I want to compile just a small part of my novel

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Yes, you can select the documents to be included. In Scrivener 3, it’s the right-hand panel of the Compile pane. See Section 23.4.1 of the manual.

In Scrivener 2, it’s the Compile -> Contents pane. Section 24.7 of the manual.


My favourite technique for these little ad hoc outputs is to use selection itself. I select the items I wish to compile in the binder or outliner, and then in the Contents list Katherine mentions above, I set the compile group dropdown (at the top) to “Current Selection”.

And if you need the selection to be numbered correctly (so that every chapter you compile is not “Chapter 1”), then consider filters instead. With that approach you leave the compile group set to Draft, and then click the funnel icon beside it and set the filter mode to “Include”, “Documents in Current Selection”. That approach basically compiles the whole thing in the background, but then only includes the parts you filter in.

OMG! Dude! Ioa, I’ve been wanting that for a while now. Filters! So THAT’S what they do!!!

Dances Happy Dance

Wow, Ioa. That’s what I’ve been looking for- and asking for - since beta days. Great!

Hi there.

Sorry to wake up a dead thread, but I’m having a bit of trouble getting this bit to work.

I think I’ve followed the instructions:

But the second chapter I’ve selected is still being numbered as Chapter One. I was expecting it to come out as Chapter Two.

What have I missed?

Hmm, it could be this behaviour has changed, or perhaps the test I ran back when I answered it gave misleading results. At any rate it appears the single-folder selection method is the only way to produce a correctly numbered fragment at the moment.

Okay, thanks.

I’ll put a request in when I’m sure I know what I’m asking for …


Yes, and it seems to only work for a single chapter.

If you try to export a selection of chapters, they’re always numbered from Chapter One, no matter what you do.

Yes, I have a vague recollection that there used to be a way to do this, but I’m not 100% sure.

The more I think about it the more I’m not sure filtering ever worked that way, and I must have just contrived a test that reflected that reality poorly. In considering the primary role of the feature, as a way of removing parts of the draft that do not pertain to the output material, if it did retain original numbering then it would defeat the purpose for much of what you might want to use the feature for. Consider for example if you use it to publish two slightly different versions of the same material, one that has full colour illustrations and another that uses black and white, and these all have image captions using auto-number placeholders. If filtering retained an holistic numbering scheme beneath the filter, then your caption numbers would skip over the missing images.

What filtering does do differently is retain hierarchical structure. The “Current Selection” choice from the main content dropdown produces a flat list, as do the collection-based choices. But when filtering by these things, we aren’t assembling a flat list from what these constructs store, but using that flat list to include or exclude from the whole draft. Granted hierarchy has a lesser role in the 3.0 compiler than it did in v2, where a flat list could completely break your Formatting pane settings, but there are still some uses for hierarchy and thus that distinction remains important.

Yes, that makes sense. I think I’m a bit of an edge case here in what I’m trying to do.

I think the easiest way around it is just define a new section header that I can apply whenever I want to do the part compilation, and use a custom placeholder/meta-data to add the chapter number manually.

Yeah, or you could just do what I always did in the past when I needed to offset the numbering, type in this somewhere at the top, and snip it out after you compile:


Just to confirm that filtering never worked that way. :slight_smile: The only way to compile with numbering intact is to compile the whole thing or a subgroup.

All the best,

Is it possible to add this functionality (perhaps through filtering)? I can’t figure out how to make the <$n><$n><$n> trick work with the formatting option I’ve chosen.

You’ll need to look up and copy precisely which placeholder code the Layout you are using requires. The placeholder I spammed is just an abstraction—I don’t think any of our built-in formats use that out of the box because that would potentially conflict with personal usage. They will be using something like <$n:chapter> or <$t:chapter> instead.

If you aren’t sure where to go, hover over the preview tile that has your chapter numbering to get the name of the Layout in a tooltip, in the main compile overview area, then right-click on the Format in the left side bar, edit it, go into Section Layouts, and look up the code in the “Title Options” tab. You can cancel out of that once you’ve copied the code you need to duplicate in the editor.