Tech support? Or suggestion?

I have wandered through the manual and various other sources and can’t find what would seem to be an obvious option among the plethora of options in Scrivener.

I’d like the items in the draft section to be self-numbering in the binder view.

I have 22 sections to write. It would be so helpful when I discover that #18 goes between #7 and #8, to have all the numbers readjust themselves. Perhaps some would like this in the research section too, but it seems so obvious in the Draft section for lectures, chapter, sections, whatever.

Can this be done with Scrivener 2?
Would it be possible in Scrivener 3.

Many thanks.

You’ll find past discussions on why what you are asking for is not quite so straightforward as you might think, along with tips on what you can do already:

I’m sure there are more threads if you need more, but I think that covers the basics and then some!

Given that it can’t be automated, you might consider whether you really need to be (manually) numbering your chapters in the binder at all! Placeholder tags can autonumber your chapters and sections at compile time, so you don’t need to do it for that reason.

Another option might be to maintain numbered chapter folders which don’t move and just move your actual (unnumbered) chapter folders around between them. Then atleast it is all drag and drop and no number editing. (It might get a little crazy to extend this strategy down to sections though.)


I read “items in the draft section to be self-numbering in the binder view” to be that literally, but if you do mean upon compile, then yes—just have a look through some of our built-in compile format presets, like the “enumerated outline”, to see how you can automatically number things by its type (folder, file or file group) and level (part folders on level one using Roman numerals, chapter folders on level two using regular numbers, etc.).

It is in fact this level of customisation and flexibility in the compile phase that makes numbering in the binder difficult: hence the longer discussions linked to.

Yeah, I reread the original post right after posting and thought you had it right. So, had revised my contribution accordingly!

It’s just a personal opinion I realise, but I’m struggling to see how an editing auto-numbering system would fit into such a fluid environment that Scrivener provides.

To give one example : in iTunes, my main Music library is numbered, though I sequence only by Artist, or Title, or Album, so the numbers are meaningless to me; then I might have a playlist in Shuffle mode - again, each track in the random shuffle list is numbered sequentially in the (random) order that iTunes has selected them for playing, and these numbers have no connection to the numbers in the main library. The numbers in the main Library will also change if I insert a new track or album. In short, the numbers that are there in iTunes I have no use for as they simply don’t hold any meaning for me. I’d find exactly the same in Scrivener, where if I wanted numbers, I’d add (and if necessary, amend). myself.

I appreciate the constructive replies, and I’ll read carefully the various links. Thanks for that. And yes, I did mean numbering in the binder, not when compiling.

As a general rule, one of the least helpful features of the forum is when, perhaps with the best of intentions, a reader replies that the person can’t possibly want what he or she said is desirable, or that if they want it, they shouldn’t.

I have good reasons for wanting this feature. It may not be possible, or for some macro Scrivener reason, not a good idea. But the reason I like Scrivener is that it gives the greatest possible latitude to the writer to organize as the writer sees fit, without someone in Seattle, or Cupertino tut-tutting that this way of thinking or writing or organizing really isn’t what one should want. Defer to the wisdom of the programmers!

Thanks again for the helpful responses.

Hi AmberV

In one of the links provided, you wrote “I should mentioned that we will be adding options to display numbering in the editor group views (not the binder). These will be “dumb” numbers in the sense that they count all of the objects in the view and put numbers in front of them, starting at 1. So if you click on Chapter 53, the first subdocument in the chapter group would be “1”, but if you click on the entire Draft and view it as a large outliner session, everything in the draft would be counted sequentially.”

If I understand this (depending on implementation) it might be just the ticket. I take it this will be in Scrivener 3? Can’t wait!
Thank you


This solution, prompted by someone writing a graphic novel and explained by you, will do fine for the moment.

“Click on the folder that contains the chapter folders (Draft probably), viewing it in Corkboard mode and enabling the View/Corkboard Options/Show Card Numbers menu option.”

Thanks again for the links and for all you do in the Forum!

Glad to hear the existing corkboard number and future outline numbering will do what you need!