A project template wouldn’t be the best tool for the job because that system is designed to save as much about the project as it can. You can almost think of it more as being a way of “freezing” a project in its current state, so that you can make new projects off of that point. Every little checkbox in compile, every shred of meta-data, snapshots, even the stuff in the Trash can! It’s all going to be in the project produced by the template.
What I do when I want to distribute a “clean” copy of a project (such as our publicly available user manuals) is create a new blank project first; this will be what I distribute. Now from that I use the File/Import/Scrivener Project...
menu command. This brings in just the data and some of its meta-data, so it will
bring in such things as snapshots, keywords documents, comments, etc. But the compile settings will not, nor will any project meta-data (such as author name and book title) be carried over.
There are ways to strip out notes and such, but they are a bit more technical. For the tutorial project I do strip out all comments, snapshots and document notes manually from the project format itself, using Windows Explorer (or Finder), in bulk. But there may still be more coming in to the distribution project than you’d like.
So beyond that there are more “destructive” ways to distribute a project that is “content only”, they have their individual pros and cons:
- File/Export/OPML File...: this produces a file that can be dragged into any other project and recreate the outline structure along with titles and text content (with the right settings, some of which are in the export panel, and for import, check in the Import/Export preference pane). Important caveat: plain-text transfer only! The OPML format is incapable of storing rich text. It is a simple outlining format.
- Compile with dividers: set yourself up with compile settings that insert an easy to split by divider, probably using the Separators pane, and then use File/Import/Import and Split... to bring this compiled document into your distribution project. Caveat: although it is rich text (should you choose a rich text compile format of course), it will be flat.