OK, compiling for the first time in Ser 3 for real

Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:01 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:46 pm Post

I have a book which is around 150 pocketbook pages long, written in the editor part of Scr, and it works quite well. And there are a couple of more works at various stages of completion.
I am now faced with getting the book out to the earliest reviewers, and assumed that would be a reasonable task.
Instead, I find the documentation voluminous, the four videos not comprehensible, and it is basically impossible to forecast when I will arrive at having a finished output in place.
There are some bugs in the software which prevents editing of the output format, until you have made changes in other parts to the output.
It seems that it is not possible to set the separation between paragraphs in the compiled output, and hyphenation is a joke. Nowhere can I find how you put hypothetical hyphens into words, which is the way you typically deal with less than perfect spelling dictionary.
Scrivener may be inexpensive, but the cost of software is not the only expense item in intellectual work. Time and grey matter are typically the greatest cost items, together with opportunity cost.
In order to grasp compile, what is the expected learning period? 2 Weeks, 4 Weeks or what?
Why is there no overview description, a description that provides the logic, but not the details?
In view of my trying to use the Screen for its intended purpose, e.g. to produce a readable output on the media of my choice (a pocketbook, and an E-book), I find it a waste of time and effort.
InDesign is a pain, but facing an uncertain 4 weeks of work with Scriv, you can certainly produce 3 pages an hour with InDesign, once you get going. Tedious, but you can estimate when you get to the end. With Scriv, how can you estimate when you can deliver?
Where did I go wrong? I would appreciate being shown where I failed.
BR, peter ljungqvist

Posts: 1722
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:06 pm
Platform: Win + iOS

Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:24 pm Post


I am a Windows users, so unfortunately cannot assist you with specifics on Mac v3 compile.

That said, I do know that compile has changed quite a bit from v2. if you have an understanding of v2 compile and are trying to understand v3 compile from that perspective, if you haven't already done so, please see the upgrade guide here:


The other thing I was going to suggest was that the more info you provide re: the specific challenges you are encountering, the higher the probability that someone more knowledgeable than I will be able to help you.


a) My text has x structure. (screen shot)
b) I expected compile to do y (description)
c) But instead the output is z. (screenshot).

You get the idea. I recognize that you are frustrated and that this is more work for you. But I have seen posts in the past having to do with compile, and the folks that get usable answers are the ones that provide that sort of info.

Example posts:

Hope you get it worked out and best of luck,
I’m just a customer.

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Posts: 6404
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:22 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:25 pm Post

For a draft quality manuscript for beta readers, use the Default compile format. Takes a matter of seconds, and will give you more or less what you see on your screen.

If you need something more complex than that, more detailed questions would make it much easier to help you.

Scrivener Support Team