New to Scrivener...First Export

I have been using Scrivener to write an ebook. I’m trying to export it to send to an editor. When I compile to either a .doc or .docx or even a pdf I run into the following situations:

  1. All of the text format (font selection, paragraphs, etc) is gone.
  2. Only some of the images that I have selected and placed in specific locations in the text appear in the exported version.
  3. Selections that I didn’t highlight/choose are included in the export version as chapters.
  4. Random sections are underlined.

Am I confused on the capabilities of scrivener? I purchased the software expecting that I would be able to create my books and then export them so that they would appear as originally formatted in the software.

Thank you for your help!

It sounds like you may be compiling the project using a preset that’s making some unexpected alterations to your formatting, such as converting italics to underlines and using a different font. The first thing I’d do is switch the compile preset to “Original”, which will maintain all your editor formatting and not add anything extra like “Chapter One” and so on. You can easily add that back in if you want it, but it will probably be simpler to just start with the basics and build up so you can get a better idea of what the compiler is doing.

Images only compile if they are inserted into the text, but they should be included then if that text document is marked to be included in compile and is part of the compile group. Typically that means it’s contained within the Draft folder; it’s possible though to change the compile group to only a subsection of the Draft, so in compile, click the blue arrow button to expand the window if needed, then click on “Contents” on the left and make sure the dropdown menu at the top of that section says “Draft” (or “Manuscript” or whatever you may have renamed that special folder holding all your chapters and scenes). In the table below, you should see all the documents and folders set to compile, so make sure the ones with your images are there and have a check mark in the “include” column.

As for what’s included, there’s no way to compile only selected portions of a single binder document–e.g. if you have a document called “Fred meets a turtle” that has three paragraphs, you can’t select the text in the middle paragraph and then have only that text compile. Either the whole document compiles or none of it does. If the document appears in that contents list in compile and is marked for inclusion, it will be in the compiled file. (You can affect this a bit by the settings in the compile Formatting tab, so a document might be marked for inclusion but set in formatting to have only its title compiling rather than its text, but the “Original” preset will always just compile the text, so you don’t need to worry about that.)

If you need to compile only specific text within a document, that may be a good reason to split the document into several smaller documents using the Documents > Split command. You could then deselect “include in compile” from the ones with text you don’t need. Another possibility could be marking the unwanted text as an inline annotation (select it in the editor and choose Format > Inline Annotation), then in compile’s Comments/Footnotes tab, check the option to “Remove inline annotations”. How you handle it is really going to be a matter of preference and what exactly you need to exclude or include, whether it’s a temporary exclusion, etc. Folks here may have suggestions if you want to share a little more about your particular situation.


I had a similar problem and was writing a reply to this post. But! As I was writing all the various things I tried to get it to compile, I had an ah ha moment, thinking about how all my chapters were in a folder called Draft, and the only thing that got compiled were the few items in a folder called Manuscript. I moved all my chapters to the Manuscript folder and - voila! It compiled to my chosen format.

Not sure why it wouldn’t compile the Draft folder but at least I got it figured out. I’ve been perplexed for weeks. Why is there even a drafts folder if it won’t enable me to do anything with it other than write?

Maybe this would help you, Alisa?

That seems odd. Depending on which project template you chose, there should have been either a Draft or a Manuscript folder (or Script, or a few other options), not both. They often refer to that folder as the “Draft” folder rather than typing all the variations their templates use (you can rename it to anything you like in addition to those options), but you can tell it from other folders by the icon, which looks like a page with another one curling back behind it.