I’m brand new to Mac Scrivener. I’ve written and published 4 books over the past 12 years using Word in its outline view, but no one loves Word, and I’m looking around for an alternative, and have downloaded Scrivener this morning.
The biggest feature I’m looking for is a way to move paragraphs or entire sections around in the document easily. In Word outline view, there was a +/- icon to the left of every paragraph or title, which if you collapsed, you could then drag that collapsed section to any other place in the doc.
Is there some method for doing that in Scrivener? Thank you for the newbie help.
This is very easily done, but you might have to break up long stretches of text into smaller, discrete sections that can then be dragged and dropped in the Binder or other outline views.
Have a quick read of Chapter 1 of the manual (‘Philosophy’ - it’s only two pages long) for a brief sense of what’s possible with Scrivener. Then have a look at Chapter 15.3.3 and 15.4. It might also be worth reading up on the Outliner view for the Editor (Chapter 8.3).
Scrivener’s manual is very long and detailed - it can be a little daunting at first! My experience is that it is best to dip in and out as needed, reading up on specific tools as you discover them while using the software. Often this forum is a good place to come and ask for advice on how to do something. You’ll usually be told how it might be done, or directed to the relevant part of the manual.
To be clear, going by the title of your post, there is no “collapse” of chapters or paragraphs the way that Word does it. If you find that you move paragraphs around a lot, and may change your mind periodically, you may as well get used to splitting up your chapter around any paragraphs you want to rearrange. You can always merge the documents back into one chapter file once you’re satisfied with the order of everything. Alternately you can look into how to customize the section types and compile options to just stitch together these pieces at when you compile everything into a single document.
Step 1, do the interactive tutorial. It’ll show you all you need to know to get an easy start.
I have been a big user of Word’s outline mode, but find I can reproduce in Scrivener all of the functionality that I effectively used there.
Structuring and rearranging at the level of scene-pulses or scenes or chapters or whatever is super easy with Scrivener’s Binder or its (document-level) Outline mode. Because at that level of organization it makes sense to split your project up into separate documents anyway — and Scrivener enables you to organize and move these around with ease. You will love the ease of access you will have over your whole book project.
But I still find it convenient to have some of those Word-outline functions within the text of documents.
So, I use key commands to move paragraphs (or groups thereof) up and down — which is how I mostly used that feature of Word’s outline mode.
I also have set up styles which have various levels of whole-paragraph indent and assigned key commands to them too. That way, I can have visual structure within a document. I can contrive with Compile settings to make this visual structuring not show in final output — though I am more likely at a certain point to just return that structured text to my default paragraph style — having finished with my need for that level of outlining.
While you have expand/collapse at the level of Binder and doc Outline view, as someone mentioned, you will not have an expand/collapse function for within-text outlining as I have described it above. For my own case, I find I do not miss this particular functionality, since I didn’t often use it.