Chapter Scene Numbers in Folders

I have been looking to see how I can add numbering after the fact once Chapters and Scenes have been added. I managed to get the Chapter numbering going by Duplicating the first chapter until I had them all. One thing wrong with that is the first Chapter is blank, followed by Chapter 1.
Any way to get that first chapter to become 1?

Secondly, all the scenes are in place unnumbered and I’d like them numbered so they match up with my Plottr outline. Anyway to add the numbers to the existing Scenes (without manually adding each one?)

Chapter 1
Chapter 2

SO they look like:
Chapter 1
Scene 1
scene 2
Chapter 2
Scene 3
Scene 4
Scene 5
Chapter 3
Scene 6

This is something that can be automatically handled at compile.
But, if you want this inside your project as you are working on it, unfortunately, there is no way (or at least that I can think of) other than doing it manually.

On the other hand, if you name a scene “scene-1” and duplicate that over and over, you will indeed get “scene-2” “scene-3” “scene-4” and so on. (The hyphen matters here.)
Same with "chapter"s-1

Note that just as for your initial question, there is no auto-renaming/renumbering by binder’s order. So if you move a scene, you’ll have to then manually fix the numbering.

thanks for the awesome quick reply (tho not the answer I wanted, LOL)
I guess I’ll consider renumbering them all or leaving them, sigh. Decisions.

Here is how I do it, as I work a lot with printouts, and want my binder’s documents to have some sort of correspondence :

Document 1, I rather name Document 10
Document 2 → Document 20
Document 3 → Document 30 and so on.

So, if I want to insert (or move, whatever) a scene between the second and the third, I then simply name it Document 25.
Which leaves me room for an hypothetical Document 23 or 27.
Then Document 21/22 or 24 or 26 or 28/29

You can also do it by using .5s
Scene 2.5
Scene 2.7
Scene 2.75 if needed between 2.7 and 2.8

And then you just redo a clean numbering when (and only when) you are done with the project.
Or use “Scene <$n>”
Or the compile format’s function.

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Thanks. It would be great if Scrivener added an option to auto generate numbering on existing folder items
As a new user, I really like the product but it so massively complex, hard to learn it all. The videos are helpful but do not really discuss these set up type issues very well I find

There is always us, here. :slight_smile:

and exceedingly helpful you all are. Thanks :slight_smile:

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When using the Outliner or Corkboard view, do either of these options do what you’re looking for?

  • View ▸ Corkboard Options ▸ Number Cards
  • View ▸ Outliner Options ▸ Title ▸ with Numbers

Personally, I’ve always preferred to use more meaningful names that help me remember what is in the section, rather than just “chapter 12” or “section 12.7”. Since we can set up the compiler to handle headings and numbering, these titles can be something the reader doesn’t see anyway. Making the binder easier to navigate and read seems easier to me than spending time manually numbering things in a program that can do that automatically, but I get some people find numbers as easy as descriptions, too.


Agree a meaningful name helps me remember what I’m trying to accomplish. Also if number and change/ rearrange scene order messes up any created numbers. Let compile number chapters when export.

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Thanks. I actually do that for a lot of my scenes. My problem is comparing my outline in Plotter to Scrivener.
I did Plotter after and auto numbered the scenes but trying to go back and forth is a little awkward

Teething problems, I’ll figure it out.

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If you use same scene name then just drag and change scene order. Even if numbered and changed scene order in scrivener would still have to manually change in plotter

thanks everyone. I’ll have to manage the two carefully in future.

Is there an easy way to change the first Chapter to be Chatper-1 and the rest 2 onwards? At least that way, the chapters are in sync with Plottr

Unfortunately not. There is an automatic numbering facility when duplicating items, it uses that exact naming convention in fact, but no retroactive way of doing so.

Wouldn’t clicking on Draft with one of the aforementioned menu toggle settings I mentioned work though? It’s not the same as having “Chapter-12” as the formal title, but “12. Chapter” still gets the point across in that particular view—for those times when you need to reference numerical order.

thanks Amber, yes this helps. Not quite what I wanted as it numbers scenes based on chapter versus continuously (1.1, 1.2 etc versus 1, 2,3, 4, 5)
I’ve learned that I need to manage the two sites, Plottr and Scrivener so the titles match :slight_smile:

Yes, numbering is all relative to the top level that you are viewing. So for something closest to a “universal numbering”, it’s best to click on the Draft and use the Outliner view, which shows 1, 1.1, 1.2 style numbering that may roughly match the output.

It can’t really do that though, because Scrivener does not limit its outliner the way some tools might. Some of the many challenges with that idea are described in this post:

One problem with the notion in general is that Scrivener is too flexible for something like true print-accurate numbering to be easily implemented. Consider for example, those who like to keep writing notes directly alongside the manuscript, by disabling the “Include in Compile” checkbox in the Inspector. Such files will not print when you compile. Should they be numbered? Probably not, but not everyone uses that feature the way I just described it—some use it to temporarily exclude portions of the manuscript so they can proof three or so chapters, in that case the excluded stuff probably should be numbered—-and that is just one potential complication with one feature.

Do note that post is rather old, and makes reference to future ideas for features that now exist in the outliner.

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I’ll come back again with my approach :
If you name your documents
[10] Intro
[20] A beautiful morning for a walk out.
[30] An unexpected detour
[30.5] Where am I? → (Sub chapter)
[30.7] She’ll be late → (Sub chapter)
[40] Mary meets John

… they then have NO REASON WHATSOEVER to change numbers unless you move one of them. (And you’d only then need to renumber that one single moved document (none of the others). [25] whatever-the-title, for e.g., for a file later moved/inserted between 20 and 30.)

I’d just name them the same in both apps. (Whether an app then numbers them (on top of your manual numbering) or not, becomes irrelevant.)

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