Pre-First Draft from Scrivener into a PDF Format

Using Windows, I need an actual PDF copy of a first draft to email someone for a quick review. I’m guessing this is basic 101 but I could use some elementary help here and can’t seem to find it in the video tutorials. Any suggestions? Is it as simple as Select All, Copy and Paste into a Word Doc? If so, it doesn’t seem to be working for me.

Hello SuzanneJoyRiley, and welcome to the forum.

For a task like this, I would recommend using the File > Compile command to have Scrivener compile your manuscript into a PDF for you.

When you select File > Compile, you’ll see the main compile panel. There, you’ll choose which output file type you want using the drop-down next to “Compile for.” That’s in the top-middle of the screen, and PDF is the one you’ll want.

You’ll select the compile format you want to use in the left-hand column. If you’re not fussy about the formatting, you can use the Default option. It’s a good, general purpose option for sharing a project quickly.

In the middle section, you’ll choose which formatting each section type uses. And the right-hand section determines which documents are compiled.

For a more in-depth overview of the compile process, Chapters 23 and 24 of the Scrivener manual offer additional guidance on using the compile settings and the customization process. You can access a PDF of the manual via Scrivener’s Help menu.

You might also review Scrivener’s Interactive Tutorial, which you can access from its Help menu. It has tips on how to compile a project. You could even compile the Tutorial’s text using a few different compile formats to see how they affect the output file.

We also have a 4-part video series titled “Getting Your Work Out” on the Mac tutorial videos page.

I know you’re on a PC, but the compile process on the Mac and PC is similar. Those videos demonstrate using the built-in compile formats as well as show the customization process. Seeing them might be helpful.

And, if you’re really in a jam, please use either the form or the email links on our contact us page to submit a help request.

We’re still working through our significant backlog from our holiday break, but our tech-support team would be happy to assist.

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