How do I get my TOC to reflect my sections?

Hi guys,

Quick question, how do I get my ePub Table of Content to reflect my section titles.

How do I get all of that to reflect in my ePub Table of content page?

As you can see from this ePub it is ignoring all of the sub sections and only listing the main topics.

mmm, no reply in several hours, does this mean it’s impossible for that this forum is useless?

Either way if I don’t get this resolved I’m going to be asking for a refund. There’s zero point in writing a programming book in this software if it can’t handle something a simple as a damned content menu.

Ebook ToCs are created by identifying “page breaks”, which equate to the end of one html-like file and the next. So you have to adjust your compile settings in the “Separators” section to put page breaks between each document of that kind. Another option is to create a “detailed ToC” document and create scrivener links in it to each of the documents you want to be easily navigable. It’s up to you how you accomplish that, but it’s definitely doable. You might also be able to take the compiled ebook and load it into some ebook editing software (is Calibre available on Windows?), adding in those links manually.

BTW, I have zero skin in the game as to whether you get a refund or not, but I hope you’ve at least heard the adage about honey vs. vinegar.

Sincerely yours,
a “useless” forum user.

Thank you for the advice, it is as I suspected then.

I tried creating a TOC manually using Scrivener links, when exported to ePub or Mobi this completely fails, simply generating link errors listing absolute file names. This might be fine for internal document management but it’s completely useless when you want to take your book to e-publish.

Greating a TOC based on page breaks makes perfect sense for fiction novel writers. A blank page before a new chapter is perfectly understandable.

I’m creating a non-fiction document. It handles the sections and subsection titles superbly giving them the numbers required. 1.0, 1.1, 1.1.1, etc etc. That aspect of this software is fantastic.

Non-fiction ebook especially the programming book I’m writing is often used as much as a reference resource as a straight from beginning to end read. This makes a Table of Content absolutely essential. Having to place page breaks to generate a TOC is absolutely ridiculously ugly. This book is broken up into many many sections, some of them less than half a page. Putting blank page here is ugly as hell on any eReader.

Because this software is forcing me to add page breaks, the whole software product becomes absolutely useless for publishing non-fiction work.

I’ll e-mail their support team if they don’t have a solution I’ll be demanding a refund. This is an oversight of absolutely epic proportions and makes the ePub and Mobi export feature a gimmick rather than a real world tool.

P.S. the only thing you attract with honey is bears and bee stings. At least with vinegar you can throw it in the eyes of both.

It’s a shame you didn’t take advantage of the very generous 30 day free trial (actual days of use, not calendar days). Scrivener is at its core a content production tool, rather than a formatting one. If you have complex ebook formatting requirements you may find other software a necessary addition to your workflow.

But, in relation to your specific query, I don’t buy your premise that the software is not suitable for non-fiction, and Scrivener has an incredibly large non-fiction user-base to disagree with you. As you’ve noted, Scrivener “handles the sections and subsection titles superbly”. It’s a short step from there to getting what you need in an ebook. If you really can’t put up with the page break approach - which doesn’t sound as bad to me as you make out, although I guess I haven’t seen the book so you’d know better, then search the forums for suggestions. I know the Lit’n’Lat team have suggested good software to help with the next step if you need something with more individual control. Calibre, which RDG suggests, is indeed available on Windows and is free.

That aside, congratulations on getting your book finished. I can understand your eagerness to get it out there! :smiley:


PS, the full honey / vinegar saying is that you attract more flies with honey than vinegar. And it works too!

I used to work in a honey factory(*) and can confirm that flies do like honey. We had fly screens and anti-fly electronic devices all over the place to help, but saw very few bees, and absolutely no bears at all.

The honey department was next door to the pickle department (which I also worked in for a while). As you know, pickles rely heavily on vinegar, and that department had no worries with flies at all. Although, in the interest of fairness I should point out that the pickle department was equally unconcerned with unscheduled visits from bears.

(* - True story!)

Yeah but it’s not much of a creative exercise if you just parrot back the status quo. So I never do!

I did use the 30 day trial, that didn’t include mobi or epub export option so I couldn’t test them.

Besides my book is written, it would be rude to try and publish it using trial software.

Again the system may be fine for basic non-fiction documents such as biographies and short papers. My book is approaching 1000 pages long, if I have to put sodding page brakes before every sodding sub-section it’s going to end up 3000 pages long, most of which is going to be completely pointless white space. That’s going to pee my readers off very very quickly. The next one I’m writing will be double that at around 2000 pages.

The ability to move text around is incredibly valuable to me. However it’s nothing I can’t do with copy and paste in LibreOffice. The ability to compile the document’s numbering is fantastic, I love it.

But there are three features which I, (and honestly I can’t see how any other professional writes can do without these), can’t do without.

  1. Styling.
  2. Table of Content
  3. Indexing

In OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Word, ABI Office, Works, etc etc you have the option to create specific styles and assign them to text. This is further reflected in HTML and XHTML when combined with CSS sheets. As XHTML and CSS is what makes up ePub files in the first place, and the fact that the software exports to doc, and odt, the lack of style support confuses me. It’s simply a no brainer, and it’s so so easy to generate detailed indexes and TOC’s from them.

Scriveners requirement of a page break feel sloppy, crude, and “different for the sake of being different” rather than providing the compiler with an edge. In fact as I’ve discussed already it’s a massive failing.

Now you can sit there and talk about work flows. But there’s really no point in having an ePub or Mobi export if I can’t compile my project directly to the publisher. If I have to import it all into Sigil or LibreOffice with the Writer2Pub plugin, then there’s zero point in my using Scrivener at all.

I’ve designed software IDE’s in the past myself, and Scrivener feels very much like a software development environment for text books and novels. But no IDE is worth it’s time if it’s compiler can’t handle the task.

Honestly looking at all this I’m beginning to think I’m better off writing my own IDE. A bit of software that allows the organisation that Scrivener does, complete with styles. proper indexing and TOC generator options and a Direct to ePub then to publisher configuration is what I’ve really needed for years. Porting documents between different writing platforms is time consuming.

Hell it wouldn’t’ be so bad if it at least exported header 1, 2, and 3 styles to ODT or Doc/ Docx format. But it doens’t even do that. I can’t compile it to ODT and slap in a custom TOC. I’ve got to go through the whole sodding document again, and manually start assigning headings. It’s not only a waste of my time, but it potentially leads to mistakes. If I’m going to get an error free document out to the public, I’ve not got to pay people to check my work AGAIN. So not only is Scrivener wasting my damned time, but its potentially going to waste my money.

So as a drafting tool scrivener has a lot going for it. As a Draft to Published tool, which is what ePub and Mobi support indicates it is, it fails miserably, I’ve seen a lot of low quality badly formatted ePub’s out there, and I suspect I can link them all back to this software.

:smiley: I thought that I wrote a pretty novel telling of the old chestnut!