Hope to be able to fold the content of the article(This is machine translation)

Sometimes when writing a chapter, there are several points. These points will be divided into several parts in the article. I want to be able to fold the content, Hope to be able to fold part of the content separately. Fold what has been written.

This helps to organize the contents of the chapter and you can see what points have been written at a glance
Some derived content can also be folded. It is more convenient to appear in the article.
Existing link cannot replace folds,folds don’t need to create a new article.

(This is machine translation)

This is a topic that comes up now and then, and so there are several existing discussions on the topic that you could read at your leisure.

Online discussions

  • A crash course on outlining, using the User Manual project as example material.

  • Basics of Outlining in Scrivener: this older but shorter post goes over some of the concepts explored in much greater depth in the following links, so I’d start here.

  • Differences Between MS Word Outliner and Scrivener: of course Word is quite different from the example software spoken of thus far, I would say it is in a simplistic design sense quite similar to org-mode and other structural parsers, in that the underlying structure of the document is what generates the outline interface. In Word that is stylesheets, and in org-mode, textual markings (similar to a Markdown-based editor that supports folding would work, such as the late FoldingText, or Typora or Obsidian with plug-ins). So while the technical mechanism is wildly different, the end result is still quite similar, and thus many of the arguments made in that thread are applicable.

  • Scrivener is a Real Outliner: here we more directly discuss how Scrivener compares to traditional outliners, like the classic MORE, Acta, ThinkTank, and in more modern terms, NeO, OmniOutliner and even most mind-mapping tools.

    A way that I like to describe Scrivener in comparison to these is that it is essentially just like them, only its “notes” field is far more powerful and capable of acting more like a word processor (including a simplistic bullet/enumeration feature, which doesn’t help to clarify anything, but we certainly couldn’t do without it)—not to mention the fact that Scrivener has not one, but three different note fields: the main editor, the document notes sidebar and the universal synopsis, the latter of which acts much more like the sort of inline notes you find in outliners.

    When you think of it that way, you wouldn’t generally wish for there to be folding within the notes field attached to each node—but this desire commonly is expressed in Scrivener perhaps because its primary notes field is so much more capable. The inclination becomes to treat Scrivener more like a .docx style document manager, rather than an outliner, despite having nearly all of the tools traditional outliners provide, one level “up” from the text.

  • While these two posts are aimed at the discussion of how “folders” and “files” fit into the outlining model, they also address some fundamental concepts on outlining in general, that may be useful:

  • Originating as a feature request, this exploration on using Section Types as an outlining tool, or a writing tool, illustrates by nature what advantages there are in thinking of the binder as a detailed outline of one’s work.

    It also shows how Scrivener is not only an outliner, but one that is capable of assigning meaning to outline items directly: of saying this item right here, this is an equation, and this one over here is a glossary entry, while this one is a chapter heading. The discussion is a bit more advanced, but once the above has been consumed it can be a valuable way of looking at how the software is designed to be used.


I believe that some of the initial friction toward recognising Scrivener’s design as an outliner can be understood as a gap in knowledge about how keyboard-friendly the outlining interface is. The first reaction may be to think of how laborious it would be to stop typing, reach for the mouse, and click on a tiny little button in the footer bar to add a new row, when one can just press return and keep typing in a text editor. Indeed! That would be terrible.

The thing is, the Enter key is just what you would use in the outliner (and binder and corkboard), too. By default it naturally cascades from title to description (synopsis) and back to title for the next item, but if you turn synopses off then one can focus strictly on headings. With a few shortcuts for promoting and demoting items, moving them around and making new ones, one can become as proficient at outlining as they would in a text editor.

So to that end here are some sections of the manual worth skimming:

  • §6.1, What is Outlining?. Perhaps a bit remedial if you are already familiar with the concepts, but in application to the design of Scrivener, it may be of help.
  • §6.3, Using the Binder. This covers almost everything you would need to know about outlining in the software. Of particular interest to the process of outlining itself, the subsections Adding New Items, Selecting Items, Moving and Copying Things Around and Expanding and Collapsing the Tree will be of particular interest.
  • §7.3, Folders are Files are Folders. Getting over the hurdle of thinking in file system terms about the binder, as well as explore whether folders are a tool you want to use while outlining.

Hopefully that gives you a better idea of where we are coming from on this topic. It has less to do with whether or not, in isolation, the concept of folding structural elements in the main editor is useful (it surely would be), but rather that it as a concept is at odds with the overall design of the software—again in the same way folding inside of OmniOutliner or FreePlane note fields would be a bit odd.


I would love to be able to collapse and view specific “headers” in my document

for example I could have a document with the header1 “Mac N Cheese” with a header2 that says “Why I like Mac N Cheese” and another that says “Mac N Cheese vs. Grilled Cheese” both with their various text under it. I would love the ability to collapse the headers and also be able to see in a side bar the header titles so I can click it and be taken to that section. To help organizing documents with lots of tables, text, questions and answers and so-on.

is this possible in the current version? Am I just missing it?

That, by definition, is what the binder is/does.
Split your documents if you have more than one section/header in them… (The compiler will glue them back together when the time comes. :wink: )

If you view multiple documents at once and lock the scrivening view, you can navigate from one document to another (as long as they were part of the initial selection and therefor present in the scrivening) by selecting them in the binder.
After selecting your documents and setting the view to scrivening, right click image in the editor header, then:
2022-10-31 01_20_15-DUMMY Screenshot forum project - Scrivener

As for the collapse, body text is not collapsible.
But you could use a combination of side by side windows, like editor-outliner, or editor-corkboard, depending on your needs and personal approach.

Collections might also be of interest to you, if you never used them.
And also probably bookmarks, both offering different ways to navigate, that could ultimately get close to what you are looking for.

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I’ve merged this with an existing request for folding text in the editor. If you scroll up you’ll find a bit of a compendium post with links to in-depth discussions on how Scrivener’s design is different from a traditional word processor, or a tool that would embed outlining principles directly into the text editor.

Short answer though is: if you’re trying to fold text inside the text editor, you almost certainly have way too much text in one outline node. :slight_smile: I would even go so far as to say that of headings in general, but I can see some arguments for headings at a fairly deep level of the outline, where they cease to be major topical markers and are more just tools for the reader’s eye.


I concur. For RTF, I generally use three levels of depth in the binder giving me headings 1-3 on compile; heading 4, if needed, I add in the editor. For compiling to HTML, I use four levels of depth as I need <h4>…</h4> in the output.