IT guy needs useful guide to compiling

Hi. I have a four part novel with a prologue. I made the “parts” a folder and then created text documents, one per chapter numbering them 1.1, 1.2, etc, so I could keep track of them. I don’t want to create a folder for every chapter, ideally.

I’m messing around with the compiler. So far, it isn’t intuitive as to creating an output with “Prologue” then “Part One”, “Part Two” and so on.

I googled for videos but my lower back is hurting so my time is limited for now at the chair.

I am hoping someone has an articulate and precise, yet pragmatic guide on how to compile into what you want. Any thoughts?

I’m about ready to pay someone to show me how, LOL.



You’re asking an open-ended question that could have many answers, depending on what you are trying to do in the end. I’ll take a shot at a simple approach.

There is a Novel With Parts template in the New Project>Fiction menu. I’d start a new project there and drag and drop your text files from the existing project into the new one since it’s already set up for what you are trying to do. If you open both projects and re-size the windows for each on your desktop so they are side-by-side, you can drag and drop from one Binder to the other. Right-Click>Duplicate the Parts and Chapters as needed.

Here is a Compile window for a simple novel with parts:

There’s a lot going on there. One non-intuitive thing is that you have to select and expand the Level 1 Folder with the button with the lines and a ‘+’ under them (to the immediate right of the Options button) to separate the Level 2 Folder because they have different settings. Name the Parts in the Binder - Part 1, Part 2, etc, You can name Chapters if you want, but those numbers actually come from the Section Layout setting where you can add the placeholder tags to number them sequentially. (You can also add the word ‘Chapter’ in front of the tag if you want that as the title.)

One way to get a Prologue is to add it to the Front Matter:

You can also add it before Part 1. Note that I had to add ‘Prologue’ at the top of the text itself since I could not figure out a way to add the title separately.

That left-side menu in the Compile window has a lot of stuff packed into it, check it out carefully and experiment! (After making a duplicate of your main project to play with!)

Scrivener doesn’t care whether you call it a “folder” or a “document,” but your life will definitely be easier if you have at least one per chapter.

Much of Scrivener’s formatting is built around where items are in the Binder hierarchy. As a result, using that structure consistently will make assembling the final document easier and more automated. (The strict connection between Binder structure and Compile formatting eases a bit in Scrivener 3, but tying the two together can still simplify matters.)


Thanks for both of your replies. It’s still not clear to me. I don’t have a folder/icon named “Front Matter.” A tutorial on compiling would be very useful.

If you need a Front Matter folder, just create one.


You may not be aware, but Windows Scrivener v1.9.7 will be replaced by the new v3, probably later this year.

So odds are that you won’t be seeing any new compile tutorials being published for 1.9.7.

FYI, v3 compile is significantly different, and there seems to be a lot of material out there on how to use it, so if you decide to upgrade, you should be covered. I am in the same boat as you, as I haven’t spent much time with 1.9.7 compile, but over the next few months may need to learn it.

On a similar vein, are you guys using KindleGen or Calibre to convert/create Kindle ebooks? At a glance, KindleGen appears to be old and not kept up to date whereas Calibre is always updated.




Hi KBOYTZUN. If you ask 10 people, each might have their own workflow for generating their ebooks. If it helps, here is mine.

Note that I do not use Kindlegen or Calibre. I also do not create MOBI-formatted files for Kindle. I just drag-and-drop my ePub files into KDP (, and it handles the conversion from ePub to MOBI just fine. ePUB has features that MOBI does not support, but I have not encountered any problems yet. Note also that I am a Mac user. I’m sure PC users have their own favoured workflows.