How can I navigate a document based on its headings (similar to Document Outline in Google Docs)

Hi. I’m new to Scrivener and I have an unorthodox use case - managing my text for a video game - so I’m not working with a traditional chapter structure.

I would like to have each conversation block as a Heading 1, and then scroll through a list of those headings for navigation. That way I can click on whichever heading I want to go to, instead of having to ctrl+f or scroll through a huge file. This is simila to the Document Outline feature in Google Docs (the thing that appears on the left based on your heading hierarchy).

Is it possible to do this, or anything similar? Creating a separate sub-document for each conversation would be overkill - some of them would just have 5 lines. I just need a way to quickly navigate to headings and subheadings in a file without having to break it into 50 smaller files.

I use scrivener for a retirement project, remodel project, tech file project.
Try folder for text message and do by date range 2021 jan thru march etc and then drop appropiate texts in under folder with each individual text in a separate file. Maybe that will accomplish what you want or if a lot do year and month folder under umbrella of all text as master folder.

1 Like

here is example
Screenshot 2022-01-25 155703

Five lines is maybe around average for how much text I put into each outline chunk. There’s nothing wrong with that! And if you’re looking for something as substantial to the backbone of the project as heading levels, then you really are looking right at the feature you need in Scrivener, with its hierarchical outline. That is how you do headings in this software—and that is why it is so much easier to navigate between levels in that outline than it is to navigate within a text view. That’s where all of its features are, and so you’re really missing out on the benefits of the software if you try to use it like a single-view document editor.

1 Like

Yeah, you might be right about that. I tried setting this up in a markdown editor that supports an Outline feature similar to Google Docs, but it still becomes unwieldy when you have 50 headings in one file.

I’ll do some cut & paste and see if I can figure this out. It makes sense if I think of each “document” as a section/heading rather than as a physical file on my computer.

As a bit of an aside, if you’re using Scrivener to generate a Markdown document (or having it process straight through to some end format like ODT or DOCX) then the Markdown heading level can be automatically generated from the outline structure you create in the draft folder. As you add elements, indent and move things around, the hash levels will reflect those changes.

That’s something fairly unique to Scrivener. There is probably a Markdown add-on or editor out there that can handle that problem as gracefully, but most of the popular ones I’ve encountered really struggle with it, some not even bothering, and leaving you to bumble through a sequence of search and replaces to effectively indent an entire section of the outline.

1 Like