Tuning/improving the speed of compile

I have a few projects that take a good amount of time to compile (upwards of 20 minutes). I’m trying to figure out how to make the compilation go faster and wanted to see if there were any guidelines or gotchas I should consider. I don’t think my project is unusually sized, but I use a number of Image Placeholder Tags. Also, I’m compiling to Word (docx), if that matters, and the final Word document is in about 130MB. I don’t think I’m doing anything else weird in the Compile phase. I also think my computer is reasonably fast: iMac, 2.8 Ghz, i7, 8GB memory.

Also, Keith, has an option to Cancel a compile while it’s still running been considered? When Scrivener compiles, I’m locked out of the interface, so if something is taking too long, I’d love to be able to stop it. Or should I just force-quit Scrivener at that point, assuming I’ve saved?

The main thing you can do to improve compile times is use RTF instead of DOC/X. There is rarely ever a true need to use those formats, as Word reads RTF just as well. These proprietary formats must be run through a third-party converter that we use, after your work is already assembled. So it not only just adds additional steps to your compile, it takes a long time to actually do so with long documents because the converters are Java based. For short documents it is an acceptable wait (which is why we have them on by default).