Dragging and dropping in Outline View


Owing to the new layouts, and the much improved outline view, I am experimenting with using outline views to help with structuring my story. I have discovered that when I drag and drop a document in outline view it immediately becomes nested under the document I dragged it to, instead of moved. Once it’s nested, I can’t find a way, in outline view, to get it back to the original level. At the moment I’m going to the binder and using the keyboard shortcut to move it up a level, but I’m sure that there’s a simple way to do this.

Apologies for any lack of clarity in my explanation. I find it quite difficult to describe these processes, which makes me increasingly appreciative of the general clarity of explanations and support on this forum.

All help appreciated. :slight_smile:

This works roughly the same way the binder does:

  • If you drag something directly on top of another thing, then yes it will be nested. You can see when this will happen because the whole row will highlight.
  • If you drag something so that the mouse is between two other items, then you should see a little bar with a circle on the left end of it. The circle indicates what level the item will be dropped to (the circle will roughly line up with the indent level of icons). Moving the mouse to the left or right changes that level. You may not always be able to change the level, if the spot you are dragging to only has one valid level to drop at.

Drag and drop aside, you can always move things around with the arrow keys on your keyboard, when holding down the Ctrl-Cmd keys.

There are more methods and instructions in the user manual in §6.3.4, Moving and Copying Things Around, pg. 98. This is in the chapter on using the binder, but the binder and outliner work very much the same where it comes to moving things around and nesting (or un-nesting) things.

Thank you so much for this quick reply.

After hearing that this should be possible, I started playing around with my project, and have discovered something strange. If I select my draft in the binder, and have a single editor window open, and choose outline view, I am unable to drag and drop documents the way you describe. The only option is to drag the document up and down, highlighting the previous or subsequent document and “nesting”. It’s not possible to use any of the keyboard shortcut commands on the nested document.

BUT: I split the editor window, and in the SECOND window, I was able to do everything, as expected. When I checked the dropdown for outline settings, thinking something must be off in my first outline window, I saw that some options were grayed out, in the first outline view but not the second.

It seems to me that I must have some setting ticked, somewhere, that’s making my first outline view behave improperly. Any thoughts? I would be so grateful!


I opened the Scrivener tutorial and confirmed that the main outline window behaves properly. So I created a new project and dragged my old project into it, and now the main outline window works.

My conclusion is that something broke when I opened this old Scrivener 2 project in Scrivener 3, Or, possibly, something broke when I synced this project with Aeon Timeline, which I will soon test. In any case, all is well. Thank you for setting me on the right path.