I love Scrivener but: I’d really, really like to be able to number my pages, simply and easily, automatically, where a box comes up asking: “Top or bottom, left or right, type of number, etc.” and the application does what I want automatically, so I can go to any page at any time, without having to wait till I transfer the whole draft to another word processor.
When writing a long draft such as a novel , this used to be invaluable in the early Microsoft Word word processor, though now they have made it so complicated it doesn’t work. Applescript page numbers always come up on the left, so you have to physically alter to the right, and the same with Nissus.
A novelist needs page numbers. I don’t understand how all these talented novelist-Scrivener users manage to work without being able to paginate.
Otherwise, I love Scrivener.

I don’t really understand how a novelist needs page numbers - novelists work in word counts. You can go to any part of your manuscript just by clicking on it in the binder, and the parts in the binder, if you structure nicely, will have more meaning than just this-or-that page, and so should be much easier to find and use for navigation than page numbers.

Scrivener 2.0 will have a page layout view, but it’s mainly for screenwriters wanting to get a rough idea of whether they have filled a page or not, or for those who just like the look. It still won’t be WYSIWYG - no page numbers in the corners and no way to navigate to a particular page given that the pages will just be associated with each chunk.

Pages as a concept just don’t make any sense in Scrivener, given that:

  1. You break the text down into smaller chunks, which could be bigger than or smaller than a page. As you can look at all of these chunks individually - indeed, that is the normal way of working in Scrivener - any putative page view would only show a subset of pages anyway, and the text at the top of the first page of a single document in Scrivener may end up halfway down or at the bottom of a page when compiled.

  2. You can completely alter the formatting when you compile or export. So you can write in Optima 13 with 1.2 line spacing and no indents and then export to Courier 12 with 0.5" indents and double line spacing. So the pagination of your compiled draft is going to be completely different anyway. And as mentioned in (1), even if you don’t change the format on compile, pagination will be different once the chunks are put together in Compile anyway.

So, although a page layout view will be available in 2.0 for those who just prefer the look of a page for writing, Scrivener will never do “true” WYSIWYG pagination and is unlikely ever to do such things as show the header and footer, page numbers, footnotes and so on exactly as they would appear on the page, because that’s not what Scrivener is for; a WYSIWYG page layout system is many ways the antithesis of Scrivener, which is about breaking things up and shuffling things around for your first draft.

Scrivener is not a page layout program, in other words - that stuff is left to Word, Pages, Nisus or whatever your preferred word processor is for after the Compile process.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Thanks. Yes, that’s clarified things for me - I’m not searching for what is not there. I just need to get used to working in Scrivener, then transferring to a word processor. It has been great to have been able to break down my text into various sized pieces, using the corkboard and binder and so on, but I haven’t completed a first draft yet, so haven’t had the experience of tranferring the whole thing to a processor and carrying on from there.
Thanks for your prompt answer - that’s a truly fantastic service.
(I’ve been working on writing about my childhood when I was a London evacuee in September 39, sent from Hackney to a village in Hertfordshire, so it’s so good to have a London contact for help - who better!)


Glad that helped. Actually if you mean me by a “London contact”, I’m not in London any more - I was for thirteen years but moved to Cornwall a couple of years ago. Your project sounds interesting; there’s something fascinating about the idea of all those children being evacuated (probably because of the children’s stories it prompted later which I read in my own childhood, I don’t know). When I took my own kids to a WW2 museum recently, they too were fascinated by a mock-up scene of children on a platform, being evacuated.

All the best,