Outline Document within Scrivener

Currently the document types are:

  1. Text
  2. Folder

I wish there was an Outline Document type.

As I write sections of my research-oriented book, I wish I could have an outline document type so I can play with topics WITHIN each scrivening/document.

For example, I have a section in the book that describes a group of medications, with one scrivening/document for each medication - a monograph for each medication.

The description of each medication has subsections:

  1. generic name
  2. trade name
  3. chemical description
  4. mechanisms of action
  5. pharmacokinetics
  6. interactions
  7. indications

Using separate documents for each section would make the outline area of scrivening very unwieldly as well as separate sections which have much in common or would require separate documents for a section which has only a few words - such as the generic name section.

Thus, it would be nice to have an Outline Document type in addition to the Text and Folder type.

Many people like to tinker with the sections of their monographs, rearrange them, etc. while writing them. Many people may not know the final organization of their paragraphs until they see the big picture. An Outline Document would make writing so much easier.

Additionally, if an outline document can be transfered and coverted to the basis for the actual Scrivener outline, then writers don’t have to tinker with an external outliner. They can do it all in Scrivener.


I’m afraid there are certainly no plans for anything like this - it could be confusing in the extreme. However, I have made some improvements to the bullets/lists feature for 2.0, although that doesn’t seem to be the sort of thing you are after. For what you are after, why not just use a table in a text document? With a row for each segment of information? I don’t think I quite understand what you need.

All the best,

I re-examined why I posted my post.

The way outlining is implemented in Scrivener is optimized for creating section headings for bodies of text. One has to create new documents in order to create each entry in the outline. When brainstorming, for example, this doesn’t flow very naturally or quickly.

When outlining in OmniOutliner - a traditional outlining program - writing an outlining FLOWS very quickly. To create a new entry, one simply has to press . To move an entry right, one has to press . To move it left, press . After creating an entry, pressing return immediately creates a new entry. It is very easy and intuitive to create an outline. It is the traditional way of outlining.

Outlining in Scrivener is more CHOPPY and requires more COMPLICATED key strokes and requires the use of BOTH hands. In outline view, after creating an entry, pressing selects the line of the entry. I then have to press again in order to create a new entry - a double return. To move an entry right, I have to press . To move it left, I have to press

Similarly, Inspiration 9 - a combination outlining and mind-mapping/diagramming programming - creating an outline uses the same single-hand key-combinations as in OmniOutliner. Inspiration, however, also allows you the option of using -L and -R and cmd-G to move and add new topics - thus giving you the choice of using OmniOutliner’s smooth and quick outline creation or Scrivener’s more choppy two-hand key combinations.

I see the rationale behind this since moves the selection point to the next column in Outline View. However, when I remove every extraneous columns, leaving only the Title column, I DEARLY wish that Scrivener would act EXACTLY like OmniOutliner when navigating and creating an outline. It would make it far easier to write in outline view - since it would be the traditional way of doing outlining on Macs - going back to M.O.R.E. in the distant past.

The traditional outlining writing style is what I miss in Scrivener.

If you can bring the traditional outlining keystrokes back, then I would be far happier with outlining in Scrivener.

And it would make Scrivener’s outliner view much more intuitive and quick to use for brainstorming ideas.

Thank you.

And I will pay for the 2.0 upgrade, whenever you are ready.