I’m having a problem with Scrivener “doubling” outline numbers when I compile. I’ve got several large outlines that I cut and pasted from MS Word into several of my documents — they look like this (this one is taken from the SFWA worldbuilding questions outline available on their site). Please note that the d*** forum is taking out the indentations.
I. The World
i. Are the laws of nature and physics actually different in this world, or are they the same as in real life? How does magic fit in? How do magical beasts fit in?
ii. Is this generally an earth-like world? Is it an “alternate Earth”?
iii. Are there different human races, whether or not there are non-humans like elves or dwarves? How does the cultural and ethnic diversity of this world compare to the real world?
But every time I compile, I get this:
I. I. The World
a. a. Basics
i. i. Are the laws of nature and physics actually different in this world, or are they the same as in real life? How does magic fit in? How do magical beasts fit in?
ii. ii. Is this generally an earth-like world? Is it an “alternate Earth”?
iii. iii. Are there different human races, whether or not there are non-humans like elves or dwarves? How does the cultural and ethnic diversity of this world compare to the real world?
What the h*** is going on with this? Why is it doing this? Does anyone know?
There is no such thing as a tab stop in a web page, that’s why indentations via the tab key don’t work. I find using the code block (where HTML output becomes more like a text editor) works well for conveying simple tab-indented hierarchies.
As to the main problem, Word has been known to do that sometimes, as its bullet lists have internal formatting that prints bullets, but a text engine like the Mac’s prints bullets as literal characters in the editor and cannot render list formatting directly, making the second set invisible. Thus when taking the file back into an environment where the list formatting is adding a bullet too, you end up with doubles.
The easiest way to solve a problem like that is to remove the list settings in Scrivener from the text that is doubling, then reapply them.
There are several problems with that.
There are spaces in between the lines of the list. Scrivener doesn’t do well with those, and wants to number the blank lines between the list items as well.
The list is hierarchical, and Scrivener doesn’t do well with that, either. (I.e., it goes I., then a., then i., drilling down into the outline by level.) So, the only way to have the outline make sense is to do it in a program that supports, natively, doing outlines, like Word. Scrivener’s outlining abilities are terrible.
Any other suggestions I can try? Like I said, this only happens at compile time. It doesn’t happen during editing. It also appears if I compile to PDF.
Right, the support in Scrivener is more for making simple lists, not outlining, so we wouldn’t expect it to be much for the latter. The main binder is the outliner in Scrivener, whereas Word takes the approach of embedding that sort of information and control into the document itself as a text outline.
Are the spaces for visual effect? If so it might make more sense to keep things at one line per entry and use line and paragraph spacing tools to spread things out.
With Scrivener alone I can’t think of another way to remove the (what is to the perspective of the text editor) garbage formatting other than to use the command for removing all list formatting and rebuild it. I’ve never had to fix it myself though, so there might be a better solution, such as some setting you can apply in Word that will make its list more compatible, and do a quick copy and paste round-about—or maybe another word processor like LibreOffice could help clean the formatting if it understands both methods.
What I eventually opted for was going into Scrivener and just deleting all the list formatting and reapplying it within Scrivener. It was easier than making another round trip into Word and experimenting with the formatting there. I really wish Scriveners’ text editor did better with ordered lists and outlining. I realize that in Scrivener the Binder is supposed to form the outline structure, and that the text is that which is to be outlined — I get that the structure is supposed to lie within the Binder, not the document itself — but it couldn’t hurt to have better facilities for dashing off outlines within documents, could it? It would make life simpler from time to time, especially when working with YUUUGE outlines like the one I found myself dealing with in this instance that really needed to be all of apiece in one document like this.
Well it wouldn’t hurt, no, but lists are a bit like tables, and I know you’re well familiar with the premise behind the limitations in them as well. It’s a “free” component of the text engine that comes with menu commands, RTF handling, conversion to and from many different formats and basic logic handling in the editor. The alternative is a huge coding project replacing all of that from scratch. Again, like tables, it would be nice sure, but that’s a lot of digression for an aspect that isn’t core to the program.
I sometimes think it would be worth it, from a user perspective. I only paid $45 for Scrivener from the Mac App Store, but given how useful it’s been to me as a novelist, I would, looking back, have been willing to pay — easily — $95 or maybe even $145 for a tool as good as Scrivener is at doing what it does right, if it would offset the cost of developing a consistent and superior text engine along with what is, otherwise and for the most part, an outstanding piece of writing software that’s revolutionized my creative process.
Well hopefully some day we can augment some of these tools without raising the price substantially like that. It’s one of those pie in the sky details that would probably come along with better support all around for things like tables. It sure would be nice if Apple had continued developing these features as they have for iWorks. If you compare their lists and tables it’s really a bit frustrating to see the level of difference in the tools.
Glad to hear it’s continued to be a workhorse for you despite the few quibbles here and there though!
If you want to indent text in a forum that doesn’t have bullet points etc, then the easy way to do it is
…prefix your indented line with dots, then
…select and turn those dots white (as Scrivener’s isn’t a totally white background, they will be faintly visible, but many won’t notice…
I think a better approach is to abuse the list environment:
If you create a list, it automatically indents the text within that list, and if you do not use the bullet code on the line, that doesn’t make a difference and it doesn’t break the environment.
[list] You can even nest lists within lists, which is of course most often used to nest bullets.
[list] But again, we don’t need to use bullets if we don’t want to, meaning the nesting is purely a matter of block indenting.
There is of course a certain irony in discussing the use of lists without bullets—at least these do not generate multiple bullets when you submit the post![/list:u][/list:u]
While it looks nice, ultimately I think just using tabs in a text editor and enclosing the whole thing in a code block conveys the message just as well, but whatever works.