Newbie Questions—Layout

I’m new to Scrivener. The more I’m using it the more I’m really into the method of thinking and working. It’s changing the way I write. I do get that Scrivener isn’t intended to be page layout and it isn’t really wysiwyg.

However… limitations on formatting are really getting to me. Here’s the reality of my workflow. I’m creating a book serially, chapter by chapter. But I also need to print and finish each chapter as they come. So I mostly write it in Scrivener and then export to Word to get everything just right. It has tables, blanks for them filling in, footnotes. Lots of stuff that can throw things off.

So in Word I get those things fixed up but in the process I notice a typo; change the wording here and there, rework some awkward sentences. Now because I’m writing a book I need to go back and paste those things into Scrivener. So I’m manually syncing two documents sentence by sentence. Not good. At which point I’m starting to wonder if I should have saved myself headache and just written in Word.

I’d like to just work in Scrivener. I’d really like to work in Scrivener. I could nearly do that if footnotes would appear on the page as actual normal footnotes in “page view.” Is there a way to do that?

As it is, if I print directly from Scrivener the footnotes throw everything off and I get unexpected layout in subsequent pages with bad results. Help?

Do you really need to re-import the fixes to Scrivener? Lots of people treat Scrivener as a way of organizing their thoughts and writing the first draft, then moving to Word for layout and exchanging revisions with editors.

Editing to add: While I understand your desire to make it a round-trip, and to make the Scrivener project a definitive source for the text, it’s going to frustrate you mightily if you really need to go back to it, as there’s no way for you to preserver your layout if you re-import to Scrivener and then back out to Word.

Are you exporting to Word just to print it out?

I like to read a draft on paper, so I print the contents of the editor page. (Cmd+P). If I want to print a chapter (a folder of sheets) I select the folder in the Binder, click in the editor pane and then print the whole chapter. That way, any changes I make, are made in Scrivener.

You can compile to print, but I don’t bother because Cmd+P works fine for my purposes.

Only when is eveything correct, do I export to Word.

I’d take a look at this thread on the pros & cons of trying to bring an edited Word document back into Scrivener:

It takes some work – whether it’s worth it will depend on how close you are to the final ms., how much you really need Scrivener features, etc.

And definitely, as others have said, if you don’t need to collaborate or get external review of a Word document, it’s much easier to keep it all in Scrivener up until the end.

Thanks all for the helpful thoughts and pointers. So am I correct that there isn’t a way to see a footnote where it will actually fall on the page when compiled, ie. as wysiwyg?

The closest – and the solution I’d choose – is to Compile to Print, and then send the document to Preview rather than your printer.


No, you can’t see the result of the Compile before you have done the compile, of course. Scriveners editor is not a wysiwyg editor, and even if it were, what kind of output would it show? You can compile to a large number of different output formats and they would all look differently. Where would the footnote fall in a epub or Kindle mobi output?