Separators between pages


i used the search but didn’t find anything about it: is there any possibiltiy to get separators between pages (or maybe each 30 lines) in single documents, like it’s standard in the most word processors? I know that scrivener is not a layout-program, so you don’t need to have the pages like original sheets in view, but somehow i need to know when a page ends and a new begins while i’m writing.

Thanks for your answer(s)

Hi adreu,

I’m afraid that, as you note, Scrivener isn’t a layout program or a regular word processor. It’s main editor is really just a rich text editor, and it knows nothing of pages.

In fact, “pages” don’t really make any sense in Scrivener. In Scrivener, you can write using completely different formatting to that used in the final, exported document. For instance, I write in single-spaced paragraphs using Optima 13 point. But I export/print to 1.5-spaced Times New Roman or Courier. So the way the text appears on the page is entirely different to how it appears on screen.

Out of interest, what sort of stuff is it that you write that requires knowledge of the actual pages? The only thing I can think of is scriptwriting. I experimented with adding dividing lines for that sort of thing, but there were all sorts of technical and conceptual reasons I abandoned it.

All the best,

Hi Keith,

the reason for missing pages is more of a psychological kind, because i like to see how i proceed page for page and i also have better feeling about too long or too short passages in my stories, because i see the relation to pages. In Scrivener i have the feeling to write into a “endless white nothing” :smiley:. But i understand, why that is not necessary for you and probably the most other users of scrivener.

Best wishes,

Well, you could just try to switch your psychological relationship to words instead of pages - the live word count and word targets are great tools for keeping track of progress.

this is more than psychological.
I write scripts, and screenwriters using a basic Final Draft layout know that a page is approx one minute of film. So we can quickly see if a scene or the entire script is too long/short.

I evangelize some writers with scrivener. They love it but they regret there is no preview (unless asking for a print of the draft and clicking on preview.
I also write a book with a friend who tried Scrivener. She is very happy with Scrivener but she regrets there’s no preview. previewing is more visual than an abstract number of words. Yes, I know they lived too much years with MS Word but…

Keith is right : the only reason is scriptwriting. But isn’t it a good reason to add this preview or is scrivener not really for screenwriters ?

To be honest, it wasn’t, in its initial scope, but then features got added for screenwriters at popular request… And this is the problem. The problems in adding a “preview” view (by which I take it you mean a “live preview”, a page layout view), are really quite complicated. Consider:

• From the start, Scrivener has been designed to not be a page layout program (please see the thread in Writer’s Block anyone who wants to accuse me of a split infinitive, there :slight_smile: ). The features were designed around this paradigm. So, for instance, footnotes and annotations are all “inline”.

• In all other cases but scriptwriting - where you are likely to use the same font and formatting for editing as you are for printing - a “page” is meaningless as your font, line spacing etc may be radically different in the printed version to what you see in the editor. Thus there would be a different number of pages in the editor and the print out which entirely negates the point of a page layout view.

• If I added a page layout view for scriptwriters, academics would cry out that it is very strange to see footnotes inline rather than at the bottom of the page where they belong. I would therefore also have to completely redesign the way footnotes are displayed (and maybe annotations, too), and have them appear at the bottom of the “page”. But then, I would be starting down the route of implementing a word processor such as Mellel or Nisus, and my coding time would be directed away from the simplicity and organisational flexibility that I see as the heart of Scrivener.

• If there was a page layout view, the next thing would be live widows and orphans (the widows & orphans code used for printing now would not work in a live view), and then keeping, for instance, character names and dialogue together (even printing can’t do that at the moment, as Scrivener has no concept of “character names” or “dialogue” any more than Word does). Again, at this point Scrivener enters the page layout domain proper and I’m suddenly working on a fully-fledged word processor/script layout program.

So, what is the solution for scriptwriters?

• Suppose when you enter “script mode” you suddenly get page layout - but only for scriptwriting. Okay, but then it sets a precedent, and soon other users will want the same for normal prose mode, which leads to the problems mentioned above.

• Suppose instead of having a “real” page layout mode, there was just a dotted line beneath a line to indicate a page break. I spent days not long ago implementing just such a feature - but scrapped it after much work because it was unworkable. For a start, it was slow because Scrivener had to keep a live track of how many lines there were in the whole document (the slow part) and then divide that by lines-per-page. Then it had to calculate where the dotted line should be drawn and so forth. Still, I got that mostly done. The problem lay with other complications - such as in Edit Scrivenings, having documents that had “page break before” checked, trying to force the line to appear in such places, restarting the line count and… Well, it is boring and technical, but I abandoned it after a few solid days of headache.

Tangential but related: even with scriptwriting, do “pages” have much meaning in Scrivener? It would depend on how you broke down your script. For instance, if you placed each scene into a separate text document, then how would a page layout view help anyway? It would only help in Edit Scrivenings mode (and note that you can get an accurate printed page count quickly anyway from the Project Statistics panel, from which you can immediately calculate how many minutes your script is).

I hope I have provided a fairly full explanation of why, from my perspective, I don’t want or intend to implement a page layout view. It is not that I do not appreciate the need for one for scriptwriters, it is just that because Scrivener is not a dedicated scriptwriting program, it has to play nice throughout its modes. Scrivener started as a basic program in which I could write The Novel; footnotes and scriptwriting came afterwards and are, in many ways, afterthoughts (though afterthoughts to which I have given considerable attention and time).

In summary, my objections to implementing a page layout view are:

• For all other modes but scriptwriting, there may be no correlation between the format of the text in the editor and a real “page”.
• For all modes (including scriptwriting), text is broken down into chunks which may be shorter than any page anyway.
• Were a page layout mode to be implemented, there would be subsequent calls for “real” footnotes at the bottom of the page, comments in the margins, live widows and orphans, keeping together character names and dialogue, a header and footer display in the page… Until I (one man!) was trying to implement a full word processor/script layout program.

Please take this answer as it is intended - as a genuine attempt to convey why I don’t see a page layout mode as part of Scrivener rather than a long rant. :slight_smile:

All the best,

Export - Set your Formatting.

Save as PDF

Reimport the PDF

Viola a PAGED view


Why reimport ? Wock.

I already do this.
May be, the solution for Keith is just to implement a button to do a pdf preview in just one clik…