Plain Table of Contents (ToC) titles while considering Section Titles eBook Compile

Hi there,

I have been having a devil of a time trying to get what I want out of Scrivener 3 with regards to a “plain” ToC.

In brief, my desired format for an eBook is as follows (see attached for folder hierarchy :

Chapter One
Section Title (I grab the title from the folder name of the Chapter Heading folder above)
Section Text

This will compile to, for example:

Chapter One
606 B.C.
FIRST THREE WORDS and then the rest of the section.

My frustration is based on the fact that I cannot–for the life of me–figure out how to make the eBook ToC produce a “plain” listing of chapters, like Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, etc. without using the title of the Chapter Header folder (e.g. 606 B.C.) .

This really should be that hard, but it apparently is.

I’ve read through the existing posts and have not found a solution for this.

Can someone please point me in the right direction?


Scrivener ToC.jpeg

EDIT: See this post… viewtopic.php?p=255530#p255530

Like this?

ePub 3 TOC.jpg

Don’t know if it is possible to do this automatically, but in the sample above:

  1. Select the relevant folders in the binder

  2. Edit > Copy Special > Copy Documents as ToC

  3. Paste to a file (used for the ToC)

  4. Edit the pasted names to read Chapter One etc

  5. Remove the redundant page numbers

  6. Compile

Hi Bridey,

Thanks for the reply.

Yep, that’s the format I’m looking for, but I was hoping to do this automatically using structure based formatting, if possible while also using the chapter folder as a way to insert a subtitle onto the page between Chapter One and the first section.

It’s weird how something that seems so simple is apparently so difficult.

From what I can tell, if you use a binder node (e.g. chapter folder) as a title that it’s gonna show up in the ToC. That’s just how Scrivener works, unless I’m missing something.

1 Like

But you don’t need to use the chapter folder to insert the subtitle, because you can do that in the Section layout.

[EDIT: I’ve use CHAPTER <$W> throughout to give your capitalised titles + number. If you want lower case then use Chapter <$w> – doesn’t affect the basic flow.]


  1. call all your Chapter Folders CHAPTER <$W> with a dedicated Section Type. (In my example Chapter Title)

  2. Call all your Sections by the name of the Chapter (606. C.C) with a suitable Section Type (in my example Scene)

  1. Compile. Ignoring the need for front matter etc, you only need two Section Layouts:

a) One for the Folders which ONLY prints out the name of the folder — which you’ve set to CHAPTER <$W> in the binder. I’ve called this layout Chapter Title.

b) One for your scenes (606 BC etc), which will print out the Scene Title and the text. I’ve called this layout Section with Title.

  1. So edit the layouts:

a) Chapter with Title – tick the Title box and nothing else. In the Formatting pane you should just see SECTION TITLE. If there’s anything else, then make sure there’s nothing in Title Options or in Prefix/Suffix.

b) Section with Title — tick the Title and Text boxes. This time formatting will have SECTION TITLE and the dummy text. Again, you don’t need any Title Options / Prefix / Formatting.

c) Have a look at Separators, just to make sure you don’t have a Page/Section Break before the sections in Section with Title.

In the screenshot, I’ve reduced the number of Section Layouts to the minimum for clarity.

d) Click Save and go back to the first compile screen. Assign you Chapter Title type to Chapter with Title and your Scene to Section with Title.

e) Compile.

This should give you the effect you need (from what I can see from your description, of course. Obviously, you’ll play around with the formatting to get the right look, but this is the basic process.

And this is what the final result looks like:

Just to be clear, all this is only necessary because you want Chapter One etc in the TOC rather than the Chapter title, so it’s a workaround for the limitation in compile.

If you didn’t want it, you could have the Chapter Title, Subtitle and text all from the one Section Layout Section with Title, just by adding Chapter <$w> to the prefix of that layout. You wouldn’t need a folder at all in your binder.


EDIT: See this post… viewtopic.php?p=255530#p255530

Hi Kim

I agree with brookter. You can either adapt the binder structure or create a custom ToC, as previously suggested.

Both methods add a layer of work as Scrivener creates titles from folder/file names rather than from prefixes alone.

EDIT: See this post… viewtopic.php?p=255530#p255530

Actually, in the thread below, Ioa (mod and development guru) mentions prefixes completely replacing titles. On a train, without a Mac, so I can’t try this myself, but perhaps you can do what you want to do using prefixes alone. Not clear from Ioa’s comment if he means prefixes can replace titles in situ only, or if they can also work in a TOC.

Actually, you can do this…


Brookter and Bridey,

Thank mucho for the expert tips.

I really appreciate it.

I inadvertently misled you originally. Apologies.

Hope it works as you need it to.