Option to allow to change page orientation within a document

When writing non-fiction it is often necessary to insert large diagrams and tables in landscape orientation. I tend to refer to these diagrams and tables as I am writing.

I like that Scrivener 3 (Windows) now has the Page View mode that shows page layout. It would be helpful if Scrivener either allowed pages to be set as landscape (preferable) or enable content to be rotated 90 degrees so it appears as it would in the final book when compiled. Is this possible?

Page View isn’t actually a page layout tool, and doesn’t represent the final pagination and layout. So even if you could rotate random pages in the middle of the work, it wouldn’t make much sense to as that “page” might end up two or five away from where the actual spot is in the final result.

You’d be better off just putting a marker of some sort as text into this spot, so that once you get into an actual page layout environment, these kinds of final design decisions can be implemented.

Perhaps I should have said ‘page setup’ rather than ‘page layout’, but nonetheless this is still a valid Wish List request is it not?

Do you mean you wish for the entire document to be printed in landscape? If so, that all seems to be working fine for me:

  1. Use File ▸ Page Setup... and set orientation to landscape.
  2. Enable Page View mode in the editor.

The pages should be sized as you would expect:

I am aware of the File->Page Setup for the complete document orientation. I am requesting the setting of individual pages where diagrams and tables require landscape orientation. This is a common requirement for non-fiction, and the marker approach does not help when there is a need to use or refer to elements within a diagram or table during the writing process. Of course, there are workarounds, but these are often fiddly and tend to disrupt writing flow. I could use Word, but then I lose the organisational benefits of Scrivener, so I thought I would make this request.

I think Ioa’s point is that Scrivener is not intended to be a page layout tool, and features like this are outside of its scope.

I’m not sure why you object to the marker approach. Scrivener will happily allow you to place tables that exceed the width of the printed page, and it doesn’t calculate page references until you Compile anyway. So just place the table as you normally would with a page break on either side, and then rotate the table in the output document once you’re done.

Okay, yeah it seems I understood you in the initial request, but perhaps did not explain well enough how impossible it would be for Scrivener to set one “page” to be rotated while others are not. It does not have any concept of a page in nearly every aspect of its design—even when exporting. The closest thing to it is using PDF, but that’s mainly just there for quick proofing, and even then we aren’t fully in control of page layout.

Ultimately, Page View is an aesthetic option for those that like the feel of writing on “paper”, and the psychological satisfaction of filling up “pages”. It is, in keeping with Scrivener’s scope: a writing tool, not a design tool.

To clarify a point on using markers, I was referring to what is a commonly used technique of using abstract styles and text-based markers to indicate instructions to the designer in the final layout phase. The idea isn’t to completely remove the content you are marking as needing special design treatment, as it sounds like you were thinking. The table would still be there, there would just be an inline annotation or comment around it that you would use as a checklist for final formatting. For example if you’re writing a book with a lot of call-out margin columns, tip boxes, and so on, those would usually be done with a style or “START// … //END” type conventions that the designer would have macros set up to convert to final layout.

Have I misunderstood what is meant by ‘Wish List’ on this forum?

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No, but it is perhaps misunderstood that I am one of the ones that looks at feature requests and evaluates them for their fitness in the software. If something is clearly outside of scope then I’ll mention that and try to provide a way of achieving what you’re looking to do.

I resolved it, in deciding, when comparing the choices between a limited layout and a bibliological feature set, or fiddly workarounds required in Scrivener, and the limited document organisational capabilities of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Word was the better option for non-fiction writing in my case.

Great, glad to hear that will work for you! Hopefully you’ll find Scrivener useful for another project that requires less layout while you’re writing.

I find very often that if something seems “limited” and full of “fiddly workarounds”, that it’s a good sign you’re in the wrong program for how you work, anyway. Usually things work best in alignment with the design of the software. For myself, and by example, I would describe Word as nothing but limited and full of fiddly workarounds for what I would hypothetically need it for (all non-fiction as well, but I use Scrivener+LaTeX instead of graphical DTPs for design).

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