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Tech Tuesday: Saving Compile Manuscript Settings in Scrivener

Last week’s Tech Tuesday post on Templates was the most popular ever. Thanks to everyone who stopped by! That’s a hard act to follow, but I’ll give it my best.

Did you know that in addition to saving your project settings into a template, you can also save your Compile Manuscript settings?

Here are the benefits of such a feature. Once you get everything set the way you want it, the settings will be available to all projects. In addition, you can save more than one print setup, so you could have one for e-books, one for manuscript submissions, and another for what you send to your critique partner.

Brilliant, I say.

Here’s how to save your settings.

Mac

1. Go to File–>Compile.

2. Set the options for Content, Text Options, and Formatting exactly the way you want to save them. The only options that won’t be saved are the document and folder selections, since these are project specific.

3. Click the Format As drop-down menu at the top of the window and choose Manage Compile Format Presets.

4. Click the [+] button at the bottom right of the window that appears.

5. Enter a name for the saved settings (e.g. Novel Export, or Notes Only), and click OK. Click OK again to return to Compile.

6. Your saved preset now appears in the Format As drop-down menu, under My Formats.

Windows

1. Go to File–>Compile.

2. Set the options for Content, Text Options, and Formatting exactly the way you want to save them. The only options that won’t be saved are the document and folder selections, since these are project specific.

3. Click the Save Preset button at the bottom left of the Compile window.

4. Enter a name for the saved settings (e.g. Novel Export, or Notes Only), and click OK.

5. Your saved preset now appears in the Format As drop-down menu, under My Formats.

Using Saved Settings

Now you’ve saved your settings into a file, but the really powerful part comes when you’re ready to use them.

1. From any project, repeat step 1 above to open the Compile window. The current settings will be whatever you last used when you exported or printed, or the software default if it’s a new project.
(Note: the most recent settings in Compile affect the word count in the various statistics views.)

2. Select your preset from the Format As drop-down list.

3. Make sure you’ve chosen the correct files and folders to include and you’re ready to print or export your draft.

I hope this saves you some time in the future.

As always, I’d love to hear your ideas for a future Tech Tuesday topic. And, of course, if you need more information, check out Scrivener For Dummies or my online classes.

Write on!
[Updated 5/10/13]

23 Comments

  1. Reply

    I. Love. Scrivener. 🙂

    And that tip definitely helps save time and frustration. Glad to know someone else uses the program too. I’m saving up for a Macbook so I can stop using the PC laptop to log back into the mac and write.

    ~S

    • Reply

      Me, too!

      I’ve been trying to post features that I’ve stumbled upon that aren’t readily obvious. This one made me dance. In my seat, anyway. 😉

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  3. Tony

    Reply

    Though this was a great post but read it as email. Am here to add my electrons to your stats!!!! LOL

    • Reply

      You’re right, Sinabhfull, it’s changed over the last two years. I’ll try to update this post this weekend. You can now save presets by choosing Manage Compile Format Presets from the Format As drop-down list. Then click the [+] button to add a new one based on the current settings. 🙂

  4. Reply

    I just found out that if you want to save changes to a custom format you have to update it—using the option save doesn’t work. Perhaps you have this note in another post, but I thought I would share my discovery here since this was the first place I looked for a solution.

    • Reply

      Sarah: Yeah, Option+Save is just to save the Compile settings you have at that moment, but doesn’t affect the presets. When you Compile or Option+Save, Scrivener stores those settings so that they’re there when you open Compile again. If you were to make changes but then close Compile without compiling or using Option+Save, the next time you opened Compile it would have reverted back to what you had before you made the changes.

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  6. Reply

    HUGE HELP!! I had been hoping to find out how to do this for so long. Feel dumb that it turns out it was such a simple act to do it! Thank you so much!

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