Help re setting up

Hi, very new to this. I’ve done a draft, but how can I find what template I used to set it up?!

I’m looking at producing a trade paper back sized work of non-fiction, with chapters.
Where do I find the page layout settings to enable it to be print-ready?
Thanks for any help.


So there’s good news and bad news.

The bad news is that there is no easy way to determine which template you used.

However, the good news is that In Scrivener, a template is simply a starting point to create your project and you do not need to know what template you used. All a Scrivener template does is create the starting empty project – folder names, which files and folders are already created, pre-defined styles, and a few other settings. Literally from that moment on, there is no link between your project and your template – you can change everything in the project without affecting the template at all. (In fact, that’s HOW you create your own templates – get a project the way you want it as a starting point, then save it as a template.)

In Word and many other word processors, your template is attached to your document and often provides several core styles and settings. If you attach a new template, it can immediately and dramatically change the layout, look, and feel of your document – which styles are available, how they’re defined, etc. This is in part because they are designed to be "“what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) – how it looks on the screen in page view is meant to be as accurate as possible a representation of what it will look like as a printed page or PDF file.

In Scrivener, the editor is NOT WYSIWYG. This is because a Scrivener project can be assembled from many different documents. Traditional word processor and layout files are represented as monolithic files. Most them are actually more complex than that beneath the surface, but they try to hide that from you – which Scrivener does not. Every item in your Binder – every folder you create, every new file and document – is a new file on disk in your project folder. Instead of trying to be strictly WYSIWYG, Scrivener focuses on giving you a comfortable research, organization, writing, and editing environment. Those research docs you brought in from the Web may have one look and feel; the items you added in your latest chapter may have another.

Instead, once you’re ready to output a monolithic document, you use Scrivener’s Compile feature. This takes the various compiler layouts that you have defined, based on what target you want (are you going to PDF? ePub? Mobi? Word DOCX? RTF? etc.), and stitches all the various pieces of your project together into a cohesive whole, making sure that all the style and formatting information in your compiled document is consistent as it goes.

The nice thing about this – even though it likely feels very counter-intuitive to you at this point, and learning to use the Compile options to produce the output you want can take a while – is that it separates your writing environment from your target environments. I’ve written or contributed to a dozens of technical books and documents, and we always had to use a special Word template to do so. I had to use it how the publisher had defined it, even if it looked ugly or was confusing and buggy. With Scrivener, I can create my draft using all the settings I want and find most comfortable. Then I compile to DOCX, attach the publisher’s template, and make sure that the correct styles are assigned in the various places. I have to deal with their template once during the draft writing process. If I take extra care in setting up my compiler formats, I can even have Scrivener automatically get me most of the way there.

If you haven’t taken the time to go through the Interactive Tutorial project, you probably should. Between that and the sections of the manual that talk about using the Compiler, that’s going to be the best way for you to learn about the Compile system and its various pieces. Then, come back here with specific questions that you have about the various settings and how they are interacting.

If you haven’t

Thanks for replying so quickly, I will act on your advice and re read all the lessons. I’m used to setting the page up so that it looks exactly as I want to appear when printed, but from what you are saying am I right in assuming that I just write it all as I want in the draft,( which is several chapters written over years in fact and in different fonts and layouts,) but when I ‘compilie’ it everything will fall into place according to a chosen template?
I will now look at the tutorials, again.
Your help is much appreciated.

Yes, the Compile command will normalize the whole manuscript to the formatting you specify.

A lot of people do prefer to have a consistent look in the Editor as well, even though it may not be the same look that they want in the output manuscript. If you’re one of them, once you’ve formatted one paragraph to work the way you want, you can use the Project -> Project Settings -> Formatting pane to make it the default for this project, or Scrivener -> Scrivener Preferences -> Editing -> Formatting to make it the default Scrivener-wide.

Then, the Documents -> Convert -> Text to Default Formatting command will reformat existing text to the new default.