Meanings of "Section Types"

Are there prescribed meanings for the Section types listed? Are they listed in some kind of priority? For example, is a “Section” a larger division of a manuscript than a “Chapter?” And what would Scrivener call those parts of a chapter that are distinct?

I have a manuscript I want to be divided into Four “Parts” (.ie, Part I, Part II, etc). Within each part are major sections that cover a certain time period or topic. And within those sections are separate write-ups relating to the topic or time period. How do I assign “Section Type” designations for these elements-- or does it not matter, and I should just use hierarchical outline?

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Have you been through the interactive tutorial yet? If not, I strongly recommend it, as that covers section types and how they work.

Essentially, though, it’s up to you. You can name section types what you want, and you can have as many in the project as you want (set via Project > Project Settings). The significance of Section Types is that they allow you to tell Scrivener how to format your manuscript during Compile by assigning section layouts to them. So, essentially you want section types for each chunk of your project that will need formatting differently.

For instance, in your setup, it sounds like you would want at least three Section types:

  • Part
  • Major Section
  • Subsection

(You might name these differently.)

Then, when you come to Compile, you would select a Format, choose “Assign Section Layouts”, and then you could determine how each of these section types should look. For instance, you might assign a layout to “Part” that prints out only the title, and the same for “Major Section”, whereas for “Subsection” you might want a layout that prints out the text and puts separators between the sections.

You can set it up so that default Section Types are assigned to best fit the structure of your project via “Default Types by Structure” in Project > Project Settings > Section Types (also covered in the tutorial).

The “Novel (with Parts)” project template provides an example of the sort of structure and section types setup that you might want to use for your own project.

All the best,

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Thanks again, Keith. I’ve gone through the tutorial but this issue apparently didn’t stick (there are probably more). Your explanation helps greatly.

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