eBook Table of Contents

I am preparing a short book for publication in iBooks and Kindle (and perhaps others).

The author has created a table of contents where each chapter has a sentence description (e.g. Chapter 1: Percussion In which the author purports to describe…).

It is not clear to me how I get this table of contents to work in an ebook.

Please advise.

Admittedly, this is the first time I have used this software.

-Bob Gordon
“The Book of Fictional Days”

How much you’ll have to do to set it up will depend a bit on what you’re starting with, so some of this may not be necessary for your situation.

If the titles in the TOC that you have to work with aren’t already linked in the Scrivener project to their respective chapters, you’ll need to set that up first. Select each title and then choose Edit>Scrivener Link (also in the context menu if you right-click) and pick the appropriate chapter document to create the link.

Make sure that the TOC is ordered in the binder at the place you want it to appear in the book–e.g. you may want it to come after a title page and an acknowledgements page. Also be sure it’s titled however you want it to appear in the book, if you’re including titles in the compile settings.

So you now have something like this:

Go into the compile settings and in the Contents tab, make sure that the TOC document is set to be included in compile and to have a page break before it by checking both those boxes. (Click the triangle button next to the “Format As” drop-down menu if you don’t see all the compile options.) Also check “page break before” for the following document, to ensure that the TOC is on a page by itself.

The page breaks–which are really section breaks for ebooks–can also be provided by the “Separators” tab, but there’s no harm in also checking the boxes here. You’ll likewise want to make sure that all the new chapters start in a new section in order for the TOC links to work properly, but how you arrange that will depend on the structure of your binder. For the project in the sample image above, I’d set up the separators to look like this, since each folder is a chapter and I want it to start in a new section, but most of the text documents are scenes that don’t need more than an empty line between them:

Next, under E-Book Options, ensure that “Generate HTML table of contents” is checked and then enter the title of your TOC document in the text field after “HTML table of contents title”.

If you’ve set your formatting preferences to include a title prefix or suffix for your documents, you’ll want go to the Processing Options tab and use the drop-down menu under “Individual Document Titles Options” to select the TOC document so that it doesn’t receive a title prefix or suffix, since presumably you don’t want “Chapter 1: Table of Contents”. In that same tab, also ensure that “Update Scrivener links containing titles to include prefix/suffix” is not checked, if your TOC already contains the prefix in the text itself. Meaning, if you’re adding something like the "Chapter <$t>: " prefix to the chapter titles so that the document “Percussion” becomes “Chapter One: Percussion” when you compile, and the TOC document in Scrivener lists this as “Chapter One: Percussion, In which…” you don’t want Scrivener to update the link or you’ll end up with something like “Chapter One: Chapter One - Percussion, In which…”

I’m guessing you haven’t done that last part, but if you’re using one of the preset compile formats it’s possible that the prefix has been added by default, so if you compile and are seeing some unwanted additions to your title, check each row in the compiler’s Formatting tab and see if that added text appears in the sample window below, then hit the “Title Options” button and delete it from the window that comes up.

To MM:

Thank you for the extensive answer to my question. After about fifteen minutes of work, everything looks like I expect.

-Bob Gordon
“The Book of Fictional Days”

Is there a video tutorial, or a chapter in the tutorial that explains step by step how to set up your chapters and sub charters to appear in a table of contents?

This post is old and I’m just now learning Scrivener (for PC).
I’m trying to format now for an ebook I wrote. I did my first one in Word then formatted in Notepad using HTML. I went out for drinks after I did it because I just don’t do HTML.

Now, I have a new set of problems, ie: the learning curve. I’m researching how to set up my TOC and in my Scrivener, the
Edit>Scrivener Link> [choices] are all greyed out. I can’t choose anything.

I’m at the point now where I am so tempted to just do what I did before: use Notepad. I can’t find anywhere why my Scrivener Link choices are greyed out.