Possible to autonumber with two pages at a time?

I know that <%n> and <%N> are use for automatic sequential numbering, and that Roman numerals or alphabet letters are possible too. But is it possible to customize it to show two numbers at a time?

I make comics and I think in terms of ‘spreads,’ which is having two pages open at once. I script with both pages in mind, even if they are two separate pages.

Complicating this is thinking in terms of a physically published book, where Page 1 is the first page taking up the right side of the book, and pages 2-3 are the next ‘spread’.

So this numbering would need to start with pages 0-1, then the next spread would be pages 2-3, and so forth.

I can certainly live with the regular method of numbering but curiosity gets the best of me (and provides a distracting from writing :joy:). Is what I’m asking possible?

Where are you trying to show these numbers? In the Scrivener Editor, or in your output document?

I’m pretty sure you can’t do exactly what you want, but you could come close with dual numbering schemes: Spread A - Page 1; Spread A - Page 2; Spread B - Page 1; etc.

If you have two number streams that increment in tandem, after starting one of them alone, then you have two numbers counting up, but one off from each other. Seems like you ought to be able to leverage this to get the result. The only tricky part is that you need to always double increment – which means you need one pair of hidden increments each time.

Page <$n:recto>

<$n:verso><$n:recto> [[we hide this line]]

Pages <$n:verso> – <$n:recto>

<$n:verso><$n:recto> [[we hide this line]]

Pages <$n:verso> – <$n:recto>


The first, third and fifth lines here will give you:

Page 1

Pages 2–3

Pages 4–5

Subsequent spread numbers are obtained by repeating lines four and five.

Now your challenge is to get the lines like the second and fourth to be processed by compile but have them not actually appear in the output. There is probably a cool way to do this, but my two snazzy thoughts on this failed. A crude way would be to define a character style (“invisible ink”) for such lines and move them butt up against the pagination line that precedes it. Then in compile make things of that character style have white font color (hence invisible).

To wit:

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Sorry for not clarifying, I am thinking of the numbers being output when compiled.

I did not realize that it was possible to define left & right pages (verso/recto). It might be enough to note whether a page is left or right, which is root of the issue. Is that something that can be output on compile? And can the first page always be recto?

The Compile command can do both of these things.

To define different headers for recto/verso pages, see Section 24.20.5 in the Scrivener manual.

To always start sections on recto (or verso) pages, see Section 24.2.5 in the manual.

The first page of a book (title page) is recto if the print service prints it that way, no matter what Scrivener does. For later sections, you can set them in Compile to start recto (or verso), but I think, to make that work, Scrivener has to assume the printer starts recto. That makes odd numbered pages recto and evens verso. If the printer starts verso – putting the first page on the inside cover perhaps – everything is reversed, and Scrivener doesn’t know which the printer is doing. I think they always start recto, but still …

In the placeholder strategy I offered above, ‘verso’ and ‘recto’ are merely names which distinguish two distinct number count-up streams. They are so named so as to correspond to intent — but do not themselves determine or auto-respond to whether they are on verso and recto pages. The correspondence is down to how yu use them — as in the sample.

I assumed, perhaps wronging that your comic script would have a single document for each spread (and of course a single doc for page one at the outset.