Pagination in Compile

Is there any settimg in Compile that will eliminate “widows” and “orphans”? That is, to paginate the text so that no page starts with a single last line of a paragraph in the preceding page, and no page ends with a single first line of a paragraph that continues on the next page.
This of course is a standard word-processing function, but I can find no reference to it in the Scriv manual.

As far as I know there is no such function in Scrivener.

Generally, you would take care of this in your layout program once you have your final Compile.

Thanks, Devin. I know I could run the compile result through a word processor, but I assumed Compile could produce a finished project. My project is a novel and nearly every page has short paragraphs of dialogue, so those widows and orphans show up frequently if not adjusted. A page that starts with a two-word line that belongs to the last paragraph of the previous page distracts the reader and can ruin the impact of a paragraph. I woujld not show a document that had lots of those to anyone, not even a casual or beta reader.

If I run a completed compile through a WP, what’s to guantee that some hidden devault setting in the WP program doesn’t change some good thing Compile has done?

This is a major disappointment to me. Maybe I should just export the text in the binder to a word processor and do all the formatting and prepping there. But that of course would make it difficult to change any text AFTER the document is done.

Whether Scrivener can produce publishable output depends in part on what you are looking for. We have always conceded that further processing in the tool of your choice may be necessary.

Mac Scrivener has some additional widow/orphan management options that Windows Scrivener does not, but only for some output formats.


Scrivener isn’t designed to be the end-all be all layout program (although many users find its current functions enough for their needs). It’s meant to be your primary writing and editing tool so that you can assemble your draft (via the Compile) function from all the various document fragments and folders and structure that you need while writing. You can do whatever you need in all those documents, and Compile is what stitches them together and provides the desired level of uniformity and consistency. Then, if what it produces isn’t enough for you, take that draft document and run it through your layout program of choice for final tweaks.

However, don’t get upset yet – Scrivener version 3 is coming soon for the Mac, and if you go on over to the L&L blog, you’ll see lots of posts about what’s new – including expanded support for styles. As in, being able to set styles in Scrivener and have those styles then match up when you Compile into another format. So then you simply have to make sure that matching styles in your WP of choice have the widow/orphan protection enabled. Now, all of this Scrivener 3 goodness will come to Mac first, but they’re working hard to get it brought to Windows as well with as much feature parity as is possible given the different coding frameworks.

Alternatively, you could make Scrivener do as much of the formatting as it’s capable of, then do 1 or 2 hopefully simple tasks in a word processor/layout program to tidy things up.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, does it?

Thanks again, Devin,
I’m well aware of the Scrivener help in writing and editing. I’ve been using it for some timie as I complete a huge novel with several interwoven plots. It could not be done without Scrivener. But I only recently needed Compile, and when I glanced through all those complex Compile instructions in the manual I just assumed that it could do it all. so I learned a bit of it and ran a few sample tests–and discovered those widows and orphans. So I am not complaining, just expressing by disappointment that a fine program is not perfect.

Thanks also for that bit of hope for the future. I’ll look over those changes you’ve pointed me to.


And thanks to Devin for giving me the clue. I don’t have to wait for Scrivener 3’s matching styles feature that you mentioned. All I have to do is compile into Word, first makeing sure that widows and orphans control, with the sub-settings, are set as Default in Word. Then Word does the job automatically as the project is compiled into it. I had not intended to use Word at all, but I can live with that inconvenience: just printing the Word document or saving it as PDF if that is what I need.
So thanks to all for pitching in. And I feel somewhat chagrined for not having thought of and tried this fix myself.