images editing

How can see “print wisiwig” with scrivener, not only native editor? Its uncomfortable to export rtf or word if I want to see wisiwig

If you are just trying to get an idea of font choices, there is a preview (using Lorum Ipsum type text) in the formatting pane of the compile dialogue. If you’re looking for something more involved, then, well… Scrivener is not a WYSIWYG editor. It’s essentially founded on the principle of not worrying about what the document looks like until after you have finished writing.

Given all the different options available at compile (such as: what documents to include, what elements - notes, synopsis, titles etc - from those documents to include, how to format, what filetype to produce and what device you will read the output on), it’s not possible to provide a WYSIWYG editor without reducing your flexibility.

Think about it this way…
Say you’ve written a 100,000 word novel and want to do a few different things with it. Each of those things will likely demand a different set of formatting.

  • Printing a manuscript to send to an agent: 12pt Times New Roman, plain formatted
  • Making a PDF to have books made up: Fully rich text, with planned layouts and various fonts
  • Creating an eBook to share online: well, this one may well be different for each online store.

The way Scrivener works, you don’t need to change the manuscript itself (which means you can write in whatever font, line spacing, and format is easiest on YOUR eyes when drafting), just make a few tweaks to the compile settings.


That all said, there is ONE THING you can do. It doesn’t turn Scrivener into a WYSIWYG editor, won’t show you page breaks, the padding between documents and these sorts of things. It DOES, however, let you see the font types, size, positioning, paragraph spacing and those sorts of things.

Look in the Inspector Pane. You will see an option to “Compile As Is”. If you tick this box for a document, Scrivener will ignore the compile settings when including this document and leave all your font choices alone. So, if you wanted, you could mark all the documents in your binder as “Compile As Is” and then layout the pages as you choose, using the Enter key to add padding, and in the full suite of typesetting options of a rich text editor.

I’d strongly suggest that you give the ‘separating how you write from what you output’ approach a go. I know when I first started using Scrivener I had issues adjusting, but doing so is well worth persevering with (in my opinion!). If you need a full featured layout editor, you will probably find it easier to make those tweaks after you’ve finished the writing in a dedicated layout program anyway. Something like Word.

As already explained, Scrivener’s approach to writing a draft is to separate the content from the formatting, focusing on getting your words down rather than dealing immediately with how they look. You can format in the editor, to an extent, but one of the strengths of the program is that you don’t need to; you can handle all of that when you go to compile your work into a single document.

If you do prefer a more WYSIWYG approach, however, I suggest leaving “as-is” unchecked and instead deselecting “Override text and notes formatting” in the Formatting tab of compile (click the blue arrow button in the compile window to see this). Documents set to “as-is” override a lot of other settings as well; they always compile only their text, so even if you are trying to just compile an outline of titles and synopsis, your “as-is” documents would spit out their document text instead. It may not end up being an issue, if you’re always just compiling the body text, but it’s better practice and less likely to confuse you down the road when you get more comfortable with Scrivener’s features and want to try other things, even just something simple like including the document title. “As-is” should be used more rarely for individual documents that with specific formatting you need to preserver which otherwise would be overwritten during compile–if you just deselect the override option, then none of your documents will get overwritten that way, i.e. they’ll all use the formatting you see in the editor.

The “Original” preset in compile compiles just the document text, with no override, and is generally just a simple output of your document text, using the editor formatting and not adding other frills. I’d recommend trying this one first, then building on it if you start wanting to add in other things like the titles or changing how sections are separated.

Ooooh. Good tip.

many thanks, very clear