How to print notes?

OK, let’s try again. I posted a question 2 weeks ago in an ongoing topic and sent a support email a few days ago. No response to either.

Scrivener Mac 3.1.1. I want to print the notes section. I use that section for specific references to sources for chapter contents and would like to print/compile the notes. How can I get them out of Scrivener?

The problem I’m having is that “notes” is a term that’s slathered all over Scrivener like butter on roasted corn-on-the-cob. :smiley: I’ve heard it used for at least six different features in various threads. Please tell me which of the following features is/are the one(s) you’d like to export, and if I know how I’ll be happy to help.

  • Project Notes (AKA project bookmarks)
  • Document Bookmarks
  • Document Notes
  • Synopses
  • Inspector Comments (AKA linked comments)
  • Inline Annotations
  • Inspector Footnotes (AKA linked footnotes)
  • Inline Footnotes

I think he/she is probably referring to the document notes (as seen in the Inspector), and I can’t think of a way to print them or export them. I thought maybe they could be added to the outline view, but that’s not the case.

OP, if no one comes up with a way to do it, you might consider another way of structuring the references (subdocument and side-by-side editor windows?).

Yes, correct I am referring to the Inspector Notes. I add chapter content on the left with the Inspector selected. On the top-right is the ‘Synopsis’ section which I use to refer to the summary of the chapter I’m working on. Below that is the section called ‘Notes.’ There I place links to source information for my chapter content. How can I print or otherwise backup that content outside of Scrivener?

Can I not somehow compile Notes in such a way they refer to their section/chapter?

If you edit your compile format, you find this:

Are these not the notes you’re talking about? I have never needed to use any notes for my working, so I don’t actually know if that will work for you.



When you Print (or print to PDF) the contents of the editor pane, you can have associated doc notes print too. See Page Setup: pick Scrivener on the main popup menu there and go to the Text tab to make your selections. Or you could print (to pdf) titles and notes only.

Compile formats can be adjusted to output document Notes as well. Look under the Section Layouts section when editing the compile format. If what you want is to end up with just those source notes broken down by section/chapter they are associated with, then compile with the specification to just output the notes of a doc and the doc title. If you name your docs in the right sort of way this will give you what you seem to be looking for.

In each case your document notes follow the contents of the document, if you are including the doc contents at all in your outout.



I was able to get to that screen, but selecting ‘Notes’ did not print them.
Here is what I’m talking about:

Ideally, I would like to print them so they show up identified by the Section that I have added the text. In this example:


Here are the notes I would like to print

GR -

When I go to page setup and choose Scrivener as you suggest, and select ‘Notes’ they don’t print. Isn’t there a way to select them when I compile the MS. I don’t see a selection to do that as I’m choosing what sections/chapters will be included.
Thanks, there’s probably a simple answer, but…

This is exactly what I am trying to do. The confusion is adjusting the compile format as you suggest. Can you walk me through it?

I’m not sure why you are not seeing notes output either way, so there is a puzzle here to be solved. I will just describe here how it should work to get the result you want on compile, but I will answer in a way that attempts to control for what I think might have gone wrong when you tried to follow Mark’s suggestion.

I would start by duplicating the compile format you are using in order to make a notes-only compile format. To edit the compile format correctly you need to be really clear about how the section type of your documents are being mapped to section layouts when you compile. To start you need to know what is the section type of the Forward doc in your example – this might be being assigned according to its nested positon in the binder or by manual assignment. You can see what is what in the Inspector pane.

Then you should get into the Compile dialog and review what section layout that section type is assigned to – in the central area of the Compile dialog box.

Now edit the compile format and follow Mark’s hint – find the section layout we just identified and in the pane just check Title and Notes. That’s is for starters. You should be able to save that and try compiling to see if you are getting the result. (If you have docs and folders of other section types showing up in your output, you might need to silence them by unchecking everything for those types in that same area there.)


What you want to is just make sure the documents that have notes associated with them are set to be compiled. Then it is up to the compile format to decide what data associated with those docs to output – whether to output their titles or body text or notes, etc. or some combination therof. What we are doing in the above instruction is setting up a compile format which will only output the associated notes from the docs on compile.

Thanks, got it! It’s not very intuitive and I never received any response to my email to L&L support.
But I got the material out, under each chapter subheading by using both of your suggestions. Perhaps there is an easier way to use Scrivener to do what I want (basically keep detailed source notes by chapter that I may use in a reference section at the end). As I write the chapter I like to see them to the side.

Anyway, success! Thanks very much!!


It’s worth noting that we contacted you in both cases, when you wrote in to support. They probably ended up in your spam filter, be sure to whitelist for best results.

It looks like you’ve received good help here, but just for the record, here is what I wrote:

⠂─────── ⟢⟡⟣ ─────── ⠂

There isn’t a compile format that does exactly what you want out of the box, however it would be pretty easy to achieve this result with a few tweaks. Here is how I would do it:

  1. Go into File ▸ Compile… and select the output format you want for your report, at the top. RTF is a good one for general purpose word processing, but if you just want a print-out, PDF is easiest.
  2. In the list of Formats on the left, click on the “Outline Document” format. This will be a good one to start with I think, as it already does half of what you want. It prints the title of the section in bold text, and the synopsis (or index card text) below that.
  3. To get Notes included as well, we’ll need to edit it. So double-click on the preview tile and select “Duplicate and Edit” when prompted.
  4. You might want to make this available for future use in other projects as well, so what I’d do here is rename it to “Outline & Notes”, and set the save point to “My Formats”, so that it is globally available rather than saved into this one single project alone. The details of that are all up to you of course.
  5. Now in the main Section Layouts pane that we’re looking at, you can see that the “Title and Synopsis” layout is already selected (since we double-clicked on its tile to get here).
  6. To add Notes, simply click the checkbox in the “Notes” column, for this row. You will see Notes added to the layout preview below. Use the mock editor to set up your formatting. If you don’t want the subheadings added, click the gear button in the top left corner and disable Insert subtitles between text elements. To change how Notes themselves are formatted, you’ll need to tick the Override text and notes formatting option at the very bottom. Note you can copy and paste formatting using the Format menu—so if you want Notes to look like the Synopses do, that’s the easiest way to go about it. You can use the Test… button in the lower left corner of the format designer pane to test your settings at any time. Once you’re happy with how it looks, click Save.