How to create a list of tagged subheadings?

I’m writing a large and complicated technical manual in Scrivener. Couldn’t do it without Scrivener!! Thank you L&L geniuses.

Question: I need to create a master list from headings and subheadings that are scattered throughout the entire project. These are formatted text within the document, not document names.

I’ve searched the manual and searched this forum and don’t see anything that describes what I want. I tried compiling footnotes/comments; didn’t seem to work.

Using Outline view, or compiling a list of folder/document names won’t help me, because the headings are text within the docs. I know a solution would be to convert every heading to a separate document, but that’s unworkable for a number of reasons, including the fact that I have about 500 files already and I don’t want to break it down more.

Ideally, I’d like to be able to tag headings with an invisible tag that doesn’t show up with each item in the list. Worst case, I’ll add tags in the text and strip them out later.

And ideally I’d be able to group the headings by top-level chapter names. But one big list would be ok too.

I know my way around Scrivener pretty well, but this one is stumping me. Any help appreciated! What would you suggest I try first?

Thank you much,

Media, PA
[Scrivener 2.6 / Yosemite 10.10.1]

Wouldn’t be easier to just use those headings as document names? You can have them formatted according to their level and even hierarchically numbered…

You might use Scrivener keywords to tag those documents, the keywords would be invisible when editing and when compiling, yet let you do searching and whatnot.

You might also type you tag inside the title, for instance:

This is a heading[MYTAG]

And then use Replacements at compile time to remove the [MYTAG] part.

Hope this helps!

R6D2, thank you for your reply.

Maybe I wasn’t clear enough. I know that Scrivener handles document titles really well, and could produce the list I’m needing by search > collection, in outline mode, or using labels if I split up my current documents and made the headings into titles. But that’s what I’m trying to avoid. I want to make a list of headings within documents that yields a single master list of all such headings from my entire project.

Maybe this is a feature request. It would totally work if I could do a project search (Edit|Find|Find by Formatting) and see the results in a search collection. But apparently a search by formatting only takes you to the results one by one.

It seems that footnotes or comments might work, but I can’t figure out the trick.

Anybody have a solution?


Indeed, find by formatting will not allow you to create a collection.

But I’m not really following you, then. Suppose find by formatting would indeed let you create a collection. A collection is a list of documents, not a list of words or phrases. How would you expect to use that collection to gather all your headings automatically? :confused:

Collection is the wrong word then. What I mean is a full list of search results that shows lines of text, not titles. I cited the Collections because that’s such a cool way to handle search results. The limitation, for my purposes, is exactly that Collections only list document names.

When I search (using Edit|Find|Find by Format in the menu) on, say, purple highlighted text, the program shows me each instance of that formatting, one at a time. I can click and see each one. But not all at the same time. That’s what I want. A list. It doesn’t matter how the list shows up, assuming I could copy/paste into a meta document and then reference it.

The reason I want this is because I’m in the middle of writing this big manual, and my rough and still unorganized draft is full of these short headings and list items that are each a gem of advice for the user. I probably have 200 of them peppered through my project. I want to be able to see them all together in one place so I can spot redundant advices, or gaps, and also see the progression. And of course be able to refresh the list as I make changes in the project.

Maybe I can do that with endnotes. But I couldn’t see how to create a list of endnotes on the fly. I haven’t spent the time to wade through all the compiling commands yet, so maybe there’s a shortcut way to compile notes into the list I want.



If I’ve followed you, there’s a stack of discrete instruction sets scattered in your documents which you want to be able to gather and review at different stages through the project. At the moment you have these as parts of longer sections.

If I were tackling this I would split my text up a lot into sub documents, so each instruction set sat in its own document (still able to be compiled ‘as is’ if needs be). I would then rename the status metadata as ‘content’ with a ‘default’ value and a ‘instruction’ value, and mark each instruction document as ‘instruction’. Then, I would set up a collection based on a search for status = instruction. That would gather all my instruction documents. As I added new instruction documents I would set the ‘content’ metadata, so on the next use of the collection the new document would be added.

I’ve done something similar for a book I’m writing: I have two different documents for each figure. One just has the title text (marked as ‘fig ref’) and will be included when I compile for the publisher, the other has the draft image and caption (marked as ‘image’). At compile I can then pick which one I want to include or exclude. But I could also use that same selection to form a collection for editing all my captions or my images.

Mr Gruf,

Thank you for that workaround. I get what you’re doing: multiple files for the same content, but tagged so that I can use the Search/Collections feature to see what I need to see. I’m sure I can get that to work. (But don’t Collections wipe out the folder hierarchy?)

Still, as a feature request, it would help anybody who is doing something similar in the future to have more choice in how a “search by format” is output. I guess I’ll go over to the request section and post that.


Collections do display as flat lists without hierarchy, but the file order is preserved. As you are looking at a set of pieces the lack of hierarchy shouldn’t be too much of an issue.