outliner function within texts

i would really like to be able to break up long sections of text into sentences or paragraphs or even phrases, and then be able to reorder and reorganise them in the particular scrivener text i’m working in.

the existing outliner is too high level for what i want, which is to able to see all ideas, sentences, paragraphs for a draft in one s-text at the same time.

as it is, i copy the text into omni outliner so i can easily reorder individual sentences, and i’d prefer not to have to do this.

Why not load them into scrivenings, lock the editor, then rearrange them in the binder on the left so that you see them get reordered in the editor on the right?

i think the actions you’ve listed answer the question “why not”. that’s a lot of overhead just to reorder a couple of sentences - an operation which may be done many times in the drafting of a document. reordering texts in this manner also means click-dragging the text to be moved, then clicking on the parent text to see the change in context in scrivenings mode.

i want to be able to edit the layout of a text in the text, and basic outline functions allow me to do that without losing sight of the context and without constantly switching between views.

i don’t see the need for outlining functionality as particularly controversial - it’s pretty fundamental as far as drafting goes, and i heartily request the feature - hopefully this is the place to do it.

If you open your container in the editor then lock the editor, clicking on items in the binder will not cause the editor to switch focus. You can easily:

a. View a container in the editor,
b. Turn on scrivenings mode by hitting cmd+1 if it isn’t already on,
c. Lock the editor (alt+cmd+L),
d. Move focus to the binder (ctrl+alt+cmd+B),
e. Reorder any items you want (using the arrows on your keyboard to navigate between them and pressing ctrl+cmd+relevant arrow to move them), and optionally,
f. Move focus back to the editor (ctrl+alt+cmd+E) to edit the document which was last selected in the binder. (If you have split the editor, you can press ctrl+alt+cmd+E to move focus to the bottom/left split, OR ctrl+alt+cmd+R to move focus to the top/right split.)

I recommend creating a test project and trying this out if you’re not sure how it works.

I break sections into component parts all the time - Scrivener documents within my projects often consist of only one paragraph precisely for the reason you state: so I can move them around the outline. I’ve been doing this via the binder for years and is one of the (many) reasons I think Scrivener is so awesome.

I like and use in-document outlining and think of it as an extension of the macro outline that the binder provides. For me there is a level of close-in-ness at which I want to see my outline structure within a doc. So, I sympathize with the OP.

Most of standard outline functionality is to set up for yourself. It is easy enough to make custom presets to correspond to different outline levels, and it is also easy to give them key commands.

The only thing missing of the usual controls one has in outlining is key commands for moving a paragraph or group of paragraphs up and down with respect to its surrounding paragraphs.

I think having such key commands would be sweet (and would have at least some use outside of outlining, I suppose).

But, as I have noted before, not having those move-para key commands does not really stand in my way personally, because the kind of outline work which might see me popping paras up and down, I usually do with mindmap software which uses a more productive representation for that sort of thing.


P.S. I made a handy-dandy script which preprocesses the mindmap output before it goes into Scriv – which determines how much of my mindmap structure will end up as binder structure (trunk and branches) and what will end up as in-document outline text (twigs and leaves). Sweet!