words per page

I would like to print my novel out so it has 250 words on each page which is roughly the way it would look in a printed book. Is there a way to do that? Or, is there a way when I go to compile my document to change the font in the novel setting from courier to times new roman which would give me approximately 250 words per page.

You can change the font around in the compile settings, but remember that Scrivener isn’t meant for final layout, so you might not get exactly what you’re looking for. If you want it to estimate number of pages based on a specific word count per page, then you can do that under the Project Statistics sheet (Project->Project Statistics). Click on “Options” and then you will see a field you can edit near the bottom that has the number of words per page.

Hope that helps.

EDIT: To change the font in compile settings, it’s under the “Page Settings” tab. You could also do more fine-grained control in the Formatting section.

… I’m indeed aware that Scrivener was never meant as a “final layout” application; however, lines per page, IMHO, is a mathematical estimation of the characters on the page.

So, I suppose my question is that even though we can and perhaps “should” export our manuscript into a devoted word processor for final formatting, Can we still trust the word count displayed within Scrivener to be correct?

Indeed it would be useful if the counts were accurate and translate well to the physical page.

Best! :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s a different question, and one I don’t entirely understand - what do you mean, can you trust Scrivener’s word count? Scrivener’s printed page count in the project stats is accurate in that it tells you how many pages will be printed if you compile and print directly from Scrivener. No word count will ever give you exactly how many pages you will have, because not all pages are full, and every layout program will lay things out slightly differently.

To answer the op, no, there is no way to tell Scrivener that you want 250 lines on a page. This is entirely dependent on font, settings and page size, etc. It’s also impossible to fit exactly 250 words on every page as words and paragraphs vary in length, so that would mean every page would need to be a different size. Normally what this means is having 25 lines of 60 characters each (6 characters being standard for a word, 5 characters and a space). So what you should do is, in a new document, enter page layout mode with your preferred page size, pick your preferred monospace font such as Courier (you can’t use Times or Optima or Helvetica and suchlike, because they are TrueType and so will have a different number of characters on each line), type 1,501 characters (25 x 60 + 1), and play with the settings until only the last character spills onto the next page (try setting double-line spacing, for instance). You only need to do that once - after that, you’ll know which settings you need, and can save them as a formatting preset.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Hi there, thanks for making a great product with great community and customer support!

Just to follow up on this question, since I’m not sure this was fully answered. I have a full first draft of my book and I want to print it out on paper to read through and edit with fresh eyes off of the screen.

Using the default settings I have in place, this would be 658 pages from Scrivener and that’s a lot of trees to kill for a shitty first draft!! :slight_smile:

Understanding that fine formatting controls are not the purpose of Scrivener, I want to print out closer to 450 words per page to save paper. However I don’t see how to do this by following the instructions above. It doesn’t seem possible to retroactively change the base format/font settings for compiling the whole manuscript- only for headings? I can see how to get Scrivener to estimate how many pages the text would be at different numbers of words per page, but not how to actually format to achieve this on compile.

I made a workaround by exporting the whole manuscript to Word, selecting all text, and changing to Times New Roman 12 point font, single spaced which brought the full doc down to 283 pages. Still a lot of trees to kill but more manageable.

Is this the best solution, or is it possible to do this in Scrivener directly?

Many thanks!


During compile, you can override body-text formatting for any section layout you want. You can change the font face, font size, line spacing, paragraph spacing, etc.

Slàinte mhòr.

Something that I would do to save paper, back when I still used hard copies for proofing at all, is set printer settings to use additional pages per sheet. It’s a basic Mac facility, available to all programs that use the central Mac printing system, in the “Layout” section of the print panel (you might need to expand it if you just get a thumbnail when you print, as Apple’s default doesn’t show any settings). Also of note in there is the two-sided printing option. If you have a printer that can do this, then you’re packing four pages of text onto every single sheet of paper.

I’m piggy-backing here because I can’t find the way to change the font SIZE of my compiled document. I’ve started with the manuscript (times) format and tweaked it (finally!) to what I want but except I need a larger font for my BETA readers. The screenshot above has arrows and says font SIZE can be changed but how? there’s no font size option anywhere in that menu/settings.

I’m not using Styles. I found where to change those font sizes in Compile - but I’m not using any styles in my manuscript/editor.

I did also look at the page settings tab and no option to change font/size there either - just header/footer options.

I’m compiling to PDF - does that make a difference?


In the screenshot up above, see the little ‘Aa’ icon? That brings up a standard Mac Font Chooser, which allows you to change the font. the font size, or both. Make sure you’ve selected the text in the Formatting pane first.


Fantastic! It worked.