How to create an appendix in Scrivener?

I’m writing a nonfiction book, and it will make sense to include some of the content in the for of appendices at the end of the book.

I see Scrivener has a ready-made “Front matter” feature – but I don’t see a corresponding “Back Matter” or “Appendix” function.

What would be the best way for me to create my appendices – not just so that they’re positioned at the end of the book, but so they’re also listed correcting in the TOC? If I just create them the way I’d created a regular chapter, it’ll get listed as a chapter, not as an appendix.

The best approach is to take advantage of Scrivener’s flexibility in the Formatting pane. At its most basic usage, you can even distinguish different formats and heading styles between folders and file groups. So if you aren’t already using file groups in the outline, you could switch to using them for appendix items. Going into more complex realms, it is also possible to use different formats depending on the outline level. So if you cannot globally override file groups as I described, another option would be to put the whole appendix into another folder, simply to increase its indent level to something you don’t otherwise use. You can leave those “utility” folders excluded from compile (their lack of export won’t change the fact that their contents are still indented). This is how many people did front matter before that feature was added, and it still works pretty well.

Another approach, if some unused Formatting level or type cannot be found (maybe you already have a fairly complex multi-layer folder setup): some people have a second set of compile settings that they use to compile the appendix folder. We do a counter that uses letters, <$l> and <$L>, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Consider that your project can store its own compile format presets (use the Format As drop-down menu to manage presets). So you can store your main compile settings in one preset and the back matter settings in another. That just leaves you to set up Contents appropriately when you switch compile modes. Once you’ve got two RTF files (or whatever), just open them up in your word processor and copy and paste them together.

It’s worth mentioning there will be a dedicated back matter feature in the long-term future, and that it will make laying out a book like this, with a different format, a snap.

Thanks, AmberV.

I’m not sure I understood all of that (I’m fairly new to Scrivener), but I’ll read your advice closely and also check the relevant portions of the Scrivener manual to figure it out. I appreciate the guidance.

I’m wondering if this approach might also help me more generally solve another problem I’m having: How to define where my chapters actually begin.

My “Chapters” are not single files, but comprised of many files within folders. (I’m integrating content from a large library of quotes from a survey, each quote is a Scrivening, so this book is more like legos than straightforward writing). When I compile, the folders are turned into “parts” (not chapters), but some “parts” have "chapters arbitrarily assigned where I don’t want them.

Would working with the outline feature and formatting pane as you suggested help me not only create back matter, but also designate my chapters more accurately for compiling?


Feel free to ask any questions that you may have on the topic if you cannot find answers in the manual or elsewhere.

To point you in the right direction with the the easiest method—using file groups instead of folders for your named appendix sections—this is easy because if you already have your appendices broken up into folders with further outline structure beneath them, you can right click on one of these folder (say what will become Appendix B) and select “Convert to File” in the contextual menu. The icon will change to a stack of paper (if you haven’t already noticed, files and folders have a fairly fluid and largely shared definition in Scrivener). All right, now open Compile, click on the Formatting pane, and check out the options in the top half. You should see a file stack icon like that in the list. You can enable the “Title” option beside it if it is not already, and then click the Section Layout… button in the lower half of the pane to set up a title prefix (like Appendix <$L> with maybe a carriage return after it or a space). When you click OK you’ll see it in the preview area, which is where you will use the standard formatting controls to style your headings. Anything in the Binder that looks like this icon will now print itself as an appendix section rather than a chapter.

As you can no doubt now see, yes! That is in fact the sole mechanism for how all of this comes together in Scrivener. You have an outline which is the raw structure of your work (however complex or simple that may be), and then you have the style, or how that structure becomes represented as printed text—and that is what the Formatting pane does, by definition. It formats your outline (and optionally also the content that is hinged off of it, such as main text material). All our project templates do is set up some prefab example outline structure to guide the user into working in a fashion that suits the pre-built Formatting settings in the template.

I’d highly recommend going through §24.11.1, Structure and Content Table, starting pg. 373 in the user manual PDF, for a general overview of the concept. The rest of that entire section goes over the Formatting pane in detail.

Hopefully with that knowledge you can sort out the part/chapter bit, too.