Proper Chapter Numbering

Hi there!

I’ve purchased Scrivener for Mac a little while ago and already worked through the interactive intro doc. I’ve also set up my first project, which will be a psychology manual. One thing I’m not quite clear on yet is chapter numbering, though. Let’s say I have a main chapter “History of Psychology” with an Intro text, then several sub chapters like “19th century”, “modern times” etc., and some addition sub chapters from there - like Freud, Jung, etc.

For what do I use folder documents, where do I use documents, and when & where do I use Heading, sub-heading and Title formats? I’m still unclear on how to set the proper structure, which will be a true pain if I’ll have to change everything after it’s been written …

Hope the question is OK in here. Love Scrivener so far … it’s really what I’ve been looking for!

One of the main reasons for using Scrivener, in my opinion, is that it makes it much easier to change the organisation of whatever you are writing. I do a lot of swapping around as I write, and that is so much harder to do in a program like MS Word. Numbering can get quite complex, so it would be as well to look at menu item “Help > Placeholder Tags List…” to get an idea of what is possible. Basically, you can number just about any document or folder, or image. It might be interesting to know that the Scrivener manual is written using Scrivener. Plenty of numbering in that!

The formats have nothing to do with the numbering – there isn’t a system of numbering attached to styles as there is in MS Word. The formatting is just a visual distinction, not an organisational one.

In my case, I have almost every paragraph as a separate document. Any major section, like a chapter is a folder, and sub-sections are usually folders, too. My paragraphs are placed inside those as separate documents. But you can do almost anything you like. My advice would be to experiment a little and find something that works for you.

Incidentally, I write about psychology, too.

Martin.

Hi Ollie,

Thanks for buying!

The answer, really, is - it’s entirely up to you. The main thing to bear in mind from what you have said is that Scrivener has no concept of styles. So “Heading”, “Sub-Heading” and such have no structural meaning in Scrivener - they are just formatting presets that “paint on” bold or a particular font size. They are not styles in the word processor sense but just convenient ways of applying batch formatting changes.

Instead, in Scrivener, you worry about this sort of stuff at the Compile stage. So I would recommend just playing around with a test project and the Compile settings. Compile can seem a little overwhelming at first because there are so many options - necessarily so, to allow users to structure their projects however they see fit.

The reason I say to play with Compile is because once you realise how that works, you will know that you don’t have to worry about changing things after you’ve written everything; instead, you just let Compile format your work for you for the export or printing stage. The main sections of the Compile pane you will want to look at for now are “Contents”, “Separators” and “Formatting”.

Let’s take your own examples. There are a couple of ways you could structure all of this in the binder. For instance, you might have the following documents:

History of Psychology (folder)
> Intro text
> 19th Century (folder)
> > Text document
> > Text document
> Modern Times (folder)
> > Freud (folder)
> > > Text document
> > > Text document

In that case, you might set up the “Formatting” pane in Compile to look something like this:

This tells Compile that you have three levels of folders that you want formatted differently, each one including only the document title (this only “Title” is ticked for folders in this table). Text documents all get treated the same (although you could tell it to treat text documents at lower levels differently by adding extra levels here), and only the text is getting included for text documents (thus, only “Text” is ticked).

For each folder level, you could choose a different font style for the title in the preview pane below this table in the “Formatting” pane. And you can use that “Section Layout” button to add a different prefix to each title.

For instance, for Level 1 folders, you might have the prefix: “Chapter <$t>” (the <$t> tag is a special auto-numbering tag that gets replaced with “One”, “Two” etc during Compile - you don’t need to remember these tags; they are available via the Edit > Insert > Auto-Number menu).

For Level 2 folders, you might have the prefix “Section <$n>” (“Section 1”), and for Level 3 folders you might have no prefix at all.

This would result in the compiled document looking something like this:

(Also bear in mind that folders are just text documents with different default behaviour, and you can freely convert between folders and text documents, so you don’t have to make solid decisions up-front.)

But that’s not the only structure you could use. You could equally use a single text document for each section, e.g:

History of Psychology (folder)
> Intro text
> 19th Century (folder)
> > Subsection (text document)
> Modern Times (folder)
> > Freud (text document)

Or:

History of Psychology (folder, including intro text)
> 19th Century (text document)
> Modern Times (text group)
> > Freud (text document)

And various other permutations. You should use what feels best for your own working methods, but just familiarise yourself with Compile so that you have a rough idea of how you can turn your chosen structure into a document that looks like you want it to. As you experiment with Compile, I recommend you look at some of the template projects, such as the academic templates, to see how they are set up, and how their Compile settings are set up to achieve certain document outputs.

Hope that helps.

All the best,
Keith

I said it could get a little complex :mrgreen:

(but I managed to cope with it, and I’m an idiot)

Ha, the trouble is that it is quite complex to describe, but not as complicated as it sounds. It just takes some experimenting with so that you how the “Formatting” pane works in Compile. Once you understand how the “Formatting” pane works, and the options available there, it makes it much easier to think about the different ways you can structure things, and exactly what you can do with Compile (which is a lot).

All the best,
Keith

Dear Keith and mbbntu,

first of all, thanks! I didn’t expect such thorough and well written answers … I’ll follow your advice and play around with the compiler a bit, figuring out the best way to structure my documents.

Once again - Scrivener really is one fine product, still happy I found it :slight_smile: .

Cheers,

Ollie