Latest Scrivener Version, Adding Asterisks after Compiled

How do I remove the three asterisks “***” that are not included in the chapters in the binder but, once compiled, appear in the pdf version? There are 2 near centered text. And another pops up around text that isn’t centered. Only appear 3 times. Pulling my hair out!!!

If the asterisks have appeared between what would be discrete documents or parts of the original Scrivener project, they might well be separators that have been inserted by the compile process. Section 24.4 of the manual (available from the Help menu in Scrivener) explains how to modify or remove separators.

If not separators, it would be useful to see the binder layout of the project and to know exactly where the asterisks appear in the compiled document in relation to the binder. It would also help to know which compile format (manuscript, modern, proof copy, custom, etc) you are using. I’m sure someone will find a solution for you.

That could also very well be, if you are using the Print/PDF compile file type, a setting that places a visible scene break in contexts where a blank line style scene break would be lost or ambiguous—such as at the very bottom of a page. The setting itself is in the Text Layout compile format pane. Disable the Replace empty line separators that fall across pages checkbox, to remove them. Though do note that now means you’ll have confusing section breaks in those cases—this a default, and a common book design approach, for a reason. :slight_smile:

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Ioa, I suspect, has hit the nail on the head.

Yes. AmberV pointed me right to it. Thank you so much!! That was driving me crazy.

I didn’t uncheck the box to avoid any other formatting glitches. I simply deleted the “***” and kept it blank. Looking now to make sure the rest of the book hasn’t been affected.

As the option indicates, it should only be triggered when an empty line separator is adjacent to a page break. From your original description it sounded like it was happening on account of other triggers entirely, and perhaps in the middle of the page? If so, could you describe more precisely what conditions it would take to see that reproduced? That doesn’t sound like expected behaviour to me; maybe there is a bug in this feature.

In various places throughout my compiled manuscript there are three astericks (***) showing up on blank lines. How do I get rid of those?

These are not appearing randomly. They are happening at places in your manuscript that fall in between adjacent docs. These marks are controlled by your compile format, and the compile format you are using is set to introduce these separators to indicate a “scene break”.

You can control this by editing the Separators section of the settings for that compile format.


Thanks for your response- on further research I think it’s this scenario that AmberV posted about. That seems to have solved the issue.


Hello, I am having the same issue – three asterisks are showing up at the bottom and top of pages once the project has been compiled for PDF. I see where you have advised disabling the “Replace empty line separators” checkbox, but for the life of me - I can’t find the Text Layout compile format pane. Can you point me to that location? Many thanks.

Hi jharris, and welcome to the forum.

You’ll want to customize your compile settings to access the compile designer panel. There, you can access the Text Layout items. You might also want to check the Separators settings on the compile designer panel.

You can access it by going to File > Compile and selecting the compile format you’d like to customize. Then, please click the small plus mark in the lower-left corner of the display. If prompted, please click the “Duplicate & Edit Format” option.

You’ll see both Separators and Text Layout in the left side bar in this new panel and can review their settings.

If you haven’t used the compile tools much, you might want to check out our 4-part series titled “Getting Your Work Out” on the Mac tutorial videos page.

Those four videos will show using the built-in compile formats as well as accessing the compile designer panel to customize your settings. You might find seeing that process demonstrated is helpful.

Using the Interactive Tutorial as a test project while you tinker with settings could help reduce any concerns and allow you to see how each change affects the project’s output file.

Hello Ruth,
Thank you for the quick advice. I just followed your suggestions and it worked! The asterisks are gone. Again, thank you for the prompt and helpful information.

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