So Confused By Chapter Titles in Compile...HELP

I’m sorry, I feel like I always post questions here about stuff that “should” be easy. But I have spent hours trying to figure this out, have watched videos, read numerous articles, etc etc. I just can’t get it. :frowning:

What I want as an end product is to format the MS for a epub or Mobi. I want each chapter to have a number (1,2, 3, etc) and below that, a Chapter Title. So, something like:

                                               [i]The Slow March North[/i]

                             It was a dark and stormy night.....etc etc

Just like a typical book, in other words.Each chapter would of course have a different title, with the numbers going up in sequence. I went through all the compile stuff last year when I published my first book, but got a bit stymied by how to create the above format and so ended up just using the default formatting, with chapter numbers in numerical format. But I thought I would try to create what I have above for the next book. Silly me. Sigh…

I have a novel, broken into chapters and scenes. The first thing that I have “perhaps” done wrong - instead of naming the folders Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc. I have given them the Chapter Title name.So for the first chapter folder in the Binder, i have named it The Slow March North. I have used the Inspector and assigned section types for each part of the Binder. Folders are “Chapters” and sub-documents under the folders are “scenes”. So far, so good.

I now go to Compile. I am trying to format it for Kindle Mobi. I have fiddled and fiddled around with the section layouts, etc etc ETC but I just can’t get the final compile to work right for the chapter titles. When I compile it, I open it up to Kindle Previewer so I can see how it will look. Right now, this is what I have:

In the Table of Contents, the Chapters are:

Chapter One - Chapter One: The Slow March North
Chapter Two - Chapter Two: Unexpected Company
Chapter Three - Chapter Three: Nothing to Fear


When I look at how it displays on the “page”, it looks like this:

                  CHAPTER ONE

Chapter One: The Slow March North

So. I don’t know what to do. I have spent hours on this. I don’t know how to get rid of the extra “Chapter One” in the chapter title. I can live with the “CHAPTER ONE” instead of a “1” for the chapter number. But honestly no matter what I do I’m not getting it. Originally I had the chapter folders in the Binder named Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc etc but when I started having this problem I changed it to the Chapter titles, but as you see I’m still getting Chapter One, Chapter Two showing up as part of the Chapter title in the compiled version.

I’m sure this is something easy. But for whatever reason, I am JUST NOT GETTING IT.

Please help!


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You’ve posted in the Scrivener for iOS forum, so I’m not sure whether this will help you. I do not use Scrivener on iOS. But if you compile on a Mac, I created a simple SCRIV file that shows how to get the chapter titles to come out the way you want for ePub.

If you unzip the attached file and open it on a Mac, go to File > Compile, then right-click on the ePub 3 format to edit it. Then go to Section Layouts > Folders Layout > Title Options. There, in the Title Prefix box, you will see the chapter settings. If you compare these settings to what you have, it might help you.

FYI that <$t> causes the chapter number to appear in words (Chapter One, Chapter Two). <$n> produces Chapter 1, Chapter 2. (113 KB)

Oh dear, you are right, I am in the wrong forum. I am trying to do this in Mac OS, not on mobile. Oops.

Thanks for this. I will give it a try. I “think” I have it figured out by sort of trial and error but gosh, I wish there was a little more info on that in the manual. Everywhere I looked I would see something like…“Once you have assigned your section layouts to the various parts of your manuscript, you will see in the middle column of the compile window how your MS will look. Of course, because Scrivener is such a powerful tool and allows you complete control over how your MS looks, you can change the chapter titles to be whatever you want.” And then the instructions would go on to the next step, leaving me sobbing into my tea…

Maybe that step by step process of how to change the chapter titles is somewhere in the manual. I dunno. I don’t easily speak computer, and I found my self getting so lost and overwhelmed every time I tried to figure it out. Even your simple explanation of the computer code helps. I didn’t actually realize what that code meant, nor that I could change it, until I saw an off-hand mention of it somewhere in one of the articles I read.

Thanks again, at any rate. I will give this a try.


Just to reassure you; the naming of documents without adding “chapter 1” to the binder titles is absolutely the standard way of using Scrivener. Deviating from that usually just causes people headaches, since you can’t re-number them in the binder without editing each title by hand, one at a time.

The codes for numbering things (chapters, sections, illustrations, charts, tables, etc…) can be inserted by using the menu Insert->Auto Number, and that menu shows what the numbering scheme looks like after compile, even when it ends up inserting the code once you select that menu item. You can also get a comprehensive list of all such codes by going to Help->List of Placeholders (or similar, I’m looking at the Windows beta, so the menu may not be exactly the same).

I’m glad you got it figured out, but wow did you dive into the deep-end! Designing your own custom section layout is no small feat. If you think you’ll want/need to understand customizing your compile settings in more depth, there are gentler introductions, such as “Scrivener for Dummies”, which by all accounts is a great introduction to all things Scrivener.The author, Gwen Hernandez, also regularly posts articles on Scrivener, so you may find that she’s posted something that helps.

It’s very possible that I’ve been doing this the hard way.

Yes, I added a chapter 21 to a novel with 61 chapters (two of them were too long so I reformatted them into three), just yesterday, and it took me 10 minutes to renumber all the remaining chapters. Not fun. Not creative.

But I want my TOC to have titles preceded by cardinal numerals (1., 2., 3., etc.), because ‘chapter’ is implied, and numerals make more sense in the TOC.

I also find it easier to juggle 61-75 chapters in a novel if the binder displays them the same way (their actual numeral plus their title).

But I want the chapter heading (epub/mobi) to have a tiny repeating graphic, the chapter spelled out (ex: ‘Chapter Twenty-One’) and the actual chapter title under that, with a separator below that (~~~~~~~), and all of that is the actual text/graphic (<$img>) placed directly in the chapter ‘document’ itself (docs nested in the chapter are the actual prose in the chapter).

So am I really doing this the hard way? Could there be a better way, using features in Compile, to do exactly what I’m trying to do using codes such as <$t> that would allow me to number things in this particular way without having to type in actual numbers (numerals and words)?

I’m fine with the chapter titles being inserted via a code such as this into the actual epub/mobi yet appearing as a code in the Scriv editor, but I’m not sure I’d want the list of Chapter Folders in the binder to all be ‘<$n>’, and thus not visually distinguishable from each other.