front matter for .mobi files exported from Scrivener.

All the best,

Hi KB,

I just checked back on this thread after little absence. But wow man, it’s really cool that you looked into this and even cooler that you figured it out!

Not that I’m surprised, because we all know you’re a figure out-er!

This is really awesome! Looking forward to the upgrade!

No problem - I’m glad I got it working as it’s definitely an improvement. You should be able to test this new behaviour out in the latest public beta, available here:


Thanks and all the best,

Got around to testing this with the beta. Works like a charm! Thanks! :smiley:

Great! Thanks again for brining this to my attention and helping me improve it.
All the best,

I’m having a problem with spaces between paragraphs. Although my texts always have a blank space between 'graphs, when I compile for .mobi, the results are irregular, sometimes a blank space, and sometimes not. Worse, one project has come out fine, and the other not.

But the Binder versions look identical, and I’ve turned on Options: Show Invisibles to affirm that I have hard returns creating paragraph breaks and the blank spaces. And I use 1.0 line spacing throughout.

I read the manual section "Compiling the Draft " and have tried various settings, but the problems persist. Right now I am trying the “Convert to Plain Text” options, but can only get the first two to show; the two for “All whitespace” are not available.

Any advice is most welcome!