I do understand why this doesn’t happen automatically - really, I do. It’s because of the feature of Scrivener that I love most - the ability to work on as small or as large a block of text as you want, and to move things around as much as you want. I imagine most people don’t actually have chapters as Scriv files. But - I do. And when I export them to dropbox, for example, all my chapter titles are lost.
I think Scrivener is just fine as it is; I wouldn’t want anyone to have to give up the flexibility that makes the program so powerful and attractive. But - for those of us who are structuring our writing in chapters, and giving those chapters titles, is there a way to retain the chapter titles? Perhaps something we could do (or can already do?) in preferences?
Actually, you can turn on title export for all document types, folders, files, and file stacks. When you Compile the draft, make sure to check the lower-right section in the first tab which controls output settings for the three types. In your case, you’d probably want to make a Folder represent a chapter and turn on titles for that, and leave titles off for all of the internal structuring.
Thanks for this, Amber! I will play with these ideas when I get to the stage of exporting a draft. Just one question: If the little index cards in the binder each represent a chapter (to me - they needn’t, of course, and I don’t want that to change, but that’s how I’m using them), are they folders, or files? I thought they were files?
To see what I am talking about, you can look at my screenshot where Keith has them posted. This is the corkboard view, and each card is a chapter summary showing the pov that chapter is written from. If you click on a card, you are in that chapter, which appears as a list on the right side in the binder.
So - can you choose to name these blocks of text either folders or files, at your discretion? I guess that’s my question. I’m still a month or so away from actually compiling a draft, so I have time to learn what I ought to be doing!
And happy memorial day, if you are a U.S. citizen who has the day off.
I hope this doesn’t sound dismissive, but have you had a chance to work through the interactive tutorial yet? It covers a lot of ground regarding the integration of corkboard, folders, and files. In a nutshell it is good to think of the corkboard as an alternate way of viewing the contents of your Binder. If you click on the “Draft” item in the Binder (it might be called something else if you started with a template), all of those index cards are actually just the stuff you see in the Binder list on the left. The corkboard only shows the first level beneath the item you clicked on—in your case that is very likely chapters. If you click on a single chapter in the Binder, you would then get a list of all the scenes in the corkboard—and again this is just showing you the first level beneath that item you click on.
Regarding the difference between files and folders, you don’t have to worry about it too much—they are both basically the same thing. They can both store other things beneath them; they can be represented as index cards; have their text edited; etc. The only time they really make a difference is in Compile where, as already described, you can cause folders to export different types of information than files, and file “stacks” (files with other files in them) can also export differently as well. The only other differences between them are cosmetic and navigational. Different icons (folders look like Finder folders, files look like pieces of paper or index cards depending on what you’ve put into them), and different things can happen when you click on them, according to your preferences in the Navigation pane.
The nice thing about Scrivener is that because things are so flexible, you don’t have to worry too much about following a “system”, while writing. You can do whatever is most comfortable and when it comes time to produce a manuscript, you can then make sure everything is consistent and exporting the way you like. Note to make that job easier, you can convert a file into a folder and vice versa (just more evidence these two things are basically the same thing under the cover). In other words, if you need your chapters to all be folders later, for compiling purposes, it’s no problem to keep them as files for now. Later you can just select them all and convert them to folders in one click and you’re done.
I’m not exactly sure which screenshot you are referring to here, but hopefully the above better explains what is going on when you look at a corkboard and navigate around in it. You are just navigating around in your book outline structure, and viewing the elements of the book by their Title and Synopsis. Once you load a text file with no children beneath it, it should open up in the editor (but you could still choose to view that text file as a corkboard and add new items beneath it).
Because you can have a structure that doesn’t directly turn into a formal book outline in the end, you should feel free to expand and break up things as much as you prefer. So long as titles are not exported for basic file types, all of that structure will be effectively invisible unless you have scene breaks turned on in the second tab of compile.
Sorry! There are lots of features in Scrivener to support nearly any workflow, so practically everything comes with an “unless you do that…” qualifier.