Hide Text from Compile

I would love to be able to hide certain text items from being included in the compile.
This would essentially allow me to keep alternate scenes or other notes available in the main document but not have them show up in the final version.

I think I read once that this might be possible in Scrivener, but if so, the process is far from obvious.

I propose a simple Right/Ctrl Click --> ‘Make Hidden’ or ‘Hide from Compile’.

Here’s a mockup of a possible implimentation:


I keep getting frustrated when I write because I get the desire to do this and can’t find a way to.
In my mind it would really add to Scrivener’s use as a tool to manage the otherwise overwhelming amounts of information required in storycrafting.

Thanks a ton either way!

There’s an “Include in Compile” tick-box in the Inspector that does precisely this. You can also un-tick items you don’t want to include in the Compile panel itself. And you can add the tick-box to your outliner columns if you want.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Excellent! I’m glad to hear the functionality exists! Thanks for getting back to me! And now that you point out where to look I do see the “Include in Compile” tick box in the inspector panel.

And since the functionality is present in the current code base, please let me invite you to consider tweaking the implementation just a bit. I am convinced that a few minor changes to the interface options could create a big benefit for your users!

While the Inspector tick box method will have the intended effect on the eventual compile, I believe the way it is indicated in the user interface heavily impacts how people can/will actually use it.

The Inspector Pane tick box method currently produces no indicator in the Binder that tells the author about the compile status when they are visually scanning the (often quite numerous) amount of text items comprising one manuscript. I suggest the greyed out appearance in the Binder as a visual indicator so that during the process of writing the author can easily keep track of which items have been removed or re-included for the current compile!
(I am aware that the current version will allow users to manually change the icons for each excluded/re-included text item. I know it’s possible that some users might reproduce a similar effect using this feature, however, I suggest that most users will likely not even consider this option.)

I suggest adding the Right/Ctrl Click context menu option to make it easier for an average user to find this feature intuitively. When most computer users want to make a change or find extra options for an item in a modern operating system, years of experience have taught them to Right Click on the item. I won’t deny that the inspector check box is fairly easy to find once you’ve given instructions where to look, but I would suggest that it isn’t where many people will look naturally. The difference is in whether a user can find a function when they are looking for it, and whether the feature is something they might easily discover just by utilizing the software.

If this feature were more easily discovered, accessed and tracked, I suggest that authors who are working with multiple revisions of different items might start using it as kind of ‘on the page’ holding function for keeping additional words, phrases, descriptions, scenes, etc on hand, alongside other related text, but not included as part of the latest version. I can imagine authors wanting to retain text portions for a whole host of reasons, such as referring back to them in case a new version doesn’t work as well as a previous one, or in case they want to repurpose text they had to cut into a later scene, etc. I see this function as a potential major benefit that you could be offering to your users which might require something as simple as a few adjustments to the interface.

Regardless of whether you agree, I appreciate your time and thank you again for a great program.

This topic is something we have indeed given a bit of thought over the years, and the next implementation of it should be quite a bit more like what you are looking for, in terms setting and checking an item’s state, as well as checking for, at a glance, the states of many items in the Binder.

For now though, I do use the method you brought up: when this is important to me to know from the “binder level”. I just have a little custom icon I made that looks like the regular sheet of paper, but with a red ‘X’ in the corner, that I apply to the item as well.

One other thing, if you haven’t looked into Document Templates yet, that’s a good way to handle both the icon and the checkbox—at least for things you know about up front. Document templates will copy everything about the prototype into the new item you create using it, meaning you can create a “Note” type document that is all set up with an icon, excluded from compile, maybe even using a different font so that when you view your notes and WIP together at once in Scrivenings, it is easy to see what is what. Obviously that doesn’t work when a scene you’ve been writing in becomes the first draft and is replaced by a second draft scene.

(Also, by the way, consider Snapshots for storing scene versions like this. No need to worry about trashing them, and it keeps the binder clean and “present tense”, as all older versions of it will be tucked away in separate lists, one per item.)

Similar, but I use a Label to tint the binder item a color that indicates for me its non-compiling state. Since I use Labels to color-code binder items anyway this works handily for me.