I have a prologue and table of contents in a common front matter folder in my manuscript folder. My chapters appear after this folder.

I want to number my prologue with roman numerals, then have the page numbers reset at the table of contents and chapters with regular numbering starting at 1.

I've looked at compile and page settings, but there doesn't seem to be a way to reference a specific folder, only things like first pages and new pages. My prologue always takes up x number of pages, so chapter one in the table of contents starts at something like page 6. I want chapter one to start at page 1.

1 Answer 1


Just make the prologue part of the front matter:

Screenshot of the Binder with a text file named "Prologue" inside a folder named "Prologue" inside the Paperback Front Matter

In this case I have put the prologue into a folder in the front matter, to be able to give it a chapter heading.

During compiling, assign whatever section type you want to the prologue. Do not leave it "Front matter" but choose any of the body text section types (e.g. scene, chapter heading etc.):

Screenshot of choosing the secting type for the prologue in the compile settings

The default numbering of pages in Scrivener begins after the front matter — unless you select "Page numbers count first pages" in the Headers and Footers options under "Page Settings" when compiling:

Screenshot of the page settings showing the options described in the text

In the dropdown beside "Main body header and footer starts…" you can choose a specific page number, if you don't want page 1 to be the first page after the front matter.

In this case I have left that option to start the Arabian numeral page numbers immediately after the prologue.

To add page numbers to the font matter, you'll have to "turn them on". Under "Header and Footer Text" choose "First Pages" and insert the page number placeholder where you want the page number to appear on the page. I have chosen the middle of the foot of the page:

Screenshot of the page settings showing where to input the placeholder for page numbers

The placeholder for Arabian numeral page numbers is <$p>. Use <$p-r> for lowercase and <$P-R> for uppercase roman numeral page numbers.

That's it, compile!


Page i will be the first page of your book (not the first page of your prologue). The visible numbering will start on the first page of your prologue, but that page will be number v (if there is no table of contents and you didn't change the other pages in the front matter) or higher (if there is a table of contents or you added other pages to the front matter).

Page numbers in books are commonly counted from the first page of the front matter. The default in Scrivener (not to count the first pages) is not how pages are usually counted.

In scholarly non-fiction, it is common that the front matter (including forewords by eminent scholars other than the book's author) is numbered in Roman numerals while the body of the book is numbered in Arabian numerals. In fiction this is uncommon. Prologues in fiction are part of the story and therefore page numbers run consecutively through.

Personally, I wouldn't number the pages in a book of fiction the way you plan to do, unless you want to give the impression that it is a non-fiction scholarly work.

  • Thanks for the tips. Sounds like I should just let the prologue start at page 1. Would it need to be in the table of contents? Right now I have it coming before the table of contents.
    – jjxtra
    Oct 31, 2023 at 0:05
  • @jjxtra In fiction today, the table of contents comes before any textual content. Usually it is page 5 or 7 (half-title, frontispiece or blank page, title, copyright, dedication, blank page, table of contents). The prologue would be listed in the table of contents. Look here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_design#Front_matter
    – Ben
    Oct 31, 2023 at 3:04
  • Thank you for your guidance, really appreciate it!
    – jjxtra
    Oct 31, 2023 at 11:49
  • Instead of "enter image description here" you must include a description of what's in the image. This is so that your post can be understood by when the images won't load (eg, with certain firewalls) and when read with a screenreader (eg, by the blind)
    – Laurel
    Nov 28, 2023 at 16:06
  • If the images really don't need any description, then they should be formatted like this: ![][1]. In other words, remove the link around the image and use blank alt text. (You also could just add some alt text instead even it's a little redundant, eg "Page Settings options"). Just don't use the placeholder alt text.
    – Laurel
    Nov 29, 2023 at 14:37

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