'Print View' based on compile settings

Hi, I would like to see some sort of ‘Print View’ or ‘Word-Processor’ option. This would show a paged-view (if appropriate) of all the text based on the compile settings, with all the correct fonts, titles, footers, separators etc. in place, just as one would get in a word processor.

When I am deep into editing my manuscripts I find it difficult to locate the written edits I have made when copying them up in Scrivener - it is much easier if the page I am holding corresponds to what I am looking at on-screen.

It would also allow the user to tweak the layout of the manuscript in real time to arrive at print-ready layout.


There is no way to do that without the entire program to be rewritten to work like a word processor or desktop publishing system. :smiley: Meanwhile most people come to this software to get away from that approach in the first place.

But then again that is why some people do not edit in Scrivener—particularly once they start working with an editor. This program is built for the early phases of a writing project, and surely can be used to creep into other phases as well, depending upon ones tastes and working habits, but there is nothing wrong with taking what you’ve done in the project and closing it down for good once you’ve reached a point where you are spending more time trying to work around its first-draft approach than getting work done.

We might have some stuff in store for the future that will help you out specifically, but for now if you want to use Scrivener to edit against a printed copy, the best approach is to use Project Search to find the phrase you need to edit.

Many thanks for your reply.

It does seem that Scrivener is often described as being built for the early phases of development, but I would have thought that the Mac version is suitable for most users to take their work to completion (especially for self-publishing). It appears to have full pdf and ebook support, and enough layout options for most eventualities.

The frustrating thing for me is that I bought the Windows version for almost the same amount of money as the Mac version, but after four years of waiting it still feels incomplete. I can get the book 99% of the way there, but a couple of missing options in the compiler mean that I have to export the whole thing out into InDesign (or even Open Office, which can export print-ready pdfs) just to do a couple of tweaks. But Scrivener still has the ability to compile to ebook, so I need to keep that version up to date, and now I have two versions of the manuscript to edit instead of one.

I just read that the developers announced the imminent release of Scrivener 3 on Mac, but that was 6 months ago, and even then the Windows version was described as being way behind this version.

I apologise if this sounds like a rant, but, while a major upgrade is very welcome when it comes, it feels as though just a few additions to the compile settings would have made this into the standalone writing software that is the Mac version. As it is, I’ve been waiting 4 years for an update, and it feels as though it may be at least another year to wait. :frowning:

I do love the features of Scrivener for organising ideas, I just wish I could use it for completing the story as well. :slight_smile:

I think the underlying problem of what you suggest is that every time you did anything to your manuscript, even typing a single letter, it would have to run compile just to redraw the pages as they would now appear. I think it would only take a few minutes of that before you would want to turn it off!

My 1/2p


Haha, well, it was a wish list - I would obviously wish for it to be built in a way that would work… :wink:

I just thought an option for a text editor that reflected the current style and layout of the compile settings might be a useful addition some day in the future. :slight_smile:

You can get pretty close to that on the Mac using paragraph presets with “Preserve Formatting” set, and using “Page View”, but I don’t know if the latter has made it to the Windows version, or if you’ll have to wait for v. 3.

Version 3 for Mac has been on beta testing for some weeks apparently, so we’re all hoping it’ll be released soonish; v. 3 for Windows will follow on in due course. As I understand it, LAP and Tiho_D have been working for a long time on Windows v. 3, but they’ll only be able to finalise it once Mac v. 3 is finally out, so inevitably, it will come out later than Mac v. 3.


Thanks for the heads-up on the release date.
Yes, sadly that seems to be another thing missing from the Windows version.
Good to know it will be there in a future version though.

There is no estimated released date for 3.0 at this time, actually - we haven’t even made any official announcements about it. There will be more news when it is closer to being ready and we are ready to start talking about it.

All the best,

Scrivener is not and has never been intended to replace something like InDesign, on either the Mac or Windows platform.

While some users can and do take their manuscripts all the way to finished, published output in Scrivener, that’s very much going to depend on the nature of the project.


Hi Katherine, I agree, it doesn’t need to try and replace them.

But what I meant was that I had to export to InDesign or Open Office just to perform a couple of tweaks in order to get even a basic layout (such as adding margins for facing pages, verso headers, removing headers on chapter title pages, beginning page numbering after front matter etc.).
Sadly, that’s what makes it all the more frustrating with the Windows version.


“A couple of tweaks” and “basic layout” mean very different things to different people. I recently helped someone who considered text reflow around images to be a “basic” function and was very disappointed by (Mac) Scrivener’s inability to do it.


I totally understand, but the examples I gave really do seem basic for a piece of writing software, and I’m sure have been in the Mac version since very early on. To have had no facing page layout option in the compiler in six years of Windows development seems odd to say the least. :wink:

To balance my words out a little, I do think there is so much to love about Scrivener - I love the depth and complexity it offers in some respects, and the organisation side of the software is something that I have been unable to find anywhere else (and I have looked, a lot :wink: ). Being able to label, colour-code and have character notes, locations, research - it’s brilliant. :slight_smile:

I wish that the shortcomings I mentioned earlier had been prioritised several years ago over things like mobile sync, but I’m sure there are people who would argue the opposite. I also wish that an approach of smaller, regular updates could have been undertaken instead of a single one over several years. Perhaps this approach has been unavoidable, but I would have gladly paid even for smaller updates.

As it stands, I have waited 4 years for parity with Version 2 on the Mac, only to find out a couple of days ago that version 2 has been skipped for another lengthy development phase. Version 2 would have done just fine. :wink:

But, my frustration will fade, and I’ll go back to Open Office and wait patiently - I look forward to V3…

Actually not really. :slight_smile: The first version of Scrivener had a compile pane with all of three tabs, and nearly everyone had to take the result into some other software to finish it up. The Windows version by comparison is far more powerful than anything Mac people had for years.

And as far as it goes for writing software, I would say none of what you described would be considered basic, but I guess that’s a difference in definitions and preferences. To my mind writing software is something you write with, not something you mess around with page layout in—but I’m the sort that’s happy in a plain-text editor like Vim. :wink: I’d rather give up computers for writing than write inside of a page layout environment! To me that would be like trying to sketch in a 3d rendering package. I guess you could, but there is much more to be said for specialised tools that focus on just the right parts of a process than using the wrong tool for the job, or alternatively, striving for monolithic, watered down jacks of all trades like OpenOffice.

Well that’s the thing, even though we never really gave it a formal version number and charged everyone for an upgrade, the version you are using is far closer to what is available on the Mac now, than 1.0 was, and indeed from the version that initially shipped for Windows. So I suppose while we could have added a few of these remaining components at some point and like I say, charged money for it, it made more sense to just roll all of that into a version that was fully caught up, and then charge for that. Maybe that’s not the best in terms of business sense, but it seemed more fair to you all to do things that way then having you pay twice over the years for incremental changes.

Haha, that’s cruel, don’t say that! I would have gladly paid for any update to the compiler! :wink: