Roman Numerals and Page Numbering

I’ve been experimenting today with getting my page numbering correct in Scrivener3.0.1 for the paperback version of my book. What I’m trying to accomplish is to have the page numbering as follows.

Blank Page: no number
Title Page: no number
Blank Page: no number
Copyright Pages: no number
Dedication: no number
Contents: no number
Foreword: i
Preface: ii
Prologue: ii
Introduction: iv
Chapter 1 Page 1: 1

What’s happening is that the Roman numerals are starting on the first blank page before the Title page making the Foreword show up as “viii” instead of “i”. Also, instead of Chapter 1, Page 1 showing up as “1”, it’s coming up as page 20 (counting from the first page of the book). I’m stumped. How do I get the page numbering to show up as I want it?

Has anyone figured out how to set the starting pages for Roman numerals and page 1 of chapter 1? I’m still not having success. And, why does Scrivener 3 only allow us to set the main header and footer to start after front matter of on page 2? Why not let us choose the page we want it to start on? Why so limiting. It doesn’t make sense.

There’s no way to do this - you will need to export to a word processor for this sort of control. You can choose to have different page numbering for front matter, but that includes all front matter and cannot start partway through. (There is a bug whereby in RTF/doc export page 1 - first page after front matter - can end up counting front matter and so coming out as e.g. p20, which is fixed for the next update, but this won’t help you have blank pages then Roman numbering and then regular numbering, I’m afraid.)

All the best,

Not to be argumentative, but if Scrivener can set numbering to start on page 2, why can’t it offer the option of setting a different start page determined by the user? Instead, we’re forced to use another program to do it. The programming for that shouldn’t be difficult to manage. Also, if you can set a page for the main header and footer to start, why can’t the same feature be offered for front matter. It just seems shortsighted to me.

I need a way to remove roman numberal numbering from my title page. I gave my title page its own section layout, but it doesn’t make a difference.
My need is simple: no page number title page, then roman numbrerals front matter (I’ve got that), then regular page numbering for main scenes/chapters (got that too.).

Any advice?

Section Layouts don’t affect page numbers or headers and footers. To make it so that the header and footer does not appear on your title page, simply tick “No header and footer on: [ ] Single pages”. This will remove headers and footers for any page that appears on its own (that is, where page breaks make it so that there is a page on its own, such as a title page).

Note that the title page will still be counted in the Roman numeral numbering even though the header and footer will be omitted, though. There is no way to avoid this without exporting to dedicated word processor, but it is standard among books that use Roman numbering for front matter to include the title page (and contents page and anything else) in the numbering even though the numbering is not shown on such pages.

To reply to Chuck’s comment, which I missed back in January:

Chuck clearly hasn’t done any programming related to RTF. :slight_smile: Different page numbering sections in a project and omitting the header and footer from some pages and not others requires:

(1) Scrivener’s own printing and PDF-generation mechanisms to implement the various different ways for this to work.

(2) Scrivener to handle all of this in RTF code using different sections (in a word processing sense). It’s tricky enough setting this sort of thing up with only a couple of sections in a word processor such as Word, let alone reverse-engineering it into Apple’s RTF text system!

Scrivener’s handling of different page numbering streams, front matter and so on is already incredibly complex and comprising thousands of lines of code. It would be far from simple to add yet another option which says, “As well as starting the regular numbering after front matter, also have some different stuff going on inside the front matter.”

Scrivener is built to handle most common cases, and anything else can be done in a word processor. As I say, though, looking through half a dozen books on my shelves that use Roman numerals for front matter, all pages at the front of the book are counted, including title pages, content pages and so on that have no headers or footers on them.

All the best,

With all due respect Keith, most books do not have roman numerals (or numeric) page numbers on their title pages. Using the single page omit page numbers workaround creates a mess in the body of the page numbering. If that were an option that could be relegated to the front matter, that would solve the issue entirely. I think this would be appropriate if you’re considering an update in the near future. Seeing this question has drawn over a thousand inquiries should be an indication of a feature many folks would like to have.

How so? If the title page has section type “title page”, for instance, and it’s only one page, and you’ve told Compile to omit footers on single pages, what’s the issue with that?

Then, if other front matter pages (multiple) are collected in a single document), they’ll have “first pages” footers. Right?

Depends on what the body of your piece is. In my case, it’s a collection of one-page essays, each with its own header. So, selecting the first pages disables page numbering throughout the MS. Since each essay has a TOC entry, it’s a real non-starter. In my case, I’ll substitute the first (title) page in my PDF file to solve the issue, but it would be nice to have that option. I’m sure there are many who have navigated this same problem…

Interesting! I’ve never heard that problem described before, and I’ve heard a LOT — but it makes sense to me now.

Not that I think footers serve any real purpose, on the other hand. I’ve read a thousand ebooks without any.

Your case is a left-field case, precisely the kind of thing that doesn’t concern the vast majority of Scrivener users, so I would doubt whether it could be implemented as a one-click solution, and I imagine it would require a lot of code.

For instance, Scrivener, with all it’s facilities is about 205MB on my MBA; Nisus Writer Express—Nisus’ basic word processor—which is built on the same text engine but which I think could do it, is 156MB. Nisus Writer Pro, which can definitely do it but includes a full Macro language and much more, is a hefty 668MB!

That said, by being creative with section types and section layouts in the compiler and the formatting in the latter, you might be able solve your problem that way.

If not, deal with it post compile in your word processor of choice, which is what I would do.



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This is for a non-fiction print only edition of collected essays. Admittedly, it’s a relatively minor complaint. My solution is to simply recompile with the page numbers off and substitute the title page in Preview. Since in the non-fiction print world title pages are not numbered as a rule, front matter pages vary as to whether they display lower case Roman numerals from subsequent pages. Since Scrivener is so adaptable in other respects, I was surprised at this omission. I usually output ebooks and fiction, so this was something that has never come up before.

I’m not going to weigh in on whether and where page numbers should be off; I don’t have any impression off the top of my head, apart from title pages having no number.

I think I could do what you want in Scrivener compile, except for the count used. I’m not going to experiment, but I think Scriv is going to start counting from the first physical page.

I never compile directly to PDF. I always compile to RTF opened automatically in Nisus Writer Pro (essentially I treat Scrivener’s behind-the-scenes RTF as a markup language, using a macro in NWP to finalise the formatting) so to do what you want would only mean replacing two page-breaks with section breaks (new page) and setting the different footers in each of the sections (a couple of minutes work) and then print/export to PDF from NWP.

But each to their own method.



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I found a solution, and although it’s inelegant, it works in my case, and it may help others with a similar problem. I simply put the title page into “back matter” with turned page numbering off. Then, after compiling directly to the pdf, I drag it into place and save it. Scrivener’s saving grace is there’s always more than one way to skin the cat!

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Good idea, although I have no idea how to “drag it into place”.

Seems pretty elegant to me! :wink:

In Acrobat or Preview, you drag it to the first-page position in the thumbnail view and save. I suppose you could cut and paste also.