Patient Help with Compilation Requested

When you realise you don’t even know how to ask a good question, you know you’re in trouble. I’m in trouble.

TL;DR A compiled PDF output is described and illustrated (I’d also like it to be basically the same in ePub, but with a ToC of the Parts up front, but, one thing at a time), as a “proof copy” for beta readers, together with what little I think I already know. I would really appreciate it if anyone had the patience to help me get there. I’m in danger of making this too long, so I’ll leave further details until someone raises a question or two.

Figure 1 – a mockup of the binder structure. Note that the document with child documents could be a folder… whatever works best with the section type assignment from structure. I’ve tried to label and identify the various elements so they can be easily identified in the idealised output of Figure 2.


Figure 2 – what I would like it to look like, mocked up in Word.

What I Think I Know (WITIK)

Figure 3 – Section types in project settings:


Figure 4 – Structure allocation


Figure 5 – Levels?

UPDATE - IGNORE THIS BIT OF THE QUESTION By creating a doc directly under the Draft folder and watching the highlighting via Project Settings, … Secttion Types. Default Types by Struture I can see what’s what now.

Question – is a “root file” file directly beneath the MS Folder, or any first child of a folder? Do the “levels” of documents refer to nested documents or any other counting of levels? I suspect someone’s given this a lot of thought but I don’t get it, because the Help shows “Text at level 1” beneath the root folder, but there is a “root file” type. If all docs reside in the special “Draft” folder they would have to be at least level 1 as illustrated, so what is a “root file”? (Checked the Manual C.2., didn’t spot an answer there.)


Root files, (root anything, group, file, folder) are at the same level than your Manuscript folder.
They are as close to the left edge as can be. (In the binder.)

If you click on an item in this list:
…the corresponding binder elements will light up in yellow (in the binder – your files). So it makes it easy to see what is what.

After that, it is only a matter of making different layouts and section types – whether you use auto-assignation or not – for all of the different ways scenes are to look (with a title – without a title, etc), and then either fix what binder element goes to which layout via binder structure (exceptions can be set manually) or do the whole thing by hand.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .
From what I can see, you’ll need an unique section type and section layout for:
your one star separator,
your 3 stars separator,
(The page break you can set in the layout of your chapters’ master folder’s layout.)

(You could also simply type in your stars separator where they go, in your files directly, in the editor, and use a single layout for all of your scenes.) – Of course, that’s only from the little I can see in your short excerpt.

Thank you, @Vincent_Vincent. I’m look at using a mix of auto structure assignments and manual section types now.

I still struggle with the ambiguity of the “section” terminology, but I’m slowly learning to treat is as just a label.

Section types in the main interface.
Section layouts in the compiler.

See the section types as the patch chords of a patchbay in a recording studio. (?)
What track goes to which compressor. → Here it’s what document(s) go(es) to which layout.
The patch bay is the middle section of the compile panel.

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Ah, yes. Just the trivially easy bits with all their tabs, sub-options, and parts to grapple with now :wink:

my strong suggestion is start with default template and try different ones to get nearest your desired result. Then duplicate and edit this one to fine tune. If sections are wrong and don’t appear consistently, then check in inspector pane at metadata, or can add a section type category to an outline column and put the whole novel in outline format.
Now check that each Act is the same section type, each chapter heading is a different section type (and all are identical), then look at scenes and follow the same pattern.
Often people will do front and back matter using the As Is section type to preserve what may be unique formatting for these sections.
Misplaced section types can really screw up the compile function.

Also could do a collection with an Act, 2-3 chapters and scenes, and front and back matter to quickly compile (look at dropdown in third compile pane where under manuscript can compile collections) and rapidily cycle thru adjustments till get result you want .
Then label this format and save as a MY format (system wide).
Hope this helps get you going.

Thanks to everyone. I can see I have cast my net too wide.

I am working out a workflow, dealing specifically with the arbitrariness of Section “Types” (labels) and other named elements of Compilation, to make the relationships clearer (to me).

I don’t think my original question can be answered briefly.

Compile is a jigsaw - one has to grok all the pieces to see how they fit together; the picture on the box is not enough.

Like calculus, seems impossible till the concept clicks.