How to configure autonumbering to begin with zero rather than one.

I would like for the first chapter of my novel to be Chapter 0 rather than Chapter 1. Is there a way to change the initial value for autonumbering?

Update: I discovered an acceptable fix. I embedded <$rst_t> before the second chapter, then manually changed the first chapter number to zero after compiling.

Although it would typically be used for 1.1, 1.2, 1.2.1 style numbering, if you only use it at the highest level (so no parts), then the <$hn_0> placeholder would do exactly what you want. It only prints the first number at the highest level, so 0, 1, 2, 3.

Thanks for the great idea. Unfortunately the novel is in two parts so I got “0.1” for the first occurrence. The idea of a chapter zero is a bit gimmicky, anyway, and if I ever get a publisher they’ll probably make me use the conventional scheme. But I’ve learned a little more about Scrivener in the process.

If your publisher wanted conventional and your book isn’t (not only according to chapter numbering) it would be the wrong publisher for you. A publisher—or better: the editor—has to understand you and your work. So if you’re convinced your book has to have this specific chapter numbering I’d like to encourage you to stick to it.

And by the way: Joshua Coen had used chapters with leading zero already in his Book of Numbers. And he was probably not the first.

Thanks. My novel uses Tarot cards as part of the structure, and The Fool is first (and number 0).

The next best solution I can think of is to create a special Section Type for the Fool, and assign it to a layout that has “Chapter 0” typed in as regular text. Then the following chapters using the regular Type get the <$n> placeholder, and thus pick up counting at 1. It’s a bit more setup in Scrivener, but saves you having to edit the file every time you compile.

Another interesting choice. But in the interest of simplicity I’ll probably keep it the way it is now. I inserted an rst placeholder in the first chapter so the second chapter becomes number one, which means I have to manually change the Fool chapter number to zero but everything else is automatic. I’ve been using Scrivener for a decade or more and I’m always discovering how little I know.