"Empty Line" Separator Feature Request

Now that I’m beginning to get my head around Compile, I have a problem and know I’m going to have it more in the future. I do not rigidly structure my Binder hierarchy. This is because I do not always write a given scene or beat as a single document. I tend to subdivide more deeply, but not always. Hence the lack of a rigid hierarchy.

That means when it comes time to compile, I’m often fighting to get my separators to show up where they should, and equally important, to not show up where they shouldn’t.

Currently, the issue is the Short Story template. I have turned off all of the folders in my Binder for Compile. As I understand it, that makes all my transitions text->text. But now the issue is that I get a separator between the “First Page Header” and the first scene. Yuck.

And imagine that I had a deeply nested hierarchy of folders (assume the folders themselves are all unchecked in Compile) and I only wanted separators at specific places (that defy the use of the current “level” UI because the hierarchy nests irregularly).

Because of this current need (which forces me to edit compile’s output document) and the perception of even more issues when I get to longer form work, I’d like to ask for an “Empty Line” separator metadata checkbox and Compile column. This would be used in my first case to turn off the separator that the current compiler places between the “First Page Header” and the first scene by replacing the algorithmically determined one with an Empty Line. And in more deeply and irregularly nested hierarchies, I could then explicitly state where I wanted the separators replaced by empty lines. The default value would be False, that is, include the separator returned from the current algorithm.

This would make compiling incredibly complicated with a lot of ticking and unticking necessary. It would also make switching between different compile formats which require different separator types unnecessarily difficult. The ultimate aim in Compile (nearly fully achieved in the next update of the Mac version) is to require as little fiddling with the settings when switching between completely different presets as possible, and tick-per-document would frustrate this. (The “page break before” is still there to force things, but this setting tends to be useful for all formats anyway.)

At the moment, you are free to structure however you want, and for most set-ups - where the structure is consistent - setting up compile is fine. Where the structure is completely random, with items of the same type occurring at different levels, then yes, you may need to do a little restructuring prior to compile. But there’s already a lot of flexibility provided by the current separators - and I’ve spent a lot of time playing with various different formats and various different structures to ensure this.

In the case of the short story template though, no, don’t un-tick the folder below the page header - that’s the problem. The presence of the folder ensures that the text/folder separator is used - an empty line rather than a hash. If you untick the folder then you have only all text documents, so won’t get the effect you want.

So, that’s a “no”, sorry! :slight_smile:

All the best,

Thanks for thinking about it, Keith. And thanks for giving me a solution to my current problem. Very helpful, as always.