Need help with style template and compile settings

I have been trying to incorporate a publisher’s style template, and compile settings, and have been unable to make everything work together. I need some new ideas. Please?

This is non-fiction, a genealogical family sketch, and has some formatting that I’ve never seen addressed in the forum. I have tried several variations of binder setup and compile, but none have been quite right.

Here is a link to the NEHGS Register-Style template(s). There are several variations included, and I will eventually be using all of them for different purposes. They are virtually the same re: styles. and will need to be submitted as docx.

Fwiw, I’m on Win11 with v.3.1.5, and do not have any Office/Word installed. I am using Libre.

I first opened the link in Libre. I then created all the custom ‘Word’ styles in Libre (paragraphs and some characters) using the prefix NEHGR so I could better ID them. I also set up the page margins and created a template from that.

I opened a novel with parts (since that is how my wip is set up, with everyone in a hierarchy). I (don’t remember if I I copied or imported?) the document but I created the same-named (paragraph and character) styles from selection as I did in Libre.

I initially thought the template had a list style, but on close exam, it is set up with multiple tab stops. This aspect is giving me grief.

See the children/grandchildren sections. -

  • the first column in these areas is a reference to a further exposition of that child
  • there isn’t an example in the template, but it is basically a duplication of the section “Main Person”, ie. the child becomes a “Main Person” further in the project
  • Any profile with a full exposition is numbered consecutively (and those without are not cross-referenced.)

What I did-
I put each part of the template in its own folder in the draft (level one.)

Because of the numbering and hierarchy, I was trying to automate it - so I “Split at selection” for each individual, and made generation 2 (children) level 2 files, and generation 3 (grandchildren) level 3 files.

My BIGGEST problem with this is I keep ending up with page breaks, and/or the numbering gets screwy. (I tried for auto by structure, and also using placeholders, but obviously not correctly.)

I also ran into a problem with multiple marriages and setting up the hierarchy. (See the last example in the template - there are two “kids more” style introductions for additional marriages.)

Given what I’m working with, can anyone suggest

  • The most efficient way to produce the proper numbering/hierarchy?
  • What should I name the sections?
  • What compile template would be most suitable?
  • How do I get rid of all the page breaks without adding blank lines or returns? I did not have another option in compile except for custom, but couldn’t figure out how to “do nothing”

If you got this far… Thank you! I hope you can understand all this and give me some guidance. :blush:

I have to say … I scanned the linked document at and … rather than bend Scrivener to your will …

the publisher’s requirements, while complex, are clear and definitive … I’d use Word and do what they want and focus on the writing.

Perhaps early draft could be done in Scrivener, using the same style names as described in their document, then compiling to a DOCX file to which you attach their template (easy to do in Word), and then finish writing and final formatting in Word. Using the same style names means when you import the template, those styles would be applied and you got a good first step done.

Experiment, I guess.

I, of course, could be missing a great deal here, but my focus is always getting the job done as easily as possible.


That’s the way I go about things, using styles as markup rather than formatting. After compile I apply a style-sheet in my word processor (all handled by a macro), which takes care of the formatting.

1 Like

My WIP is mostly all written, but in v. 1.9 with improper styles, and some narratives in various other programs that need to be imported… I’m working on a major edit to get it updated and in shape. I see no reason why the styling and section assignments can’t/shouldn’t be done in one pass.

I know the NEHGR template- as it is written for a single person with no more than three generations - is simple; however my WIP contains over 5000 of these profiles spanning up to 15 generations and all cross-referenced forward and back (and sometimes sideways lol), but the numbering is NEVER static until the day it goes to print. This is why I am so concerned about getting the (auto) numbering right.

The numbering for this type of project is based on birth order from the oldest progenitor in a lineage. It will change thousands of times before the final draft. Every single new discovery - say a previously unknown child/sibling/parent - will change the numbering; the correction of a date of birth or birth order will re-number the entire draft.

Also, there will be many times that only a subset of the whole will be published, which means the numbering will once again need to recalculate.

Correction - In Libre, I created and duplicated the character and paragraph styles and named them exactly as they should be named in Word so I can use it as a style sheet. In Scrivener I added the NEHGR prefix to the same character & paragraph styles to keep them together.

I’m not sure, but are you saying you just create dummy character and formatting “styles” without actually changing the formatting of those styles?

No, I set up the styles normally. These days I’ve gone back to Palatino for editing unless I’m using Markdown, which is a different matter totally. My paragraph styles include ruler information, but no font information. In the editor I only have the following paragraph styles:

  1. Block quote
  2. Ingredients: for my recipe collection
  3. No indent: for any paragraph that will follow a heading, a block quote, a list of ingredients, a table or a numbered or bulleted list (very few tables or lists). This is because, even if you set the compiler to remove first paragraph indents, they still have “Normal” style on compiling to RTF, so at the next stage the indent will be instated.
  4. I haven’t removed Caption, but to date I’ve not needed it; I’ll set it if/when I do need it.

Headings are all set from binder titles and the hierarchy provides levels.

Only personal character style is Chinese, as I don’t like the default Chinese font.

I compile using a standard format; for historical reasons it’s Adobe Garamond Pro, but that is of no consequence. The compiler opens the result in my word processor, Nisus Writer Pro.

NWP has a very powerful macro language; it also uses cascading styles, so Block Quote, No indent and Ingredients are based on Normal. Heading 1 is also based on normal, but other headings are based on Heading 1.

So, as soon as the document is opened in NWP, I run a macro which asks me to choose a “style collection” (a.k.a style-sheet) which it then applies, also doing other things like looking for any Chinese and language-marking it. It changes the “Normal” and “Heading 1” font to whatever is set in the style collection, so the other paragraph styles go along with it. If I want a different text font, or different headings font, I only have to change it in Normal or Heading 1. Favourite style collection font is currently Libertinus Serif.

So, although Block quote, No indent and Ingredients are styled to look similar in Scrivener, that is only to make the style attribution clear. I could have the first two and Normal all flush left but coloured and it would have the same result.

In point of fact before Scrivener 3, I did that, using just-off-black colours, imperceptible to the human eye but clearly distinguishable to the computer, which my then NWP macro used to recognise as styles.


1 Like

Thank you for the detailed explanation Mark!

I’m on Windows (without Word) and use Libre, but I think that Libre is fairly close to NWP in its functionality. I know that it can create style sheets compatible with Scrivener, and does have macro capability. It can also output a docx.

I’m thinking I may adjust slightly and only customize paragraph styles with unusual ruler settings like non standard indents and multiple tabs, right aligned etc. The rest I can just mark with either an ‘empty’ name or color if they will need alternative styling at compile. I really didn’t want to lock in the font since I can change the font family at compile.

I agree 100% especially for my ‘odd’ indents and tab stops. It makes things so much easier to read in the editor too.

I am so very glad you mentioned this. This has been part of my “not quite right” compile testing. One mystery solved! :white_check_mark: Thank you again!

I still need to figure out the numbering. :nose:

Ioa posted a sample list set-up/compile settings that did well compiling list (before I knew this wasn’t a formatted list per-se.) I’ll play with that a little more to see if I can add the tab stops without screwing it up.