How Can I Set a Start Page Number?

I’ve been using Scrivener for about a month. And I love it for the way you can collect all your materials in one place. But I can see the problems are going to come when I try to export–and this is confirmed by the posts in this forum.

Here’s one to start with. It would be nice if you could set “Start Page Numbering Here” on whatever page you want. This is easy to do in Word, but I don’t see how to do it in Scrivener.

I will have a Title Page, a dedication, and (sometimes, not always) an epigraph page, then the first page of Chapter One (and it is customary to not number the first page of Chapter One.)

So I would like to start page numbering on page 2 of chapter one, and (naturally) begin with the number 2. Can I do that somehow?

I have a number of questions, but I’ll do them as separate posts. I’m not near the end of my project, but I want to get this sorted out well in advance.



This is a speculative response while the ones-who-know are on (a well deserved) holiday, but for what it’s worth…

Have you tried the options tab in the compile dialogue (it’s on Page Settings, in the Header and Footer slab)? Apologies if you have, but you don’t mention it in your post. There you can try various options for setting up a different first header / footer, including where the number starts. There may be a combination that suits your needs.

However, this doesn’t give you full control and I suspect that this is one of those occasions requiring the final polishing to be done in the word processor, not in Scrivener.



You can’t do this. To have a start page number in RTF format, you need to have different sections for different headers and footers. This is out of Scrivener’s remit and scope. Scrivener is a first-drafting tool. It provides some very powerful compile options but it is still not intended to completely replace a dedicated word processor or page layout program, and never will be. If you find there are extra tweaks you need to make - such as a starting page number beyond just a different first page - then that’s when you know you will need to make some tweaks to your final document in a word processor such as Word or Nisus Writer.

Also I don’t think there are “problems when you come to export” in general and nothing to “confirm” such by “posts on this forum”. This is a support forum, so of course there are a few users asking about the different Compile options, and getting used to the brand new and much more powerful compile options; this is not indicative of any major problem in this area. We spent a lot of time on 2.0’s compile options and interface and I’m very, very happy with the result. It offers a good range of options for producing a good number of different documents. But, as I say, Scrivener’s scope with 2.0 hasn’t changed - just as with 1.x, you will still need a good word processor for the final stages of manuscript production for many document types. (If you are just producing a standard novel manuscript or one of the basic essay types, you most likely won’t need to fire up a word processor, true, but for many document types you will do.)

Scrivener would turn very ugly if it tried to do everything Word does on top of everything it already does!

Hope that helps.

All the best,

I typed my post too quickly. I should have made it more clear that I’m really, really, REALLY enjoying this software. I’ve been writing my scripts and books on computer since 1986, I’ve tried many of the specialized writing programs, and Scrivener is by far the best. I do my work at a place called the Toronto Writers Centre and I’ve already recommended it to two people there. And will recommend it to everybody.

In particular, I’m loving the way you can so easily change Templates. This is the kind of ease-of-use bit of engineering that makes using a tool a pleasure.

Also love the small things–like being able to change the “paper” colour so I don’t have to stare at a bright light eight hours a day. (My version of Word offers only white lettering on blue bg as an alternative–or you have to go into Online mode which throws off everything else.)

Also love the Research section being right there in the binder. I use it many times each day, because I’m writing (as usual) about something I know very little about. So it’s fantastic to have pictures and web captures and PDFs right there. So several times a day, I’m saying to myself, “These guys really got this stuff right. Clearly real writers have worked on this software.”

So I hope it’s now clear, as perhaps it wasn’t in my first post, that I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m assuming when I have difficulty with an element of Scrivener it’s just part of a learning curve and someone will be able to tell me how to do it, or explain why one can’t. When I say I foresee problems down the line, I mean problems for me–as I see others encounter problems too–but this is not to say I’m finding it problematic software. Far from it. (And anyway, a month with a big piece of software is not a long time in terms of learning your way around–ESPECIALLY if the first thing you do is start changing it. ) We writers are used to working on word processors, so when Scrivener, which does resemble a WP in so many ways, suddenly says No, we get a little nervous.

BTW, I misspoke about Word’s “ease of use” re page numbering. In fact, it took me a long time to figure out the best way to have it NOT number dedication, epigraph, etc. Turns out you do it with the “Start a New Section” function. Then you get a new page one. In fact, I’m not going to TELL you how long it took me to figure out that little item.

I thought maybe there might be a similar little trick I could do in Scrivener. Although I’m tech-savvy enough to take my hardware apart and put in new processors, drives, cards etc, I’m not software-savvy enough to know what is difficult for a designer/programmer/developer and what is easy.

I’m looking forward to writing my scripts and novels with Scrivener, and meeting any “problems” I encounter head-on. And if I come up with any nifty shortcuts/formats/Templates that might be useful for others, I’ll share 'em here. Believe me, anything that makes a writer’s life easier, as Scrivener does, is gold.

All of which is a long way of saying, I love you Scrivener and keep up the good work!


Thanks Giles! And no problem, don’t worry - I’m just over-sensitive because Scrivener is “my baby”. :slight_smile: I did look at offering the ability to choose a page number to start numbering from for 2.0, in fact, but because it involves setting up different sections in the RTF it would be quite a massive undertaking (especially since rather than writing my own RTF parser - which would be a big job to say the least! - I use the built-in Apple one but have built loads of extensions on top of it to add features it doesn’t support, but section breaks would be very difficult to hack in). That’s the main reason it ended up as one of the things I decided to leave to a word processor, seeing as there’s already quite a bit that needs leaving to a dedicated word processor anyway.

Thanks again for the kind words!

All the best,

Of course, the simplest way to deal with this, for me, is to just drag the dedication and epigraph out of there. These are documents of a few lines, easy to plug into the final draft in Word.



Or you could keep them in the Scrivener project outside the draft folder and print them off separately using File > Print Current Document, and just insert them into the front of the printed MS, of course. Either way is a decent workaround.
All the best,