TOC messes up differently every time

Hello, I’ve looked at about a dozen threads in this forum, and it seems there are many ways to get this wrong. I’ve followed the instructions on the guide, chapter 22. I’ve also gone through this hell twice before with other books, successfully years ago. But now it’s been awhile, and it’s still not working as expected.

what Scrivener 3.3.6 for MacOS shows:

(This is what I want, ‘names’ not ‘Chapter 1’; page numbers on same line; preferably whole TOC on one page, instead of 4)

what Compiler shows:

what PDF output shows:

How can I get the output I’m expecting?

I don’t have an answer for your compiling problem, but I see a potential error in the table of contents that you can fix before compiling your manuscript.

I think the first entry in the “Setting the stage” chapter should be Foreword, not Forward. A foreword is an introductory note for a book. But if the section title should really be Forward, then ignore this comment.

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It looks like tab settings for creating the PDF are either not set, or set incorrectly. I’m not at my computer to research this for you, but check the compile settings for the document holding the TOC for tabs.

I erased the old TOC and re-created for paperback as in page 555 of the manual. We now have this,

which is better, but still not showing chapter names, just chapter numbers.
The compiler shows the ‘section type’ for the preface as ‘front matter’ and as you can see the output is ‘Preface.’ The compiler shows the ‘section type’ for ‘The Pro Era’ as ‘Chapter’ and as you can see the output is ‘Chapter TWO.’

Re-reading and trying things from Section 22 of the “Scrivener User Manual” will probably give you some clues to fixing your issue.

Actually “Chapter Two”. That aside, how does the rest of your work print out? Are the titles at the head of your chapters or “Chapter One”, “Chapter Two”… only?
You have a placeholder at play: “Chapter <$w:chapter>”, which produces “Chapter Two”.
Showing us your Compile Format Designer’s Section Layout for a Layout Name something like Chapter Title might help.
Show us your Formatting and Title Options tabs for the Layout Name option you’ve used.
Also, have you ticked the Title tick box for the relevant Layout Name; that would insert the words Section Title under the Formatting tab and pull in each sequential Binder Title you’ve named and feed it to the TOC when you print.

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In the end, I simply re-copied the chapter name manually. This almost completely defeats the purpose of having a TOC generate automatically, but it worked.

If I understand what you say you want to do, it is do-able automatically Scrivener. For others reading this thread, how to do it explained in the “Scrivener User Manual”, chapter 22.

You’ll suffer down the line when you try to make sense of your changes.

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