How to Set Different Left/Right Margins for a Book Binding

How would you set different left and right margins on Scrivener? For example, on odd number pages, I would like to set a wider left margin, and a wider right margin on even page numbers, considering the book binding.

Also, how would you specify the PDF version when you print/export it via ‘Compile…’ function? I would like to print to a specific version of PDF X3 version 1.3.

I would sincerely appreciate any tips.


I can only help with the margins bit. When you go to compile, choose "Compile for: Printing / PDF. Then click compile. When it presents you with a printer and other settings, the Two-Sided Printing option will be “OFF”. Choose “Long-Edge Binding” to get the proper offsets for the right & left pages.

Note that Scrivener will not modify where the page numbers go (they will always be in the upper-right corner if you have the compile settings to include them). If you want more control over the final output, you’ll have to go to a compatible word processor (probably not Apple’s Pages).

Thank you very much Robert for your tips.

I will export the entire document to a word processor and try to set the format correctly.


The upcoming version will have some support for verso offset page printing, such as alternating margins, headers and footers. This should produce a better result than running it through the print driver, and will make it so you can have opposing page numbers. The new beta build should be surfacing soon, so keep tabs on the linked thread.

Thank you for the information, Amber-

Do you happen to know if the new version would support printing of the article to a PDF file of the particular version / format PDF X3:2002 ver.1.3?


That aspect is totally out of our hands. Scrivener just passes off your print data to the system and it handles all of the technical details of printing, such as redirecting a print job to PDF. Does the “Save as PDF-X” option use the wrong version?

Thank you very much for your effort in addressing the issue and your tips, Amber-

Unfortunately, the PDF-X on Snow Leopard produces a PDF of a more recent version than 1.3. Publisher requires the particular version of PDF.

Again, thank you for your support. I will work on Scrivener for writing text, then move it to a word processor when it is almost complete to set the format and add other things on the document. I will then find a relevant PDF print driver for the word processor.

Yup, that’s going to be your best bet I think. If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro available, you can open up a PDF created in Scrivener and save it as an PDF/X 1.3 file. There might be something cheaper if you don’t already have that. I checked Skim but it doesn’t appear to have many options for exporting to specific PDF versions.

Then I’m timing my adoption of Scrivener right. I bought 1.0 a year ago but there were some issues I had. Version 2.0 addressed some of them but it was too close to NaNoWriMo for me. So, I re-started this past month.

FWIW, the promise of Scrivener is what encouraged me to buy my first Mac after a decade of Linux. It also justified the expense with wifey.

So, were these altering page features added for the 2.0 version? I’ve been trying to allow for gutter/binding for my PDF compile, but I can’t find the option anywhere.

I need to be able to have the header on one page say “author name” and then on the other say “NOvel title.”

Then I need to be able to add a gutter to alternating page margins for the binding. Have these abilities been added?

Do you not have a Facing Pages tab in your Page Settings compile option pane? If not, you might need to update to the latest version; it’s not 2.0 that introduced this, but 2.1. The feature is pretty simple to use; it’s documented in §23.17.4 (pg. 346) of the user manual.

That would be the problem. I thought I had the most recent version, but I don’t. Will rectify. Thanks!

No problem!