Chapter Titles in Scrivener Compile

Scrivener is great, isn’t it?

Scrivener is really hard to learn, isn’t it?

I can’t really learn and retain lots and lots of information just by reading it one time. I need to use the information in some way or else I find I have a problem and learn by finding the solution. My most recent problem was that the chapter titles for my novel manuscript weren’t appearing in the Compile document. I struggled with this for awhile. I did Google searches. I asked people on Twitter. I asked two smart, curious people who are good at problem-solving and debugging. I did more Google searches.

(In the middle of researching this problem, I stumbled upon the answer to another problem! How to populate the project status bars!)

Finally, after some continued struggle and putting the question away and then coming back to it, I re-read the block of text at the intro screen within Scrivener. Turns out I needed to not work in folders. Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 2.18.04 PM

I didn’t want to make multiple scenes. I just wanted to write chapters. So I thought that meant write in folders. But that was wrong. Based on the intro screen info, I needed to create text files and move those text files up to the chapter level.

Scrivener Chapter Titles


Within each text file, I also selected the boxes on the far right that said “Include in Compile” and “Page Break Before.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 2.18.12 PM

So I went through every chapter and created a text file, copy and pasted the words into the new file, then deleted the folder. Then I went to the Compile screen. Guess what!

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 2.18.42 PM

All of the chapter titles I wanted were highlighted in yellow! WOOO!!! I hit Compile. And when I checked out the document, all of my chapter titles were right where they should be!

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 2.19.06 PM

So my whole problem was answered right in the main screen. For reference, here’s the info:

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 5.31.24 PM


While I really enjoyed using Scrivener to work on my novel manuscript I am by no means a power user. There are so many features I haven’t even begun to explore. I’m about to work on a non-fiction picture book proposal and I¬†believe I will learn even more about the features of Scrivener as I encounter problems or want things to look a certain way and then learn how to make it happen.

What feature of Scrivener did you learn through problem-solving? Which feature is your most favorite?




About: Elizabeth

Author, Reader, Runner, Mother, Virgo.


  1. Thank you!! Trying to compile and export my book from Scrivener to PDF and kept losing the titles! You saved me a lot of time (and headaches!). Happy writing! (Just found your site Googling about Scrivener and titles.)

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Glad I could help. I struggle with using the export feature, but writing in Scrivener is really a lot easier than a traditional word processor IMO. What are you writing?

  3. Roy C says:

    I’m trying without success, to put the word Chapter 1 2 3 etc when I formatting a PDF. What happens, my 30 odd chapters are not separated by the word Chapter, plus Chapter number. I have clicked on many variations in compile but it does not seem to give me what I want. On a previous occasion I had no problem, but now I have, It would be much appreciated if you can point me in the right direction.

    Many thanks,
    Roy C

  4. Elizabeth says:

    This might have something to do with what level your chapters are in the left hand sidebar of your Scribophile. Does that makes sense?

  5. Chuck M says:

    Thanks for this. It helped me find the problem. And while this may come a bit late to the party, the only part of this you needed to do was to select “Title” in the Compile Formatting pane. It will include folders and text files. I don’t think there is any difference in Scrivener between folders and text except the icon.

  6. Phil Cobb says:

    Thanks. This helps immensely because this is the same way I write. Now I know it’s not wrong. (Everything else I found focuses on setting up Chapters with multiple Scenes underneath.)

  7. Karen Wheeler says:

    I’m on the other side. I have titles formatted within each chapter and cannot get rid of them regardless of what I select in the compile options!

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