Setting Draft Target


I am using Scrivener to write a dissertation. I have one folder set up for each chapter. Does anyone know how to set the “Draft Target” feature so that it considers only one folder, not my entire project?

I would like my current chapter to be 10,000 words – Scrivener is telling me I’ve already met that goal because it is looking at the entire project. I like having all the chapters in one project so I can easily go back and forth between them.

I appreciate any ideas!

Thank you.


Yes, there are some possibilities here, which to use will depend on your preferences. One such method is better if you work for longer stretches of time focussed on one area. This method changes what the Targets panel counts, so you need to tell the software which section of the Draft folder you wish to currently focus on, in your compile settings.

Before doing so, you may need to set up your Targets feature to work with a scope of the Draft rather than always just using the entire Draft. In the Target window, click Options, and then tick, Target applies to current compile group only. Now we just need to set up the compile group:

  1. Use File/Compile… to bring up the export settings for the project.

  2. Load on the “Contents” option pane.

  3. From the drop-down at the top of the list, select the chapter folder you’re currently working on.
    The list in the area below will change to show the selected container and all of its sub-documents. This is what Targets can be used to count.

  4. No need to compile to save your settings. Hold down the Option key and the Compile button will change to Save.

You should see the currently counted words in the Targets panel change to reflect the word count of that folder and its subdocuments.

Like I say, there are other approach as well, such as putting a goal on a folder and then tracking its total count with the associated outliner columns, or in Scrivenings mode. That’s better if you switch around a lot or if each chapter has its own goal. You’ll find more ideas in the user manual, §21.3, Goals and Statistics Tracking Tools, starting on page 312.

Oh absolutely, that’s how the program was designed to be used. Separating a major work into a litter of files on your disk is better for programs that work like Pages or Word, and not having to resort to such inefficient tactics was one of the principle reasons for this software ever having come about in the first place. :slight_smile:

Thank you for taking the time to write this detailed answer :slight_smile:

That fixes the issue. The one thing is that any words I’ve typed on the folder for the chapter do not appear in the word count for some reason. But that was easily fixed by adding a new text file and moving the content from the folder itself to the text file within the folder. Perhaps it is not good practice to write “on” the folders anyway?

By default, your compile settings (which must be affecting your target progress) don’t output text written ‘on’ the folder. You could customize your compile settings to include that text if you want, but that’s a little outside the norm.

However, if you don’t expect to break down your chapter in to multiple “scene” documents, then you could just convert all your folders to chapters; the default “novel” compile presets allow for a series of chapter documents OR chapter folders with one or more scene documents.

To convert a folder to a document, select one or more of them in the binder, and then go to the menu “Documents->Convert” and choose the option to change them to files.

Writing “on” the folders is fine, they aren’t really folders in the sense that you might think of a folder in Finder, they are in fact text files, just with a different icon and click behaviour. As Robert mentioned, the default however is not print the text content of these folders—the idea being they make a great place to stash notes for the section, since you can see them at the top of Scrivenings view. But if you want to put stuff in there that you can print, there is not a single negative ramification for doing so. In fact for those that prefer to not let the compiler generate titles for them based on the outline structure (if your outline is super organic it may be easier to do so), then using the folder’s text content to type in and style the chapter heading is an ideal usage.

That said, for the contents of the folder not being counted, that might be a mistake in the code. From what I see, even if I have folder text content included in compile, and the folder is definitely in the Contents list (it is possible to exclude the container you selected from output list, via the drop-down to the right of the chapter name you selected) then its contents will not factor in toward the goal, despite being words that will be in fact printed towards the goal. I’ll put a note in on that to double-check it.

Thanks all!

Since posting my last comment, I’ve actually found it useful for the text written on the folder to not be counted towards target goals. That way I can take notes as I read and jot down initial ideas on the folder, and they won’t be counted towards my daily writing goal (which is meant to be a goal of polished text – not reading notes or things to follow up on). It’s working quite well.



Apologies for re-opening an old thread, but my question follows up precisely on the above.

I set a compile group following Amber’s instructions above to select the two chapters in my project for which I want to set my project / session targets (i.e. holding down the ‘Option’ key to get the save icon). So far, so good. However, when I shut down and reopen Scrivener the following session, I am finding these settings do not stick - while the target number of words and days until deadline are correct, the number of words achieved in my project target reverted to zero, and likewise my session target is calculated on this basis, and thus is also wrong. Yet it does not help to simply re-select my two chapters as the compile group at the start of each session, because even though the words achieved shows up correctly project target counter, my session target is still based on a zero base of words achieved and thus is wrong.

I would like to be able to re-open Scrivener at the start of each session and have the project/session targets accurate based on the compile group I have set the previous session. Is this possible? If so, can anyone show me how please?

Thank you!