Scrivener treats front matter as chapters

Hi there. This one has me tearing my hair out. I am trying to compile a novel with three text items in the ebook front matter folder. Scrivener for some reason treats these as chapters, meaning that I get something like the following. Can someone please help? I’ve looked everywhere and noone else seems to have had this problem.

Chapter 1

Novel title
Author name

Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4
Chapter 1

Sounds like these front matter pieces are on the same level in the binder as your Chapter folders. Moving them to the left in the Binder, in line with the Draft/Manuscript level, might just do the trick for you.

I hope some day that creating a separate “Front Matter” folder and selecting it in the Contents pane of the compile window, that those files would (somehow) get their own compile settings. But until that complex problem can be solved without further complicating the compile process, this is what you can do:

There are a lot of variables here, so I’m going to suggest a couple of things so that I don’t have to write out 3 or more scenarios…

First, make sure that you have a “Front Matter” folder outside of your Manuscript/Draft/whatever it’s called folder. There should not be any folders inside the Front Matter folder, just the title page, acknowledgements document, etc…

Second, your book’s chapters should be folders with text documents indented under each folder (“scene” documents, in other words). If that’s not how you organized things, please say so before restructuring your entire book.

Open up the compile window, and from the “Format As” drop-down list, select the Paperback Novel or the Standard Manuscript preset.

Go to the Contents pane. Check the “Add front matter” box, and select your Front Matter folder.

Go to the Formatting pane. There should be 3 different icons, but are likely multiple lines for one or more of the icons. You’re looking for the icon that resembles a tiny, type-written page (NOT the stack of two type-written pages!). There should be a Level 1 and a Level 2+ (with the 2+ indented under the Level 1 row).

Click on the Level 1 document row. Then click on the “Section Layout” button. Select everything in the Prefix box (which should look like “Chapter <$t>” with a paragraph symbol after it) and delete it all, including the paragraph symbol. Click OK.

Now compile, or click the “Save & Close” button to save these compile settings to your project (clicking Cancel will throw out the compile settings you’ve done since opening the compile window).

You should then get a compile with titles but no “Chapter X” prefix for your front matter, followed by your chapter folder names + Chapter X prefixes.