When compiled to Word, page break isn't searchable

First post on the forums, so I’d like to start by saying thanks to the Scrivener team for putting together a great product that takes a lot of the roadblocks out of the way of writing.

I’m writing a kid’s picture book where the text will appear in a different location on every page. Each page of the book is represented by a different document in Scrivener. In Word, you can have different text locations on different pages either by putting the text in a text box, or by having each page be in a section of its own and adjusting the margins for that section.

Currently, Scrivener won’t compile to either of these output formats. It can put page breaks between documents, but it can’t put “section break – new page”, and it can’t compile each document to a separate text box. That should be okay, though – there should be a workaround for the section-based solution [1], which is to put the page breaks between the documents and then search for the page breaks and replace them with section breaks [2].

However, it seems that the page breaks that Scrivener inserts are not findable by the Find command within Word. “^m” is supposed to find manual page breaks and when run in my compiled document it doesn’t come up with any results, although there are forty-three page breaks there. In layout and view terms the Scrivener page breaks seem to behave just like normal page breaks; the only difference in behavior seems to be that they aren’t findable.

Is there some setting I’m missing? Does anyone know of a workaround in Word for this? Thanks for any help you can give. I can send a sample document exhibiting the problem if that’s helpful.


[1] I prefer the section-based solution anyway, as it lets me put the draft pictures for each page in as a background image. Background images are section-specific, so it’s convenient to have one section per page.

[2] Replacing with section breaks is harder than it should be, because Word’s regular expression module was built in the 1990s, but it can be done with copy-paste and anyway it’s not Scrivener’s fault.

I had a look at the RTF source. The problem seems to be that in Scrivener, the page break is output as a \pagebb, which is a property of a particular paragraph that it has a page break before it. This is different from a \page, which is a separate object within the document that can be searched for. Here’s a comparison, with line breaks added for readability:

Scrivener output:

{\rtlch\fcs1 \af2\afs24 \ltrch\fcs0 \fs24\loch\af0\hich\af2\insrsid7896933 \hich\af2\dbch\af31505 loch\f0 Before first page separator} {\rtlch\fcs1 \af2\afs24 \ltrch\fcs0 \f0\fs24\insrsid15086523 \par } \pard \ltrpar\ql \li0\ri0\pagebb\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\rin0\lin0\itap0 {\rtlch\fcs1 \af2\afs24 \ltrch\fcs0 \fs24\loch\af0\hich\af2\insrsid7896933 \hich\af2\dbch\af31505 loch\f0 After first page separator}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af2\afs24 \ltrch\fcs0 \f2\fs24\insrsid15086523 \par}

Word-generated RTF:

 {\rtlch\fcs1 \af31507 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid8544851 Before first page separator
\par \page 
\par After first page separator}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af31507 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid14358099 
\par }

So my problem has a workaround, which is that I can search for text with the paragraph property “page break before”. This is a bit counterintuitive, though: it might be good to add “page break as page break, not paragraph property” to the features list.

Since you are replacing them anyway, you probably don’t need Scrivener to generate page breaks.

Instead, use the Separators section of the Compile window to put in easily searchable markers, e.g. “—NEW SECTION STARTS HERE—”.

(In general, in MS Word, hard Page Breaks are EVIL and mess up all sorts of things.)