Hello Keith,

I usually hold myself back with “wishes” as I know how hard you work on Scrivener and as Scrivener works for me very well.

But here is one thing that I would really love to see in a future release of Scrivener:
I often need to take a look at my writing as it will appear when it is published on paper (uff, my English). For this purpose I use Tofu, the application that you recommend. It’s a little cumbersome to always copy and paste over to Tofu, but it works of course.
Would it be possible to build something like Tofu, or like your own Tofu-like app, into Scrivener?

Maybe other writers feel this same way?

All the best to you all,


Why don’t you export via MDD to LaTeX and typeset your book. You can adjust everything in LaTeX, page width and height, line length etc., so with LaTeX you would really see your book as if it is already printed.

Thanks for the hint, but exporting is not the point. I can always look at the “finished” draft by using the pdf-preview function that comes with OSX.

But what I am really looking for is something that allows me to take a quick look while I am in the process of writing.


How do you get Tofu to look like a printed book?

Well, it won’t look exactly like a printed book, but close enough.

The whole point of Scrivener is that it has nothing to do with layout. This is what word processors are for. Scrivener is not a word processor. It is intended for writing, not formatting. If you want to see what it looks like on the page, use the print preview function, as you mention. Scrivener is unlikely ever to do layout. Really, this is the antithesis of what Scrivener was intended to be.

Well, that’s too bad.

This is the only thing I really miss - a kind of quick preview in a MyColumn fashion.

It’s not so much about layout. It’s about the “rhythm” a text develops on a printed page, the sequence of paragraphs, direct speech etc…

The visual appearance of a text is part of that text. That’s why some writers (including me) are so very touchy about the typeface etc… that the published book will have.

For some writers it may not matter at all; for others it does.


The whole point of Scrivener and its ilk - Ulysses, Copywrite etc - has been to get away from the visual appearance during the writing stage and focus on the words. That is the whole philosophy behind such apps, really. If you want page layout, a word processor such as Word or Nisus is the way to go. A program such as Scrivener cannot possibly be a complete page layout tool as well as a project management one.

I mean, what settings are you using to get close?

To Amber:

On my 12" iBook, I set a column width of 500 pixel, and a left and right margin of 20 pixel.

To Keith:

I think you are misunderstanding me. This is not about page numbering, adjusting the paragraphs so that they are not cut after the first sentence and this kind of thing. It’s really not so much about layout. That, as you are saying, is what Word etc… is for.

My “wish” has to do with getting a visual impression of the text on a printed page. This is what I get when I copy and paste over to Tofu. I take a short look and continue working in Scrivener.

That’s all. Getting an impression of the “rhythm”, I repeat myself, is what this is about.


As I understand it, what you are asking for is the sort of page layout view that you get in Text Edit when you select Format > Wrap to Page. That is the sort of thing I am talking about. If I am misunderstanding you, please explain further.

OK, now I see.
You did understand what I was talking about.

And no chance of implementing something like the “wrap to page”?
It’s your decision of course.

But I would be surprised if there weren’t other writers out there who feel similar to the way I feel.



I dare say here are indeed others, but Scrivener isn’t written by committee, I’m afraid. :slight_smile: This is a question of application philosophy, and Scrivener’s philosophy is to avoid all page layout. And a wrap-to-page view is a layout view. Consider the other implications: if such a view is included, how do footnotes and annotations work? Users would be right to assume that in such a view, footnotes should appear at the bottom. So suddenly, I have to re-code footnotes to fit a page layout view rather than a bog standard text view. And what about page headers? Should they appear, too? Suddenly, I am coding a word processor. And someone will ask, “What about widows and orphans?” And so on.

The philosophy of Scrivener is really quite opposed to this. In Scrivener, you work in sections - whether chapters, scenes, paragraphs or whatever. There is really no concept of pages at this point, as all of the elements are not yet put together. Only when the final structure has been decided upon and you export to a dedicated word processor do pages have any meaning for the draft.

To be honest, I was actually quite taken aback that anybody has asked for such a feature, given that I thought I had been very vocal and upfront thoughout that Scrivener is not about layout at all.

Scrivener allows you to view text in any font before export, and you can have margins around that text, and you can set the default width of the editor to whatever you want, all of which can help emulate a book-ish look. But pages? No, I am afraid.


From all the discussion we’ve had, it seems apparent that some writers focus on process and others on product. Or in the case of screenplays, content versus format. Scrivener is a tool that lets us write segments and weave them into compositions. After export, word processors may count pages, set tabs and margins, and provide formatting.

Keith, what can I say. If you knew how much I like Scrivener (I write for a living and sit in front of it many hours every day) you would not be taken aback. In fact, I have also made Scrivener my organizer, my to-do list etc…
I keep telling everybody about Scrivener and how well it works for me and how well it would work for them…

Forget about the whole thing,

All the best,


Hey, rochefore, I’m not trying to be awkward or to belittle your suggestion, truly. I appreciate that everyone has different ideals for their writing environment. I was just trying to explain why I don’t see a page layout view as part of Scrivener, and of course, Scrivener can’t ever be everyone’s ideal writing environment (only mine!).

This discussion has clarified something for me, though. I’ve spent the past couple of days trying to get page break indicators going for script writing mode, and I’ve almost cracked it. But it involves so many horrible chunks of code, and it is so awkward, clunky and buggy, that I think I am going to scrap it. It just doesn’t feel very Scrivener to me. If there were to be page markers, it should be a page layout view. But that just doesn’t fit Scrivener’s paradigm right now. I will add a page counter in statistics based on lines-per-page for those scriptwriters who want to know how many pages they have, but page layout and page indicators I think definitely lie outside the scope of Scrivener for all modes.

Thanks for your kind words.

All the best,

Lol. :slight_smile: Honestly, it just wasn’t right. I spent a lot of time on it, but it just wasn’t the way to go. If something like that is ever going to happen, it has to be right, and it has to be right from the start. That time is not now. I will endeavour to ensure that you can at least get a page count, though.

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Awwwwww . . .

I’m with Keith on this one, though. If it doesn’t feel right behind the scenes it won’t feel right on stage. Better to wait and let things grow properly.


Hahaha! Sometimes a picture says it all much better than words. Very cute!!