How to format gutter margins?

Hello, I was wondering if anyone knows how to set gutter margins for a novel format? I plan on publishing through CreateSpace, and they require certain margin sizes for the gutter margin. Since pages alternate, I can’t just set one side or the other to the gutter margin size. Any tricks or advice?

There’s not a way within Scrivener currently to print mirror margins, so you’ll want to compile to a format like RTF and then do this final page layout polish in Word or other word processor. You’ll find more features for headers and footers there too, so you could set up alternating page headers or such if you like. Then you can save/print to PDF from there and submit to CreateSpace.

Dear Literature and Latte,

When will Scrivener for Windows support gutters?

This is ESSENTIAL for publishing paperback books.

Exporting to RTF, editing the RTF in another tool to add the gutters, and generating a PDF in that other tool is INEFFICIENT, to say the least.

We’ll add this in time (there is no estimate on when right now, it’ll be a while), but just remember Scrivener is a $40 writing tool, not InDesign. It will probably never be capable of actually generating a high-quality book, gutter margins or no. That is why stuff like this isn’t terribly high priority. We’re for the 18 months you spend writing the book, not the 18 hours you spend turning your text into the necessary content it takes to publish a book—plus the five minutes it takes to change your margins. 8)

Thank you for your quick response!

Scrivener for Mac supports gutters.

I expected Scrivener for Windows to support gutters, too.

Spending $240/year just to get one feature on Windows that is already in the $40 Mac version does not make sense for my ROI.

But, I appreciate your ROI needs; Mac users must dominate your sales.

I will look for another way to impose gutters on PDFs.

Thanks again!

Well you could use Word or LibreOffice to change the margins, you wouldn’t have to go for the full professional package. You won’t get quite as good a result from a traditional all-in-one word processor, but it won’t be awful (and it may be better than what Scrivener can do, if you aren’t using Word’s layout engine in your export settings).

That may be difficult since PDFs already have everything placed, more like drawn on a canvas than a text editor. There may be a way to change margins globally in something like Acrobat Pro, though I can’t imagine that’s any easier or faster than opening an RTF in a word processor and changing the source text before it is turned into a PDF.

Although it is not always up to date, we do try to keep this list current. We price the Windows version cheaper, and make no intention to say it is the same as the Mac version, which is years older. As we develop new features on Windows, that gap closes, as it has for some time now. But obviously we can’t do everything at once.

Thanks again for your quick response!

Besides the extra time required and the potential to break something else while adding a gutter, Scrivener–>RTF–>Word is problematic because the line spacing or font rendering in Word is not identical to that in a Scrivener-produced PDF. For example, I can edit words so that they just fill a page in a beautiful Scrivener-produced PDF. But, if I go the route of Scrivener–>RTF–>Word, then I can end up immediately with words on the next page as soon as I open the RTF in Word.

This same problem exists, from what I’ve seen, for Scrivener–>RTF–>various flavors of Open Office.

You describe the PDF layout well! Yes, I’ve been aware of that for a couple of decades.

Frankly, my paperback readers and I don’t require the extra formatting that a DTP tool or word processor could provide. They and I don’t care about fancy kerning. They and I don’t obsess over widows, orphans, and page numbers on blank pages. But, they, CreateSpace (my paperback publisher), and I do care about whether each of my paperbacks accounts for its gutter.

I am now corresponding with a company that has various PDF-modification tools.

Even if InDesign were free, using it to add gutters is a suboptimal approach. Anything that requires me to go into a word processor or DTP tool – even one that maintains 100% fidelity with what Scrivener produces as a PDF – for the sole purpose of editing the gutter means that the workflow is inefficient.

There are “batch-process” tools that will convert a 1-up PDF to a 2-up PDF with the gutter specified in a dialog at the start of processing. I have yet to find an off-the-shelf tool that will convert a 2-up PDF to a 1-up PDF. However, there is a Python-script approach that can do this. If the aforementioned company cannot help me, then I probably will go with this two-step batch-process approach to adding a gutter to a Scrivener-produced PDF.

Finally, regarding your mention that you try to keep the Mac-vs-Windows differences list current, it today (March 19, 2015) has zero mention of margins and zero mention of gutters.

Thanks again!