Scenes with different formats and separators

I have a couple of scenes that use a different section type and layout (so they get a different CSS style). So far so good, but the separators are a bit annoying. Do I really need to create 2 copies of each section layout and type for scenes, one with and one without “separator before sections” set to my normal separator and then manually assign the right one depending on the previous element’s type?

Or is there a way to tell the program that it should treat “Section Text” and “Section Text Narrow” as the same for the “Separator between Sections” logic?

This is a bit annoying and likely to break if I need to add new sections or rearrange them:

Chapter Heading
 Scene Narrow w/o starting separator
 Scene w/ starting separator
 Scene w/o starting separator
 Scene Narrow w/ starting separator
 Scene w/ starting separator
 Scene w/o starting separator
Chapter Heading
 Scene w/o starting separator

(Sorry, search wasn’t helpful. Too many unrelated hits.)

If it is just about a section break or separator, you could trigger it using a dummy document. Give it a section type and a section layout of its own. With the desired separator.
Then simply duplicate this “separator” document in the binder where you want the separator to be inserted between sections.
After which you’ll only have to remove the separator from your actual “real” layout.
This would be adaptive without much changes to handle if ever you add or reorder your documents.

Each document type (in the English meaning of type) needs its own Scrivener section type. Each section type has its own section layout and separators. If you want to give the “section text” and “section text narrow” section types the same formatting, give them the same section layout. Assigning multiple section types to one section layout is fine, but separators depend directly on the section type; they don’t depend on the section layout.

I wonder what you mean by a narrow scene, but I use three scene types:
first scene (begin with small caps words and no first line indent and)
scene with separator (same but also a separator)
scene no signal (no small caps or separator)

@Vincent_Vincent is correct that it may be simpler to use a document instead of the separator, and I’m switching to that strategy myself.

First I’ll put the separator in my Template Sheets folder and add from the template when I need them.

I’ll still need the third section type, but I can eliminate the 2nd and add one for the separator. It’s a new document type, so it should have a new section type (unless it matches an existing section type when it comes to formatting; a type that compile as-is, perhaps). You’ll probably want to give the separator paragraph the Keep With Next attribute at Format▸Paragraph.

I would also suggest a key code for each scene layout so the symbol would identify the format and leave plenty of room for the scene title. You could even save in the template folder with a subfolder holding all the scene variations. Then when need to add scene if right click on current file see Add file, folder, then all your templates are available to add with no duplicating and dragging to location. Just right click and choose. If use often put at top of template folder to make easier to get to.

I don’t understand the key code part of that. Maybe you mean a keyboard shortcut (which I definitely could set up in Keyboard Maestro or System Preferences).

I meant maybe*,#,+ etc for each specific layout followed by file name would make easy to search for and know how file formatted by symbol at beginning of file name


Good for a visual cue tho, agreed.

Could be done with icons too. Or labels.

Thanks so far.

What I’m trying to do is:


The middle scene is formatted to indicate that it’s not part of the ongoing narration (just indents for now), in this case it’s a “historical document” for exposition.

Using separate separator documents would certainly possible, but (a) my navigator already is getting long with my many relatively short scenes, and (b) I’m using a software to automate that stuff. If I wanted to do everything by hand, I could just paste my ☙ at the top of each section and be done with it.

Sorry if this sounds annoyed, but I have run into so many programs over the years that promise to do some work for me, but then make me more work than I would have without them because they were implemented very narrowly. (Tbf, most of those were at work and caused by bosses buying software without adapting our processes to what it could do, or checking if it could be configured to our needs. Still, I’ll be scarred for life by doing expense reporting where ¾ of my entries were dummies so the software wouldn’t complain; and by having to know the tax code to manually add the correct per diem line items—because that stupid thing couldn’t count if someone spent more or less than 14 hours on a trip they completely disabled the automatism.)

If this example is consistent with the rest of the project in terms of where separators go, you should be able to get the results you’re after by setting the following in separators:

Chapter Heading should tick the option to Override separator after and set that to an empty line (or whatever your “without separator” setting is).

Scene Narrow and Scene should have the separator set before but no separator between. (You could either assign this specifically for each of the section layouts, or if they’re both folders or text files, you could just set that as the default for that file type at the top, then just tick Use default separators for each of these layouts.)

With that, the Chapter Heading will always be followed by no separator, Scene and Scene Narrow sections will always start with a separator if they come after a different layout type and will have no separator otherwise—so two Scene documents in a row will not be separated, but they will be separated from a Scene Narrow document coming after.


That’s right.
I had not taken a close look at your chapters’ sequence, but if your desired separators relate to repeated patterns, you can use that as the condition for them to be inserted or not.

And BINGO! That’s it. Thank you!

This setting really needs a mention in the (?)-popup. Just from its name it didn’t occur to me that it affected what other sections do.

I set all my scenes to before:“☙”/between:“☙”/after:- and my heading to before:break/between:break/after:return now and it works like a charm. I get consistent separators between all scenes and no extras after chapter headings.

Oops, not true. A senior moment on my part.

Definitely, though I wonder if it’s because the option isn’t available for all export file types, but the ? is implemented once for all of them.

I think I’d rather not use a feature (if possible) when it isn’t available for all target formats, by the way.

I wonder what makes it unavailable (assuming it is, I haven’t checked). It isn’t anything specific to the output format, the separators are fully handled by scriv and inserted into the output stream like any other text, as far as I know.

The pop-up may not be complete about what is and isn’t available for all section types, and the override may be a feature that isn’t.