Beyond a basic orientation to the software, what’s the number one thing people want help with in Scrivener?
Compile. No contest.
In April, I introduced Scrivener 3’s new approach to compiling (exporting) with a post about section types. Section types are foundational to the new compile feature, so if you need to bone up on the topic, I recommend you start there and then come back. (Or at least check it out later.)
Ready? In this second installment on compiling, I’m going to help you export your manuscript to a Word document, but the process is similar for other types of output.
Why might you want to compile to a DOCX file?
- Submission to an agent or editor.
- Submission to a contest.
- To give your manuscript to a critique partner, friend, or beta reader.
- To read through your manuscript and make notes.
- Compatibility with Microsoft Word (duh), Apple Pages, and other word processors that will open or import DOCX files.
TIP: DOCX files are based on Rich Text Format (RTF), which is compatible across more word processors, and may do a better job of exporting images, lists, and tables than DOCX. RTF is also best when exporting for Apple Pages. If you’d prefer to create an RTF, choose Rich Text (.rtf) in step 2 of “Choosing Your Format” below.
Whatever your reason, you can create a lovely DOCX without too much fuss. I promise. Before you start, be sure you’ve set up your section types under Project>Project Settings>Section Types.
Choosing Your Format
The format determines what the final output will look like, including the margins, fonts, line spacing, first-line indents, chapter headings, scene dividers, and paper size. For this example, we’re going to choose a submission-style format.
- Go to File>Compile (or click the Compile button on the toolbar). The Compile window opens.
- From the Compile For dropdown at the top, choose Microsoft Word (.docx).
- In the Formats column at the left, select Manuscript (Times). This format also works for other types of output, like RTF, Print, PDF (if not creating a paperback book), and HTML.
Adjusting the Look
If you’ve never assigned section layouts for this format, you’ll see a yellow box in the Section Layouts column (center) warning you about it. Even if you have, you’ll want to ensure they’re correct for the current project.
The following image shows common elements of a section layouts “tile” and what they represent. I selected this layout because it shows most of the possible elements, but this one would work best for those who do not use chapter folders, and have one document for each chapter.
To assign a section type to a section layout, do the following. [Read more…]