Setting Up Editor to Equal MS Word Page Count

First, let me say that I’m sorry. I know this question has to have been asked before, but for the life of me I can’t conjure up the right search phrase to find it. So please don’t slap me around … :smiley:

I’m a screenwriter in grad school and I’ve run up against something I can’t seem to figure out.

In my program, everything is run on strict page counts. Not just the scripts, but synopsis, treatments, etc. I have used Scrivener since about '08 as a repository for my story notes, ideas, and what not, but never used to output anything I needed to turn in. I always used Word for that. However, over the break I thought I would pare down the amount of software I use to get my writing down and thought that I would toss Word for a awhile. But I ran into a quick problem - if I need to type a four page paper, I have no real idea in Scrivener if I’ve typed four pages. I know there is an approximate page count at the bottom, but the editor seems to write about a half a page long (meaning I would be a half a page short if I copied the contents into Word.)

So, knowing that I probably shouldn’t ask this question, but willing to risk the scorn, my question is – can I set up the editor to mimic a WYSIWYG editor? Can I set it up so that the four pages I type into Scrivener would equal four pages in Word? The formatting would always be consistent, just 12pt Courier, double spaced, 1" margins all around. I would prefer to do it without having to compile, just by looking.

Or – would this kind of strict page count writing just be better done in Word?

Or — again – is there a pretty accurate way to predict page count based on word or character? So that, if I wrote close to 250 words per page I would end up with four pages, for example.

Basically I just want to write a four page paper in Scivener and know that I’ve written four pages. :smiley:

Yes, there actually is a section in the user manual with tips for doing this. Check 16.2, pg. 225. For scriptwriting it’s easy to be accurate enough for an estimate. Four pages shouldn’t be a problem.

Go check the … manual? :open_mouth: Well, that was going to be the … next place I looked. :blush:

That did it, Ioa, and I thank you kindly. For some reason, it just wasn’t clicking (translated, that means I was making too hard … kind of a pattern with me). But after reading that and playing around, I got it. Perfect.

Thanks so much, I appreciate it.

Well, to be fair most manuals these days barely rise above the self-description of labels already present in the software. We’ve lost the impulse to go hunting for information from that withered court. :slight_smile: Glad it’s working better for you now.

You’ve probably already moved on, but I wanted to post in case anyone else is looking for an answer. The suggestions listed above unfortunately didn’t work for me. (Nonfiction Manuscript). I tried all kinds of options to do it “legit.” But I needed to just get moving, so I went with trial and error. For 1" margins all around, TNR, 12pt in MS Word, I set my Scrivener margins to:
L,R 1.00"
T,B 0.85"

I checked it against a few stand alone Word Docs, and it seemed to line up perfectly. Hope this helps someone.

Like the manual says, this is never going to be an exact science because nearly every project is going to be just a little bit different, and cause slightly or even wildly different results. For example one can inject huge space hungry chapter titles into their compile settings, chapter titles that won’t even be visible from the editor, and cumulatively add dozens of pages to the length of the book. You would have to adopt contorted settings to make Page View stay roughly in line with the final product. Just in short: Scrivener isn’t meant to be the kind of program that gives you a precise preview of the page while you are working. It’s all about the text, not the document, so there isn’t a simple switch you can just flip on that will be the same for everybody.