Binder Names

I am finding the more I delve into Scrivener, the more features - or … quirks I find. For one thing, I have been using Binder quite often. For the most part, and at this stage of my writing, I am in single view mode. I like the way I can option click several Binder items and review my progress.

In my writing, it is as important what I write as it is how well there is a sense of flow from one idea to the next. As there are a lot of ideas, this can be a handful.

Quite often, I will select a Binder title, or two, or three, and hit print. This allows be a little time to go outside, have a cigar, and look at my thoughts on paper in a slightly different light than on the screen.

Since doing this won’t show the Binder title, I have taken to copying the Binder title at the top of every Binder section. As my book comes together, most of these titles will become headings, sub headings, etc. Right now it is important when reviewing each section to also see it’s working section name - which is the same as it’s Binder name.

I do this because I can’t see another way to have my printed sections contain a Binder name at the top of each section. Is there a way to do this that I have missed?

When I look at the cork board view, I see that each card has the Binder name already, so that the repeated name at the top is redundant, and annoying.

When I drag Binder items into Scapple, I see that each new item has the Binder name already, so that repeated the name at the top is again redundant, and annoying.

My feelings about this are that, either the Binder names should show when I print pages, export pages, or compile, or they should stay out of it.

Options for the Print Current Document command can be found in the Page Setup/Scrivener pane. Look for the Text tab to set the elements you would like to include.


As I reflect on this, what is difficult for me to understand, is how Scrivener has its own unique ways of doing things. My suggestion to add a style panel on the right has seemingly gone for naught.

And yet, one of the key uses of a style is to properly set up a table of contents or TOC for a document. That is how I used to write professionally with technical documents. But in my initial posted question here, in Scrivener, putting a heading title or sub heading title seems to be unimportant - at least as far as the Binder names are concerned.

I can see a benefit from breaking down sections I am working on by making Binder sections out of them, but other sections need to stay together as written.

The only suggestion I can think to make would be if Scrivener had placeholders in it. I don’t know the exact name but, many writing programs have placeholder code that you can set to specific parameters. By this I mean in a template you might have a placeholder for the name, a placeholder for the address, etc. In a footer you might have a placeholder for the page count, and a placeholder for the number of pages in the document.

If the Scrivener way is not to use section names in documents - which seems very confusing, then why not have a placeholder that brings in the binders name?

At the moment my writing is totally derailed as I was trying to follow this idea. But breaking down every single place where a section heading could be just to make it into a separate binder section, is going to drive me a bit nuts.

Sigh. I am caught up in my own distraction with this which is deadly for this writer. I think I need to pull back to my last revision and just go back to my titles in my pages for now and go back to using the Binder for navigation only. I am well used to the style of writing where a section name has a style applied to it which places it in the TOC which allows navigation and an understanding and overview of my document.

I am reviewing the tutorials from L&L online to see what I can learn. But, my learning curve is starting to derail my writing momentum, and that is not a good thing. It’s probably best that I return to what was working for the time being.

Have you been through the Interactive Tutorial, available from the Help menu?

Yes, Scrivener does have placeholders. A list of them can also be found in the Help menu. They probably are not the solution you’re looking for here, though.

The thing about Binder titles … there is no requirement that the organization you, as the writer, use to help you grapple with the manuscript has to match the organization that you will ultimately want to show the reader. Read that sentence again, because the distinction between writing and presentation is fundamental to every aspect of Scrivener.

In my own work, it’s quite normal for me to break things down into smaller chunks than I will ultimately use in the reader-visible structure. And so you can, on a Section Type basis via the Compile command, choose whether or not the title of a section should be included in the reader-visible structure, how that title should be formatted, whether a Style should be applied, and so on.

But all of that is completely independent of the structure you see while writing the thing. You can split sections into smaller and smaller pieces, down to the sentence or paragraph level, shuffle them around, and merge them back together at will. When you have 15 paragraph-level documents that you know you’re planning to merge back together, trying to keep track of their titles or even naming them at all might be more distracting than useful. So, while writing, you can include titles in Scrivenings view, or not, as you choose. (View -> Text Editing -> Show Titles in Scrivenings.) If you use the Print Current Document command to print review copies, you can choose to show titles there, too. Or not. Then, when it comes time to assemble the manuscript for other people to read, you can make a completely different decision.