Not Seeing a Nested Text File in Scrivener for iPhone

I have noticed that I do not see the nested text file in Scrivener which I create while working on my laptop. My workaround has been to create folders, which is fine but it makes the nesting of text files an unnecessary feature if it cannot sync with iOS.

Is the nesting of text files supposed to work on iOS (iPhone) or that’s just (hopefully a current) limitation?

Your nested text files are there and accessible on iOS. But when you tap in the Binder on a container document Scrivener assumes by default you want to see the body text of the document. This is different from what happens when you tap on a folder container – where Scrivener assumes by default you want to see what is in the container. (These defaults likewise differ on macOS Scriv.)

[[Note: I use ios Scriv on an ipad not iphone and layout on the latter is a bit different, but I think the basic functionality I describe here should get you where you want.]]

Suppose you are in ios Scriv and are looking at a container document (i.e. a doc which is also a container of other folders/docs; icon looks like a stack of sheets of paper). There are several ways to view the contained material.

  1. Tap on the widget (>) at the right side of the Binder. That will “drill down” to a sub-Binder which shows the files inside your container doc. Use the binder’s Back button to pop back out.

  2. Swipe left on the Binder row to reveal the in-line menu. Tap Expand. This will show you the contents of the container by listing the contained items below that container right in the Binder. (Like it does on your Mac when you twiddle a container open in the Binder.) You can leave that like that, but if you want to close it again, you must swipe left again and choose Collapse.

  3. Lastly, when you tap on your container doc, you are probably seeing the textual content of the container doc itself (which is why you wondered where your contained docs were). Well, you can tell Scriv what you want to see is what is contained by the doc instead.* You would do this by tapping the icon in the toolbar above the editing area which looks like a 2x2 array of index cards (“Show me the cards!” you say by tapping there). At that point you will be seeing the contents of the doc container as index cards (tap the same button–now looking like a sheet of paper–to get back to square one), and can tap on any of them to see one of the contained docs itself (can use the Editor’s Back button to back out of that).

Maybe the key here is to remember that documents and folders are only presentationally different in Scrivener. They have all the same features, you can freely convert one into the other, BUT they have different default behaviors. If you use a document as also a container, you create something which you mean to serve both purposes, so you need to know how to tell Scriv when you are interested in the item /as document/ and when /as folder/, so it will show you what you are wanting to see at the time.


  • We have visited this idea before, but with respect to the behavior of folders.

Cool! The up and down arrows work. They are showing me the nested text file and if I press more, they lead me into the subsequent folder. Good to know. Thanks, GR.

Yes, the up and down arrows will work too, insofar as they just move you to the absolute next/prev item in the binder. So, for a container, the down arrow will walk you through the contained stuff.