Hello, my binder is a mix of Scrivener documents and external documents (PDFs, mindmaps etc)
I would like to create a table of contents. As soon as include an external document is included in the selection of documents in the Binder, the option to copy special → toc is greyed out, which is surprising because all I want to include from the external document is the title as written in the Binder
thank you very much
Hello, my binder is a mix of Scrivener documents and external documents (PDFs, mindmaps etc)
The table of contents is a reference index used to aid in navigation within a long document. I’m not sure what it would mean to have one that both does that, and refers to separate files on your hard drive (or even buried in a binder it sounds like).
What’s your ultimate goal here? Are you trying to create an index to exhibits that you’ll assemble separately? A list of links to external resources? Something else?
What’s your ultimate goal here? Are you trying to create an index to exhibits that you’ll assemble separately?
yes, exactly Katherine, and I found the solution: select docs in Binder → copy → paste into table of contents document and make minor adjustments. No page numbers, but that’s no problem.
thank you all for your comments.
thank you for your comment.
I am always talking about PDFs etc which were imported into a Scrivener project, not indexed.
Yes, a table of contents can be used to navigate, but it can also be a table of contents as in a book ie a description of the contents of the document.
If we set aside the constraints of writing a book, I think that it is perfectly normal and common to use Scrivener for research projects for example where Scrivener docs and PDFs or MindMaps are interspersed. I do it all the time, and the documents of different types are assembled at the end. I think that this is one of the rare instances where I tend to disagree with Scrivener staff who don’t seem to consider non Scrivener documents as part of the “manuscript” in the wider sense of the term.
And those PDFs and MindMaps are not buried deep in the Binder: they are often level 1, alongside Scrivener docs and I am not able to include them in the usual ScrivenerTOC (copy special is greyed out).
thanks again for your comment
Right, but it seems like you are referring to two different things here, or begging the question by jumping straight to an implementation from which there is nothing to implement:
- You feel random file formats should be capable of somehow being inserted into a “document” (what that looks like at this point, I don’t know, what happens when you flip the page to a Tinderbox file?).
- That in such a theoretical “book”, where text is somehow bound, page by page, to binary files from your Mac, that such objects should be (a) in the page flow and thus navigable by page and (b) listed in the table of contents accordingly.
I could understand asserting that point two is logical if point one is plausible for the definition of a document, but to my knowledge it is not. I know of no book format (certainly not PDF) that allows one to insert files that require extremely specialised software to even view them statically, never mind files that are ordinarily meant to be edited, or even just commonly handled files that aren’t graphics. Presumably whatever book reading software this was would have to be capable of reading tens of thousands of different file formats, no? Or are you suggesting all of your readers should install the mindmapping program you use, so they can see the diagrams you made with it?
I think all around images are going to work best for this kind of problem. That is how things have anyways been done anyway, you use software to make specialised things—maybe tables or graphs or diagrams—and you export to a format that can then be embedded in InDesign, or word processors, or writing programs like Scivener. Because ultimately your readers need to be able to see the thing you wanted to make, and generally the only thing that can show that file is the software that made it.
That’s a red herring I think. The ToC can refer to items very deeply nested in the draft. It’s a tool for navigating a text document though, not a collection of files.
Well of course, that is how it is designed to be used. That does not in any way imply that the entire binder is designed to somehow, through technology that does not and may never exist, turn that into a hypothetical book that anyone can open and read.
I’m not going to say never, maybe some day it will be normal to turn a page and have an animated three-dimensional cluster chart floating in your face that you can manipulate and zoom in on, maybe even with hand gestures or by sheer thought. Who knows. But right now you can’t put a mind map file into a PDF in a meaningful way—so without that fundamental ability in existence, the question of how to link to such a thing in a ToC has yet to have practical meaning.
I’m not going to say never, maybe some day it will be normal to turn a page and have an animated three-dimensional cluster chart floating in your face that you can manipulate and zoom in on, maybe even with hand gestures or by sheer thought. Who knows. But
right now you can’t put a mind map file into a PDF in a meaningful way—so without that fundamental ability in existence, the question of how to link to such a thing in a ToC has yet to have practical meaning.
Thank you Ioa.
All of your points are valid and I respect your expertise. I certainly should not have mentioned MindMaps because the end product is a PDF (as in print to pdf). So basically it boils down to Scrivener docs and PDFs in my question above.
I think that I have a biased perspective because I am used to creating tables of content in DevonThink with active navigation links simply by highlighting a list of items → context menu → table of content as RTF.
After reading your email, I went through the exercise tonight: I created a table of contents from selected DevonThink items which included text files, RTF, PDF, MindMaps, Bookmarks, Webarchive, emails (imported from apple mail and identical looking), OmniOutliner files and more, all of which had been imported into DevonThink (not “indexed” files). Please consider that not everyone is writing books. For example I often work on research project reports and technical manuals.
The DevonThink RTF editor does not come close to the Scrivener editor, but that may change because they make it so easy to edit and item such RTFs and all others, with the user’s external editor of choice (I prefer NisusWriterPro). Before you object on many levels to my comments, please also consider that DevonThink is scriptable. With the large library of scripts available, anything is basically possible. Obviously, some things will never be possible with DevonThink, like Scrivener type compilation.
Thanks again for a detailed reply.
My best wishes to the whole Scrivener team and their families for the holidays and the new year.
What was the output of your experiment with DevonThink?
It’s possible to make a DevonThink database accessible via the web, and to create links that will essentially function as an index to that database. DevonThink itself functions as the server software in that example.
Scrivener’s end goal is different: it aims to create documents that will stand alone, completely independent of Scrivener.
I am sorry that an innocent question seems to have provoked animosity on behalf of the Scrivener team.
Katherine, you are 100% right. Yes, Scrivener creates a stand alone document.
To answer your question: It’s possible to make a DevonThink database accessible via the web, and to create links that will essentially function as an index to that database
Well, the web, I don’t know, but any mac editor app, yes. If I copy/paste a DevonThink table of contents in RTF format to Bear for example, all the links in the Bear note to the many types of DevonThink items are fully functional.
I am not sure what you mean by create documents that will stand alone, completely independent of Scrivener. If you are referring to PDF, RTF, html and many other formats, yes this is possible with DevonThink with the “convert” function, in addition to which you have a panoply of scripts.
No animosity here. I’m just trying to understand your use case with an eye to possible alternative solutions.
In Scrivener, I think the function you’re looking for is Copy → Copy Special → Copy Document as External Link. That will create a link of the form ‘x-scrivener-item:///’ that will launch Scrivener and open the linked document from any application on the same system. (Links are not guaranteed to be robust across file systems.)
It’s unfortunately only possible to do this for one document at a time, not for a whole section of the Binder. Of course, once you have a list of links you can do whatever you want with it. (Copy and paste, compile, etc.)
These links work like HTML links, in that you can assign them to human-readable text.
thank you for clarifying the issue Katherine.
Scrivener is designed for writing text that can be published as books. Printed books, evooks, scripts, etc. I don’t think it’s “perfectly normal” to use it as a kind of research repository like Devon Think or Evernote.
But that aside, exactly what is it you are trying to do? Create a list of what you have in the Binder? I think the major problem is that Scrivener’s ToC is meant for making a proper ToC of the kind you have in books. Therefore, as I understand it, you can only include the Draft portion of the binder, where you have the written text. Your other documents are located in the Research area which can’t be included in the compile function and thus can’t be included in the book’s ToC.
yes, I understand. The solution to my problem was to simply select doc (including external) in the Binder → copy/paste into a new document. Only page numbers missing. I can clean up the end result using regex.
thank you for your post