First line of text as section title, instead of the document's title


I would like to use the first line of text in the editor as a section’s title. The document’s title in the Binder should remain unchanged, and separated from the first line of text.

I would need this, because I need the Binder to remain in English and let me see the structure of the project; and I need the first line of text in the Editor as the actual published name in a translated document.

Also, the first line of text in the Editor could contain a longer title, while the document name could be shorter for clarity.

  • For example, one of the documents could be named “First chapter in this book” in the Binder.

  • The first line of text in the Editor could be “First chapter in this book, where we will tell of the wonderful world of the mutant wordprocessors”.

  • In the translated project, the first line of text in the Binder could be something like “Primo capitolo di questo libro, dove si racconta del meraviglioso mondo dei programmi di videoscrittura mutanti”.

Can it already be done? Will you do it for me in the next release?


Without doing too much testing at all…

Yes, I think it can be done now.

  1. Use a distinct style for the ‘real’ chapter titles – Heading 1 for example.

  1. In compile, choose a Section Layout which doesn’t have a Section Title, but does have text

  1. Make sure that the ‘Heading 1’ style in compile looks the way you want it to (you may not need to do this – the screenshot below is of the compiled Word document using the default for the Modern → Word format):

Obviously, there are a lot of things you can tweak (you combine it with a Layout which uses a Section Number but no title, for example, and you can make Heading 1 look however you want it to), but it looks like it shouldn’t be too difficult to get an acceptable result.

Does this help?

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Thank you for your answer, but I should have been more detailed in my request.

What I would have liked to avoid is the paragraph style assigned to the heading in the Editor. The reason being, that the position of a section in the hierarchy might change in different versions of the project.

For example, in some cases I have a dedicated, long section for a settings page in the full manual, and a shorter section, embedded with other ones, in the quick guide. Both will share parts of the same text.

But for the tools we have now, it is probably a minor hassle to just insert the two versions in a master project, and then switch them on/off depending on the project version.

Therefore, using the titles inside the Editor is still the most viable solution.


I know @AmberV has one document for macOS and Windows version of the Scrivener Manual. You can download the Scrivener Project of the Manual at the Literature and Latte Download pages to see how that’s done.

I see. But that’s going to be a problem with any solution which uses an in-text heading, isn’t it? Scrivener’s normal system (document title = chapter/section name) is specifically designed to avoid this problem.

However… I’ve been doing a bit of testing, based on the idea that we should be able to use a combination of structure based section types and specific layouts for each level.

E.g. Every time you want a title to appear, you have a folder in the binder, which has the English title in the binder, and the Italian title in the text. For each different level of indent, you have a different Section Type, which is assigned automatically according to the position in the hierarchy (using struture based Section Types).

Then you should be able to have different Section Layouts for each level, where the text uses a different style or formatting to produce the title (which is the only text in the ‘dummy’ folders themselves, of course – don’t use a style for these).

Which produces this:

This took a fair amount of messing about and experimenting to get to this stage (the key was for the Italian titles to be ‘no style’ in the text, which took me some time to work out!). It would depend on how much you needed to do this to say whether the setup effort is worthwhile.

But in principle, I think you could extend it to have several different section types and section layouts to give you differently formatted Italian
titles for each outline level.


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A brief suggestion from me.

I’d use @brookter’s suggestion of a document for each of the titles, or rather 2— one set with the English titles, one set with the Italian titles. I’d then use Labels, English and Italian. The titles would have the appropriate label, and all the common text would have both labels.

Then create saved searches for each label as a collection, and then compile the collections.

I think this is probably a simplistic version of what @AmberV does; it’s what I do when I have an interleaved English and Chinese translation.



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Unfortunately, a document can only have a single label.

Could be done using keywords though.

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Hah - much simpler than my second suggestion - good idea, Mark!

<duhh!> Comes from not concentrating too hard; since my interleaved texts are either English or Chinese, I use labels, but yes, in this case use keywords.