Front Matter formats vs Main Matter format

Is there a way to specify a different format in footers and headers for front/back matter than for the main content? I select Front Matter option but I cannot change the formatting for H/F.
Once I saw a Back Matter option in the H/F list: first pages, new pages, main body, facing pages, back matter. I don’t know how Back Matter got on the option list. I need to have three different formats throughout the book: Front Matter, Main Content, Back Matter. How do I set that up?


You are looking in the right place.

In your compile format / Page Settings, check the option to have a different header and footer for front matter (referred to as “first pages”), and back matter too (another checkbox, near the bottom this time).

Then on the other tab, there is a little list on the left. Select “first pages” and later “Back matter”, set the header and footer the way you want them for each.
(To actually have a back matter you need to set it properly so in the binder, then in the compiler – bottom right.)

…And of course there is the Main body, which is the main book content inbetween.
If you don’t want different headers and footers for pages after page-breaks, odd/even pages etc, make sure to uncheck those options on the first tab, as otherwise you’ll get H&F you don’t want.
Best way to know what should and shouldn’t happen is that little list in the second tab. It lists all the “active” situations.
You may not have a single chapter that is <1 page long, but if you do and left this unattended (say it shows up in the list but you thought that you don’t need it and just didn’t care), you might have a bad surprise later on.

I setup the Front Matter but it is counting pages from the Title Page on, despite turning off the options checkbox to “Page numbers count first pages.”
Main body header and footer starts [After front matter] but the page numbers are not; they start on the title page.
I am having the exact same trouble with <$pageGroupTitle> and <$pageGroupParentTitle> selecting the wrong level as before. It picks the grandparent (Front Matter) and the parent instead of the selection title.

Where is your front matter, in the binder ? (It has to be outside of your draft/manuscript.)

Did you also set it up at the bottom right of the compiler ?

My Binder and Options panels are shown in the screenshots:

I am getting the (wrong) header on the chapter title pages, even though earlier I had no headers (as desired). I’ve changed this so many times I can’t remember what the working versions were. ;-(

If it helps, here is the Binder layout in the Compile page. Note that the Front Matter and Back Matter folders are not shown.

“Page numbers count first pages” doesn’t prevent first pages from being numbered. They will be if there is a page number placeholder in their H/F setup. It only determines if Main body page 1 will be page 1 or 6/7/8 depending on the length of the front matter.

BTW : I made a mistake earlier, single page documents don’t actually get a specific H/F and therefor there is no setting for it listed in the second tab. But it doesn’t affect my point, so I’ll just leave it.

OK, I get that. But how do I suppress the page numbers on the title page and copyright page, but allow <$p-r> page numbers in the Preface following, and have it start with “i”. It was working before, until I added the main body formatting. I need a followup-page format after First Pages.

Technically, in a straight forward “use the app the way it is intended to be used” fashion, you can’t.

If you want to achieve that, either use the functions to have no H/F on single pages at the risk of having other pages undesirably unnumbered.
The best solution for cases like this is to have them numbered just like the rest of the front matter and remove/fix them numbers afterwards, in a third party text editor (at the very end).

@drmajorbob I believe knows a way that involves tricking the app into thinking there is an image or something. He could say. I can’t.

This is the third time I’ve heard: compile Scrivener then go use some other tool. I am about a smidge away from plunking down $400 to buy Word and scrap Scrivener. I don’t need a tool to prepare me for another tool. Word worked fine for my first two books. This one has caused me endless headaches. ONE WEEK to build a header and footer that counts correctly. Word will do that in a couple minutes.

Seriously, what is the advantage of Scrivener over Word? I don’t need multiple formats: Amazon will build ePub books for free from a PDF file. The corkboard was much less useful than I thought it would be. So, what is Scrivener’s advantage?

Sorry for the tirade, but no one has been able to help me format this as I wish. (I’ve even paid so-called experts to help.)

How many books have page numbering on the title and copyright page? None. How many books page number the Preface and Introduction sections? ALL of them. It doesn’t seem that Scrivener is setup for anything except whatever template is available.

I don’t know what to tell you.

Scrivener is intended as a content creation software first and foremost.
Constantly improving, but still, a content creation software. Not a final formatting one.
There are free open source software that can fix this in a breeze. (I recommend LibreOffice, should the Mac version be as good as the Windows’ one.)

Else, [to take the Windows version as an example, since it is what I use] I know the staff at LL do what they can with the development of the app. But there is underlying code (QT) that has its own limits, thus limits they inherit in the development of the app.
They recently switched and updated to a more advanced version of QT. So perhaps this is one of the things to come. (…?..)

I’ve learned over the years to do the best I can with what I have rather than to be expecting anything from an app. There is always “more it could do”. The perfect recipe to be disappointed technology wise.

I know it can get frustrating when things just won’t F* work, but perhaps you should just take a short break, a step back, and figure out a way around the issue. (I proposed one.)
Workarounds like that, once implemented in one’s way to go about the task, are nothing.

. . . . . . .
Beside the question of having an unpaginated front section to your front matter, you do have a real issue with the headers. I more and more think your project is corrupted, and that you should try importing it to a blanked version of one of your projects that work properly, like I suggested in the other thread.

I wish I could do more for you…

I thank you (and the staff) for your considerable help. You have been patient with me. I moved to a non-paginated Front Matter, but the H/F is still wrong, as you pointed out. I did what you said about a blank project and still <$pageGroupParentTitle> is replaced with grandparent folders. I would like a <$sectionTitle> placeholder for headers so that the section doc name can be used in adaptive headers.

Actually, to be a pedant, the Mac version is native code, not written in QT.

But I agree that since its inception, Scrivener has been designed for drafting, not WYSIWYG page layout. Not only is it easier to sort out pagination matters like page numbering, headers and footers, and endnote placement in a word processor, I always open any document, even a one page document in my wp, I find reading through the text in the different UI makes any typos and errors easier to spot; I do spell check in the wp, not Scrivener.

And it doesn’t have to be Word. I use Nisus Writer Pro; at times I’ve used various iterations of Open/Libre/NeoOffice (the latter a version given a more Mac-like UI) but cannot say how they compare with the Windows version… there are many Mac-users here who use LibreOffice.


1 Like

If you do not see how Scrivener can help you with all of the aspects of your project before the final formatting stage, then we wish you all success with whatever tools you choose.

Because of the way the Compile command works, it is necessarily something of a blunt instrument. It is simply not possible for any form of automation to give the level of fine control that can be achieved by direct manipulation of the formatting.

With that said, the first thing I noticed was that you are applying “text” Section Types like “Chapter” and “Section” to your Front Matter. In most cases, Front Matter requires different formatting from the body text, and you will get better results by giving it its own section type.

(I’m not really here, just checking for urgent issues, and I haven’t read the thread carefully.)

1 Like