Auto numbering titles in the binder and outline view


Excellent product. I’ve written and published 3 books using it. Books 4 and 5 will be out by end of this year. Note that my books are very long with MANY chapters.

That said … : )

Correct me if I am wrong, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to set up auto numbering of document titles that are viewable in the binder (and outline).

Having auto numbering used for the titles that would show up in the binder AND automatically change if the document is moved up or down, or new ones added below or above, would save me many hours of work.

Manually adding chapter numbers to the title is not a workable solution (hopefully I don’t have to list all the obvious reasons). And the (well done) auto numbering feature found during compiling isn’t a help since I do all my work in the binder/editor.

I’ve found only a couple of references to this feature, so it appears not to be a common issue with most authors. So it would appear that I am part of the problem : ) I need to change the way I write.

Anyway, I’ll continue to use Scrivener as it weaknesses are areas I can work around. But PLEASE consider the feature of auto numbering titles in binder/outline. Note that I have a license (3.0) for both Mac and Windows, and use the iOS version extensively.


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It kind of defeats the purpose of the binder’s flexibility. Not everyone labels chapters, not everyone numbers them either, so adding an auto-numbering feature detracts from the flexibility the binder offers. A selectable on/off feature could be a possible solution to that, but when it comes down to it, the program was designed to maximize writing productivity, and allow you to worry about the technical formatting aspects through the compiling process.

That being said, you can achieve auto-numbering in the outliner. It won’t change your actual binder titles, but it can give you guideline for where you are in terms of chapter# after inserting/rearranging documents: [url]].

Alternatively (or in conjunction with above), you could always use whatever labels you like for the binder without adjusting them every time you add/rearrange the documents, and then just deselect the “title” option in the compile>formatting pane so that your binder labels don’t appear in the final compiled version. Your binder may look messier, but that could save you some time (lol so long as you’re not like me - my OCPD would go nuts if an intended structure in the binder was out of order!).
Hope that helps a bit!

Umm. More flexibility DOES NOT hurt Flexibility

Simple request:

Have the ability for some placeholders to be resolved (by a toggle setting) in the editor and binder.titles
Word has had “Field codes” for decades that can be viewed as codes or as the result.
When editing, I would like to have placeholders resolved if I turn on a" resolve placeholders".
So I see my REAL chapter titles not <n$>

Years ago this might have been a burden on the PC. But with multicore CPUS and SSD machines. It should be possible to toggle this on and off do we don’t have to compile to get a closer view of our manuscript for non-formatting place holders like numbering. .

Thanks for pointing out that Outliner does this already so the code to resolve chapter numbers in Binder tiles should not harm anything, right?

To each his own, but I use descriptive titles and color-code the Binder by Label = pov character. I’ve included a couple of screenshots. The second shows chapters lined up by Label. Reordering the labels could make that view more useful, possibly, but the corkboard is not a feature I use much. Collections can gather documents of interest by label, status, keywords, too — and you can use the Outliner as described above.

What information does “chapter 23” convey, compared to all that?

Even so … to each his own. Everyone’s brain is wired a little differently.


[attachment=1]by Label.jpg[/attachment]

So basically because you don’t use numbers in chapter titles, because that is YOUR view of REAL. You are against a feature you would never use, but some of us would? Sigh…

Note that this is not exactly what the Outliner is doing. The Outliner is not attempting to do the work of the Compiler in a live session by checking all of the current compile options and filling out the value of the placeholders accordingly (which is what it would take, and would be very CPU and disk intensive.) It is instead simply looking at each component’s order in the Binder and numbering accordingly.

So you could have a list of 30 chapters in the Binder, numbered 1-30 in the Outliner, and still have some of those chapters get numbered differently using placeholders during Compile if (for example) three of them were alternate versions of chapters and were de-selected in your Compile options. The Outliner numbering is there simply to give you a guide.

It’s not that drmajorbob is against this feature – he explained what he does instead (because he finds that it conveys more useful information for his workflow) as a potential workaround for you and others who will read this thread. There have been many discussions on the forums over the years from people asking for placeholders to filled in real-time, and those discussions always end the same way, with the developers telling us that they feel it would be detrimental to performance because it would essentially require Compile to be running the entire time Scrivener is open. As such, they’ve not been open to considering these kinds of requests. The Outliner numbering and schemes like what drmajorbob shared are alternative work flows that users have found to be useful.

A) He clearly was arguing against its value with “To Each his own” and “What does a chapter number tell you that…”

We are writers, so understanding character dialog subtext should be clear.

B) I would suggest that NO, one would not need the compiler running all the time. One would need the code that already deals with formatting and updates to recognize a subset of codes for placeholders of special value common easy to update numbering and variable replacements that used the same rules set the compiler ran.

An interesting off shoot of this would the ability for the use to define <$wildcard1> in the rule set at MC name, Fred. Then easily from a central location update the character name in that list. If say, a super hurricane named Fred killed a 1000 people and the name fell out of favor. .

In this case this not a simple token, but a counting token. Still does not require the full type setting engine to run.

But I would be happy just to have the Binder Titles deal with it and have the actual content just show the placeholder as a compromise.

Its a feature request. It will have value to some.
But the fact that is been debated for years tells you, might be worth looking at again.

I will not be building a list of useless [to me] features I don’t need in Scrivener that should be removed to improve performance for my workflow and to make room for my features. :smiley:

Look, I don’t work for L&L. I just listen to the guys who know what the code looks like and how they say it works, and they have said it’s not that simple.

A large part of the culture here in the forums is to try to help people find ways to work around their issues rather than get stuck making the same arguments for things that have already been turned down

I voiced my own opinion, but I have no influence over Literature & Latte’s choice of future features. You needn’t care what I think either way, but to each his own means I’m perfectly fine with you doing it your way and asking for the features you want. That’s what it means. Literally.