How to Add a Prologue

Note: This article was written for Scrivener 1 for Windows and Scrivener 2 for Mac. While the general concept is the same for Scrivener 3, the compiler in Scrivener 3 allows for completely different methodologies by assigning section types. The methodology presented here can still be used, but the screenshot examples given will not be applicable.

A common question for Scrivener is how to add a prologue or other "introductory" material into a manuscript without those items receiving a "Chapter" heading (which might cause the actual chapters to start at "Chapter Two" or some similar problem).

The first step is that you must structure your project so that your Chapters are differentiated from other material in your manuscript. This can be done either by making Chapters into folders, while all non-chapters should be simply documents, or it can be accomplished by having the chapters at a different "level" in the binder heirarchy from other material. Two common possibilities can be seen in the image below:

Chapter Styles

Using the "Chapters as Folders" method is usually prefered, as it already requires the fewest changes to the "Standard Manuscript Format" compile preset. However, the remainder of this document will describe how to configure the compiler to work with each of these scenarios.

Editing the Compile Formatting Settings:

You must be familiar with the compiler options found under "File > Compile > Formatting." Use the images below as a guide to finding specific options. Note that if you do not see the full compile options, you must click the "All Options" button to reveal the full interface.

On the Mac:

Mac Compile Diagram

On Windows:

Win Compile Diagram

You will need to set the Title, Text, and Prefix properties based on the appropriate table below. To set the prefix, you will need to select the appropriate row, then click the "Section Layout" button shown above. When the Prefix is listed in the table as "None", you should open the prefix box and remove any text that is currently in that field.

For Chapters as Folders:

Chapters as Folders

For Chapters as Text Docs:

Chapters as Documents

In both of these scenarios, you may want to check the "Compile As Is" property for the Title Page and for other documents that need to have their formatting preserved. Setting "Compile As Is" will also render that document without including the "Title" field.

Many other combinations are possible, but combining these binder structures with the appropriate compile formatting settings will work for most scenarios.