Pagination when compiling

I’m a Scrivener noob and recently imported a complete manuscript I drafted in Pages. I’ve separated the manuscript into parts, sections, and chapters and set up the section types as instructed. When I compile the manuscript (whether in default or another format type), I find that the text within individual chapters does not fill many/most of the pages but, instead, the text breaks well before the end of each page. In other words, I have lots of pages with blank space on the lower half while the text continues on the next page. What am I doing wrong? Any way to correct this so the text fills the pages as it should? Thanks.

There are really two things to look at here.

  1. In your Compile settings (middle section), each of your Section Types gets assigned to one of the available Section Layouts associated with your chosen Compile Format. A Section Layout can dictate a page-break-before, so any doc assigned to a Section Type that is in turn assigned to such a Section Layout will get a page break at its outset. This is in all likelihood what you are seeing.

Look at a place where your compiled output has a spurious page break, find the document in Scriv where that text is — notice the page break was inserted just before the beginning of the text in that doc (I bet) — and check what Section Type the doc is assigned to. Now get into Compile like you were going to compile, and look into the central pane to see what Layout that section type is being assigned to. Does the preview of that layout show it to start with a page break — then that is your culprit.

  1. The other place your page breaks might come from is deeper down — in the settings of the Compile format itself. You would need to (duplicate and) edit your chosen compile format to check on this. In the compile settings details there is a place to set Separators — what if anything should happen in between two sections of the same type, or when a section of a distinct type comes up. Things like carriage returns and page breaks are the sort of separators that are typical there.


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What’s your ultimate goal here?

Scrivener is not a page layout tool. If you have a nearly complete manuscript in Pages, you have already done the things – research, organization, writing – that Scrivener is best at.

Thanks for the response. Good question. I’m imported the MS into Scrivener in this case primarily for the cork board feature–to make it easier to revise/reorganize the story flow.

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Thanks for the response. This is helpful and I’ll give these suggestions a try. Much appreciated.

Incorrect pagination is sometimes a result of the widow and orphan feature not working properly.

  1. Open File ▸ Compile...
  2. Double-click on your compile Format, in the left sidebar, to edit it.
  3. In the Text Layout option pane, disable the Avoid widows and orphans.

Otherwise, I’d use View ▸ Text Editing ▸ Show Invisibles and keep an eye out for blue bars on empty lines, around the spots where the page breaks prematurely. Those would be manually inserted page breaks, probably from Pages.

Excellent. I’ll try that. Thanks very much for the advice.