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Shocking omission or am I missing something?


Hey there,

I’m finally working on a new novel in Atomic Scribbler. I’ve written a few chapters and now want to export it as a single document (combine the separate chapters I’ve written into one ms word file). I see how to do this, with actions and tools and export as a single document.

But the thing is, since this is a novel, I have a bunch of different folders like notes, old notes, characters, etc etc, along with ONE FOLDER that has the actual text of novel.

It’s similar to your “The Mad Monk of Portane” example in the help section on here, but many more folders. You have a folder for “project notes”, “characters”, first draft, etc.

The obvious problem is that if I export as a single document, it exports not only the text of my novel, but everything else also: the notes, the character descriptions, etc. There doesn’t seem to be a way that I can see to ONLY export my separate text chapters as one ms word file. As it is now, if I want to send someone the six chapters I’ve written for comments, I have to merge the entire thing, then go into ms word and delete everything except the text itself. This will be very annoying.

Before this I was a PageFour user, and with that program, you right click on a folder, and you can merge only the separate bits in that folder if desired. You really need something like this in this program (unless I’m missing something, which is distinctly possible), else I’ll probably be forced to switch back to PageFour, because this is so important.

If you were going to make changes to Atomic Scribbler, this is the HUGE one (again, unless I’m missing something). Also, a hot key for “show left” would be most welcome. When writing, that’s the menu option I use the most, closing and opening the document tree. It’s kind of annoying having to keep clicking through the menu. (Another Pagefour feature I loved you left out here, with F9 and F11.)

Another suggestion would be to be able to right click on an open scene, and be able to pin it to the bottom of the screen. For instance, if I’m working on two different chapters yet have like 15 “scenes” open (mostly notes), it can be a pain sometimes to find the ones I’m most interested in. It would be nice if they were right there on the bottom of the screen, if I wanted them there. But this is a trivial suggestion compared to the other two, especially the first.

Thanks, and I really hope I’m missing something here,



Hi Glenn, I’m sure that Darren may chime in too, but I’d like to give you a short help right away. I guess you do have the AS manual downloaded and on your computer. :slight_smile:
Select exporting at the bookmark tree - or - go straight to page 52. The section “How is this document produced?” might steer you in the right direction.
…If a scene you no longer want to include in your document is in the tree, right click on it and move it to Fragments. Anything in your Fragment tree is ignored when you export as a single document.

I think that could be a solution for you. Move all your notes, old notes, characters, etc. to Fragments. Since the Fragments tree is ignored during export, you have your novel intact without losing all your miscellaneous notes.

Hope that helps,


Hello Hans,

Thanks for the input! I thought of doing that, but it’s not going to work for me.

Currently, what I want to do is merge the 7 chapters (of a likely 50ish chapter book eventually) I’ve written into one ms word document to send to someone who will then comment on the chapters and return to me. I’m using the fragments tree for earlier versions of chapters I since heavily revised, just in case I want to go back to the original version.

And even once I have the entire first draft finished, I still wouldn’t send my notes, etc, to fragments, because I’ll end up working on a 2nd draft after compiling the first and getting comments.

So it’s not really a solution for me.

I don’t know if you’ve ever used the previous incarnation of Scribbler, PageFour, but there Darren has an elegant solution: you right click on any folder in your documents tree, and one of the options there is to “merge tree”, which then only merges what’s in that folder and nothing else. It shouldn’t be too hard to add that here too.

What I think I should have done, is put all my notes into the research section and left the documents tree solely for text. I’m using “fragments” for versions of chapters I since heavily revised. I’m just going to move all my notes to research and then the problem will be solved. I should have done that in the first place, alas! I was so used to working in PageFour, where there is no research tree document, that it didn’t occur to me to put the notes somewhere else.

So thanks Hans! I do have a solution! I’ll have to do it manually this time, but in the future I’ll put all my notes into “research” and bypass this “problem” entirely. I guess it’s not really a problem if you just have the text there and nothing else!



Hi Glenn, yes, I’m very familiar with PageFour (PF). I used it for quite some time until Atomic Scribbler (AS) was out. I used PF prior to Scrivener since this was only for Apple at that time. Then they offered a Windows version, and I switched to Scrivener.

However, not for very long. I favored the intuitive PF over the bloated Scriv, and went back to PF.

When I replaced Win 7 with Win 10, I simply ran PF on Win 10 in a Win 7 shell. :slight_smile: Stayed with it until Darren came up with AS. That’s when I finally discarded PF, and adopted AS from the very first version on. Seems you did the same. AS (now as 4.3) is a work in progress. Darren even wrote it himself. His main concern was to get the early versions stable, and then add features. I’m sure that we will see more usable features included over time.

There is no other software (at least to my knowledge), where the developer responds to user inputs to such an extend - if at all - as Darren does. He is great and I just hope that the flood of ‘improvement’ inputs he gets doesn’t wear him out. One can’t make it right for everybody. If everything gets implemented, then AS eventually will be a bloated tool like all the others.

The [fiction] writer oriented minimalist approach makes AS so effective and sets it up from its competitor programs. That said, enjoy the writing and have a great Sunday. :slight_smile:




It looks like you’ve worked out a solution, but a few points I will make.

You shouldn’t be seeing any notes in the export, not unless you created the notes as full scenes. Notes are deliberately excluded from any export.

My intention was that the Research section, and not-yet-built Character section would be used for the non-document elements of a project. It’s difficult to see this now as dedicated space does not yet exist for character profiles and descriptions, plot overviews and such, but it might become clearer over time as these new sections are added.

All that said, I do intend to expand the export to allow the selection of folders and scenes, re-ordering of scenes, etc. Fine tuning the export was given a low priority, but is on the list.


Hello Darren!

Yeah, like I told Hans, I moved all my “notes” to the research section and now the compiling works like a charm.

By “notes” I simply mean notes I typed for myself as scenes. I have tons of notes like that, but very little formal “research”, which is probably another reason I declined to put them in research originally. (And also so used to working in PageFour.)

I do have “notes” I made in the program (talking like this can be very confusing!) and yes, they did not compile.

The new sections you mention will be most welcome! You should probably stress, at least for now, to keep the document section text only, and put everything else somewhere else.

It’s a great program. I’m liking it very much, and am looking forward to seeing the next version!



Just reviewing this topic, I realized that “fine tuning export” is one of the things that is so difficult in Scrivener, and is one of the reasons I’m gradually migrating to AS.

The other modules you mentioned for organizing a project sound very useful.



One of the difficulties with exporting is knowing how far to go with extra options and capabilities. If most writers are using Word as a final stage manuscript preparation tool then extensive formatting options in the export would be overkill.


[Back from living off-grid for a few weeks…]

I wonder if it would be worth considering some very small set of tags to embed in a manuscript, specifically for a few optional output formatting elements. In some editors I’ve written, this turned out to be much simpler than building a whole UI for a set of output options. Just a thought.



That might be the way to go Allen. So far I’ve avoided inserting and non-standard data into the manuscript files so that I don’t have to parse them at all when merging into an export, but I might have to go down this route depending on which options I add.

In the short term I’ll be adding in functionality to properly handle page breaks after chapters but I haven’t thought much beyond that yet.