Headers, Footers, Page Number in page view

Hey Mates,

I have been searching the forums for this for a bit now and many of the relevant posts are quite old, referring to an older version of scrivener. To that end, i figured I’d ask.

Is it possible, in page view mode, to see headers, footers and page numbers? In short, is it possible to see what my manuscript would actually look like in book form before I compile it?

Played around with Storyist. While it feels like a limited version of scriv, the page view concept of ‘What you see is what you get’ is really quite nice.

I hate having to compile my work only to find I did something wrong and have to go back and redo the process. It would be super helpful to be able to see example what my project would look like until the current compile settings in page view. Please tell me this is possible?? :smiley:

Page View was not designed to be a preview mode (such a thing would not be editable in the least, unless you were fine with 30 second pauses in between each keystroke!). It is just there as an aesthetic option—some like to see the “pages fly by” as they write. :slight_smile: You have to keep in mind that Scrivener is a program that builds a document from lots of text snippets. There is no “document” in the background, and everything you see in the editor could change dramatically depending on your compile settings. Thus, the only way to see what a document looks like is to compile it, and that takes time.

In essence, if you want a preview in your binder, compile a PDF and drop it in. That’s only a few clicks more than a read-only preview would accomplish, and then at least we are all on the same page about the fact that you’re looking at a PDF file, and not a ePub, web page, LaTeX file or whatever format you are currently set up to compile to.

I’ve seen a couple questions like this lately. It seems to me that they reflect a fundamentally different way of working.

Once upon a time, authors submitted typewritten pages to their editor. After appropriate back and forth, the editor then handed those pages over to an entirely separate department, which created the plates from which the actual book would be printed, made a proof copy, and sent it to the author for review. The process of writing the text of the book was completely separate from the process of creating the physical object.

Then along came computers. At first, computers just helped to automate the pre-existing process. Editors and writers could make “electronic notes” to each other, typesetters didn’t have to hunch over cases of type, and so forth.

But as computers got smarter, it became possible for authors to become more and more involved in the production of the physical (or electronic) book-object. Until finally we get to self-publishing, where the author has complete control (and responsibility) for all aspects of the final result. And we have WYSIWYG editors, where the font face, margins, headers, footers, drop caps, illustrations, pull quotes, and everything else can be assembled right before the author’s eyes.

Which does not mean that they should be, or that authors necessarily have the skill set to be good layout designers, too.

Scrivener very consciously takes a step back. Scrivener is about writing. Full stop, end of sentence. Layout is a separate task, and Scrivener treats it as such. While limiting in some ways, this is also where much of Scrivener’s power comes from: you don’t have to decide what your ultimate destination format will be until the very end. You can create a PDF file, a Word document, and an e-book from the same underlying manuscript, without having to go back and completely revise your stylesheet because e-books don’t support to custom font in the PDF version.

So if you find yourself going back and forth between the Scrivener project and the compiled document, it’s possible that you are using the wrong tool for the task. Maybe it’s time to deploy a more powerful page layout tool to make the final changes. Or maybe it’s time to decide that the current format is “close enough” for the time being, and get back to writing.