how to get "Scrivener User Manual" look

My only problem with scrivener is trying to get an exported PDF to have better formatting. As a baseline, I would be happy with “Scrivener User Manual” as a baseline. Does anyone know if it was printed directly out of scrivener or brought into a word processor?

Are there any templates or style sheets out there that you can recommend?

If you would like to see how the Scrivener project works using first-hand experience, you can download the complete project from our support page. I still need to upload a more recent copy, so the content is quite old at this point, however all of the techniques used are the same, so strictly for learning that part of it, the current download is fine.

There is a page at the very top of the binder which explains all you would need to compile and typeset the PDF. I do use secondary post-processing tools (one of which is LaTeX, for the actual PDF production). No word processors were harmed in the making of it. It uses the MultiMarkdown method of working in Scrivener, which works using plain-text “instructions” for how things should be displayed, rather than working directly in the display itself.

That is so helpful! The link didn’t work for me, but I found it. I love this line from the first page: “this is a project under a constant deadline with source material that changes rapidly.” This describes perfectly my situation. Once you have latex set up, is it laborious or can it done quickly?

You know, I wasn’t thinking, a better one to grab would be the Scapple documentation project, just a bit lower on the page. It uses the more modern kit and is much easier to compile and typeset. For that one all you need to do is export a zip file from the research folder, unzip it, and then use that folder to compile to. Once the .tex file is created there, you can load it in TeXShop (which comes with MacTeX) and just hit Cmd-T three times to fully typeset it).

Thanks AmberV! I am learning a lot by looking at the file!

Well, I’m back 5 years later still trying to get a better looking PDF out of scrivener. I stopped using scrivener because I had so much trouble trying to get a well formatted PDF.

Do you still have to use LaTeX for a great looking final product? Does anyone have any templates or tutorials to help?

Yes, we still use LaTeX. The latest public version of the user manual comes with a more comprehensive setup tutorial than it did in the past.

Scrivener is mainly oriented toward the writing of the content that goes into the book, rather than making print-ready PDFs and serving as a publication platform. I’d have said that before if I knew you were evaluating it based on that alone. I think it is very well suited for getting stuff into dedicated publication tools though.

Amber, thanks for continuing the conversation from 2013! Is it still possible to download the Scrivener manual in a v3 format? I have learned how to typset in TexShop at a basic level to create a PDF. By looking at a scrivener file that exports to latex, I’m thinking I’ll be able to figure this out.

About my project:

I’m a high school teacher. I have written my book in Scrivener and now I want to covert it into a well formatted PDF.

You just need to scroll down in that selection box…

Slàinte mhòr.

Yup, that’s the one you want. :slight_smile:

If you run into any issues getting the compile workflow set up, let me know. The core LaTeX preamble files are provided, so if you’re mainly curious about how a particular thing is done, like the yellow boxes, you should find it all there. Looking at other’s people’s .tex files is how I learned. Another great resource is You will be hard pressed to ask a question of it that hasn’t already been asked, and answered, often many times over the years. :slight_smile:

You’ll see that the run of the mill compile process, as fully automated, is pretty simple. It could be made even simpler, going straight to PDF, but that’s probably not a good step to take for a document that dramatically changes all of the time. I nearly always need to fix a few typesetting issues, so having the .tex and .md file to rapidly implement those edits saves me a lot of time that would be wasted having Scrivener automate 100% to PDF (with a 10 to 15 minute compile time).