Applying Section Types Automatically -- how to override my manual settings?


I am doing things a bit backward.

I went through and manually edited all my Section Types, which was a huge time suck. Then, I rewatched the videos on organizing my project by Default Types by Structure in the Project Settings Menu. Now that I have things organized nicely using the default structures, I want them to apply to my project, overriding all the manual Section Types settings I made. (Maybe I’m being neurotic, but I figure if I get the Default structure to work, it will save me unforeseen headaches in the future.)

In the Binder, I right-clicked and have changed the “Draft” Root Folder/File to a Structure-Based section type, and clicked Structure-based for the default subdocuments type. When I go into the Outliner, I still see my manual settings in black, non-italicized text instead of the default in gray and italics.

Is there a way to apply the structure-based default settings to all my section types and override my manual settings? Or should I just let it go?



I think compile by structure is more trouble than it’s worth. I have chapters at one level, everything else at the second level underneath chapters, usually at least 3 (up to five) different section types in a chapter. Doing it by structure would require adding extra levels for no good reason.

chapters, headings, and all that

I do think it could be useful for nonfiction, if the content is deeply hierarchical, but even then I might want different types at the same level.

Thanks for the feedback. But yes, my project is nonfiction with historical context, research, etc. Thus looking for some good automating features to help.


Create a template document for each section type, so you can easily add them with the section type (also icon, style, other properties) already assigned.

Hmm, I can import my original files into the template, but won’t it just import my settings? I will give it a try and see. Thanks!

You’re talking about a project template. Pretty sure I said document template (several).

I don’t think the Draft folder itself is pertinent here. It is everything inside it that gets compiled.

Select in the Binder any documents within the Draft folder that you want to change the Section Type of and then control-click to bring up the contextual menu and choose Section Type > Structure Based.

Please backup your project before you do this!


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You can also do this in the Outline view, which will show a Section Type column.

The reason I specified the Draft Root folder is because I wanted to make it clear that I made the control-click menu changes to the top or “Parent” in the hierarchy of folders. But that didn’t override my manual settings. Nor doing the same control-click menu changes to the “child” folder one level down.

So it seems it cannot be done. It seems like it should work but it doesn’t.

And thanks — I have many, many backups automatically saved to a cloud.

Changing the default for subdocuments will affect new subdocuments, but not existing ones.

I don’t get it. Do you want to accomplish the task or do you want to accomplish the task only in a certain (preconceived) way? You can do the former easily in just the way I described. Selecting all the things in the Binder to be changed (click at one end and shift-click at the other) is not hard, and then all get converted at once. Which is what you wanted — a way to set them all at once.

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Yeah, to clarify: this, as with most things in Scrivener, are things you do to a selection of items. There are very few things that would broadly change all child items in the way you seem to be expecting. That would be extremely destructive if you aren’t expecting it (e.g. changing a high level Part folder’s Section Type and wiping out hundreds of manual assignments below that point).

So yes, you need to select everything that should be reset to structure-based and then right-click on the selection.

Once everything is light grey and italic, you can now easily change the overall structure in a central way, from the project settings. That is something that changes multiple items at once, but only because they aren’t set to anything specifically yet.

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