Screenplay page count field/column in outliner.


I absolutely love Scrivener, and I find it the best available software for screenplays. Outlining is completely intuitive and the ability to use nested folders for Acts/sequences is a lifesaver.

My request is for inclusion of “page count” as a column option in the outliner, and/or even a notation in the binder the way “document count” currently works there (I promise I searched for this in the software and the forums here. I hope I didn’t miss it).

Either data feature would help immeasurably when looking at an Act Folder, for example, to see which scenes are too fat. Right now word count is a choice in the outliner, but this is much less useful than page count for screenplays. Of course we can also see the document count in a binder folder, but it is likewise not very useful for screenplays.

Yes, I also appreciate that screenplay page counts in Scrivener are an estimate and should not be expected to match exactly to Final Draft exports, but even relative sizes for scenes really do help when evaluating an outline and a finished script.

Finally, since the challenge in writing for Film and Television is almost always to convey the most story information in the fewest pages, my wish list down the road would even include target page counts to set for scenes, acts, the whole script, the work day – as you now have with word count.

Cheers to your fine accomplishment with Scrivener. Your software is tremendous, and I tell every other screenwriter I know.

I second this for all the same stated reasons above. Thanks.


Unfortunately, page numbers are much more difficult and expensive to calculate, which is why they aren’t there. Word and character counts are built in attributes of the text itself. That is to say that a text object on macOS always knows its own “length” (character count), and with some code amendments in Scrivener text objects also know their own word count. So asking a text object for its character or word count costs almost nothing in processing, because it’s information built right in.

The same is not true of page counts, however. The page count of any particular piece of text is not known until it is laid out in a page layout container that uses all of the current project’s page size settings. (It is possible to calculate rough page counts by taking a word count and dividing it using certain assumptions, but this only gives an estimate of full pages, which is useless for screenwriting, where text is fairly sparse on the page.) This means that, in order to display a page count in the outliner, Scrivener would need to load the rich text from disk for every document in the outliner, load them into a page layout view, wait for layout to complete, and then grab the page count. For a few short documents, this might not be too bad. For a project with many long documents in it, however, this would be very slow, and the outliner would slow to a crawl.

All the best,

P.S. Many apologies to the original poster, whose suggestion didn’t receive a reply. We do read all suggestions in this forum but don’t always get chance to reply to every one.

I guess FD just lays out the text on a ‘pretend page’? Also, Scrivener knows which elements we have the text in, so ‘action characters divided by column width’ plus ‘dialogue characters divided by column width’ plus …etc, etc.

While writing early drafts of drama, it’s OK to have guesstimates, but to have none at all is very limiting.

@jk, here’s a somewhat roundabout way to get a sense of timing that I use in lieu of a pro screenwriting tool in S: Just select the scenes you’re interested in and compile them for PDF.

I realize this is an old topic, but as a new user I’d just like to add my voice to this conversation. Apologies if there’s a more recent thread on this, I searched and this is what came up. Anyways, I’m writing full time professionally, adapting a fantasy novel into an episodic animated series, and I absolutely LOVE the organizational features of Scrivener. But, just imagine how powerful this tool would be if the binder view or the outliner had a summary of page counts for each item, each folder showing the total page count of everything in it? To avoid bogging down the system, it could depend on button or something you had to manually press to get it to run the estimates, that way it’s just a one time process, not something that would slow down the work. Maybe that would be easier to implement in the inspector panel or the project statistics? I realize its a big ask on system resources and coding time, but it would really open up the industry-level screenwriting market to this product. Page counts are so critical to how you think about pacing, and often writers are constrained to certain page counts per episode which they have to stick to religiously. Right now, I can get away with using Scrivener because I work for a small spec studio, but you couldn’t feasibly walk into the writing department at a major broadcast show and expect that they’d even allow you to use software that doesn’t keep the page counts easily in view. This feature would make Scrivener into a potential Final Draft killer, which I think a lot of us would be happy about!

Another workaround that would serve this same purpose would be to allow Page View in Scrivenings mode.

Haha. Was just alerted to this old topic by an email from Scrivener. Hey there. Yes, I still want that feature but I do get @Keith’s reasoning from back in May 2017, which I’m reading now for the first time :wink:

Btw @charlie, you can indeed see Page View in Scrivenings mode, which is my workaround to date. I can’t tell from your post above if you are suggesting this idea or asking for it. If you’re asking, you can find that in the dropdown “View” menu: View → text editing → show page view.

In practice I approximate act length by making each act a folder containing all the scenes. I can then always choose this folder only and select the dropdown action as above.

Of course, I’d rather see the page amounts in the outliner as well (a tick box for it just like word count), but … I get why I can’t have nice things.