hierarchical auto-numbering?

Is this possible? What i want to do is when i write a comic script, use auto-numbering for each page and for each page use auto-numbering for each panel? And i only want to use regular numbers, no letters or roman numbering.

For example:


Panel 1

Panel 2


and so on.

Also, is it possible to see the results of auto-numbering before you export the draft?

If not, a wish for a coming version of scrivener perhaps?

Auto-numbering is unlikely ever to be viewable before export, as Scrivener is not, and will never be, a word processor. I’m not sure what you mean by the rest, though. You can use auto-numbering for anything you want, and you can choose to have page numbering upon export; I think I don’t quite understand the question.
All the best,

I think the request is for multiple numbering streams. The page number being one stream, and the frame number being the second. Page 1, frame 6 would be “1.6”. The page numbering in this case, since it is storyboarding for a very specific output media, could not be tied to the built-in page numbering system.

Exactly, maybe I was a bit unclear. The page number is the actual comic book page, not the page in the rtf output.

Have you tried using the page breaking feature? Basically put each comic page in a separate Binder document, and make sure the “Page Break Before” flag is set. If each section is set this way, the numbers should match up. Then you could use the single numeric stream for panels, with the <$rst><$n> code at the beginning of each file to reset the numbering. Granted, you will get some pages with a lot of doodle space and others with very little.

The biggest limitation with this is that you would have to put any non-page tied information after the storyboard, so as to not mess up the page numbering for the rest. There could be no front matter, in other words.

Nope. But I will! Thanks for the tip! Will look in to it tomorrow.

I, too, am interested in this. For precisely this reason, I do my actual scripting in MS Word so that I can auto-capitalize based on style and auto number my caption and dialogue lines.

The great thing about comic scripting is that there’s absolutely no standard. You don’t need auto-capitalisation, or auto-numbering, or any of that rubbish if you don’t want it. You could write a comic script on the back of a napkin in crayon. All that matters is that the editor, artist and letterer can read and understand it.

Which basically means you can use whatever writing program you want, and format it however you want. Don’t get bogged down in the details of formatting, auto-numbering, whether you should number your dialogue balloons, whether or not to break script pages for a new art page, and so on. Anyone trying to tell you these things matter is either an unpublished writer themselves, or a submissions editors with a Hitler complex. Ignore them equally.

I personally use Final Draft, using a modified quasi-screenplay template I created with a colleague years ago - simply because I like its autocomplete features for character names and scene headings. If you already have FD, you can download the template from my website to try it out if you like. But the point is that you can use Scrivener, Word, Mellel, even Simpletext - it simply doesn’t matter, because legibility and clarity are far more of a concern than formatting. This isn’t Hollywood.

Antony, just had to say how enthralled I was with your site.

I blame you entirely for my red, dry eyes.

What an inspiration - every Scrivener should spend and hour or two on your site.

Cheers and thanks.

Thanks, LL. I’m an old-school netizen, with fond memories of 14.4k modems, so I always try to make my site as clean and easily readable as possible. Guess it works :slight_smile:

Hi Antony, I might even add something like your comic book template to Scrivener, if that is okay with you.

Absolutely fine, Keith. I don’t know how much more useful it would be than a normal screenplay template, to be honest - the things that make it useful to me in FD are that program’s modifiable elements and autoformatting styles, which allow me to do stuff like change scene headings into panel numbering. But if you think it’d be useful to other Scriveners, go right ahead.

FWIW, even though comics is a wild-west format, it is beginning to rally around Gossett & Kayl’s Comic Script Template as included in Movie Magic Screenwriter.

I’m sure that’s a perfectly good template, but I think “rally round” might be a bit strong. Of the testimonials featured on that site, J. Torres is the only currently working creator with a sizeable comics output, and several of them aren’t even comics writers! :smiley:

My own experience actually points to FD becoming a de facto standard, rather than MMS. Nevertheless, the point is certainly to use what works rather than worry about formatting, so MMS is just as valid as any other writing app.

I’ve been using the Final Draft Template I found on Andy Diggle’s website. I customized it a bit to my own liking of course.

I’ve actually used Scrivener to outline some story ideas but Final Draft’s autocomplete and templates keep me coming back to it for the actual script writing.

Heh. Andy was the “colleague” I mentioned upthread. We both bought FD around the same time and fiddled with the templates for weeks till we got something we both liked. But we’ve also both fiddled around more since then, so our templates are quite different now.

Sounds exactly like my own workflow :wink: (for comics - my next novel’s going to be entirely in Scriv.)

I’m going to have a mess around and see if I can’t accommodate things like this a bit better in Scrivener - though of course Final Draft is always most likely going to be the best tool for this sort of thing. I’ll look into hierarchical numbering, allowing bold and underline in the format, and creating a comic book template project based on these FD templates. Should be fun, even if no one ever uses it. :slight_smile:

All the best,

You’re insane :wink:

Not sure exactly what you mean by allowing bold and underline in the format - I thought Scriv already allowed that? - but just in case, a word of advice wrt comic scripts specifically:

Emboldening should never be used for emphasis in comic script dialogue*. When a script is sent to a pro letterer, that letterer will copy and paste the script into Illustrator… and then immediately change the font to a proper comic book dialogue typeface. Which in turn will completely erase all emboldening. The recommended method for emphasis is underline, because it isn’t erased by a font change.

As I said before, there’s no actual standard, so of course a writer can use bold if they really want to. But if you’re going to make an ‘official’ comic script template/format in Scrivener, I’d strongly advise against anything that encourages a writer to use emboldening for emphasis.

I realise I may be barking up the wrong tree, but felt I should head that one off at the pass just in case :wink:

*My own template avoids it entirely except for page numbering, which is done simply to make it stand out to the artist.

Scrivener does offer formatting like that, yes, but nothing that is default in Screenplay mode. In Screenplay mode, if you selected a random element and changed it into, say, a Scene Heading, that element would become capitalised and placed at the appropriate left margin tab, but it would not be underlined like the scene headings in your template.

So, basically, the only additions I’m going to make are these:

  1. In script settings (available via Text > Mode), I’ll allow the user to make these minimal changes to the Screenplay mode:
  • Change the title “Screenplay” to anything (e.g. “Comic Book”).
  • Determine whether Scene Headings or Character elements should be underlined, bold, or not.
  • Determine whether dialogue should be in uppercase or not.
  1. Look into a “hierarchical” numbering system which would number outermost folders/documents first, then get inner and inner and end with inner document auto-numbering.

This should be enough for Scrivener to be able to offer a template much like the ones you or Andy offer by modifying the Screenplay settings and then setting up a project with a title page, header, and sample documents, along with auto-complete set up with “PANEL <%n>” and “PAGE <%n>” etc.

I just like a challenge - especially one that shouldn’t take much work. :slight_smile:


Upcase dialogue would be great.