TOC Title Alignment

My TOC when outputting EPUB is right aligned and the TOC is centered.
I want them both left aligned.
I can’t find a way to do it.

If you are relying upon the automatic ToC generator, then go into the Layout compile option pane and deselect “Center body text of HTML table of contents”. That should cause it and the title to be left-aligned.

If you want a more flexible approach, simply create your own ToC (using Scrivener Links) and style it however you want. Just make sure to call it “Contents” (or change the value in the Layout pane for what the HTML contents title should be) and set the “Compile As-Is” flag in the Inspector for that custom ToC file, so that any compile format overrides do not impact it.

Hi, Thanks for your reply,
… but, it did not work.

The contents list is now left justified, but the title is right justified.

Also, another problem.
One of my TOC items has a - (hyphen) in front of it (In Adobe Reader’s TOC left sidebar) and another has a disclosure triangle that reveals an unwanted sub item (in Adobe Reader’s left TOC) but in the TOC itself, within the document, it shows the unwanted sub item under the Chapter Title. I don’t know how to get rid of this sub item in the TOC

I’m not sure, but opening the ePub in Sigil or Calibre’s editor should give you the necessary tools to fix the title easily enough. You can also tweak the ToC at that point, too, to remove any subdocuments you didn’t wish to include.

So I should consider Scrivener not to be a final Publishing App but a composition app which requires polishing in other applications? I was hoping not to have to learn yet another application. For print it looks like I need to learn Lyx for final polishing of print documents. I had hoped EPUB would be easier.

Your thoughts?

Is there a source of “best practices” for how to use Scrivener?
I really like the composition idea, but the formatting seems to elude me.
After going through all the video tutorials, and reading lots of web sites devoted to Scrivener tips and tricks, I still don’t know how to format the position of images, set the percentage width of tables, or place labels under graphics that would travel with the graphic. So much I still don’t know how to do after months of trying to learn Scrivener.

Generally speaking, that is correct, Scrivener’s emphasis is on the writing phase. The compiler is meant to get you as close as possible to the final result, but one will often need to use other software to transition into the publishing phase. That’s a whole different realm, and there is no way Scrivener could address everything that is necessary to perform those tasks.

In practice you may be able to get by with just Scrivener, usually for material that has relatively straightforward formatting, like novels, but even then you may run into cases where you need a bit more.

In your case, it sounds like you have a structure that doesn’t quite work well with the assumptions made by the automatic ToC generator, so you’re going to need to edit the ToC after compiling anyway, thus you might as well just fix the alignment issue while you’re there.

We could try to clean things up in Scrivener, but it may mean compromising what you are trying to do in these subdocuments. Are you cutting in a new section (using the Page Break Before flag in the Inspector) on purpose? If so that will automatically add them to the ToC (it is just one of Scrivener’s necessary assumptions). If you need that, then you will have to edit the ToC after compiling (this isn’t too difficult to do, in Sigil for example, just go to Tools/Table of Contents/Edit Table of Contents…). If that is a mistake, and you don’t want these subdocuments to be in their own sections, then you should remove the page break from them. That may solve your problem right there.

As for the hyphen, I don’t know, we just use the title of the document to create the heading. There is no hyphen in the Binder? Maybe there is a hidden character that is being substituted—try editing that item’s title and just retyping the whole thing in.

One thing you can do is create a custom ToC page in your Draft. Just throw a file called “Contents” in there, and style it however you want. Create references to chapters using Scrivener Links. To be clear this only modifies the HTML ToC that you see when flipping through the book—you still need to adjust the software ToC that is used in sidebars and navigation menus.

Well you can do basic paragraph formatting to images such as left/centre/right alignment, and adjust the spacing around them using the paragraph spacing features. Beyond that you’re going into areas Scrivener isn’t designed to handle. Likewise there is no facility for captions (not that popular e-book formats support real captions at the moment anyway), and table export is quite simple as well. Like I say, this is really meant more for writing the material from scratch than replacing InDesign, LaTeX/LyX and so on. If you want top quality results, you have to use top quality publishing tools.

Thank you for your insights…

The hyphen arises preceding a multi-page icon instead of a folder.
I wanted to format the title differently, because I didn’t want the Introduction to be considered a Chapter so I had to make it a multi-page icon instead of a folder. There are no hidden characters. It is a title of an empty multipage-icon with the introduction as text icons under it.
The disclosure arises before a folder icon, only on the third chapter. No other equal level sub docs are included under the disclosure icon or html TOC.

The hyphen shows up in both the software and the html TOC
The extra Sub Menu item shows up in the software TOC under a disclosure triangle and is listed underneath the parent in the html TOC, no other pages like it at the same level are under the disclosure or in the html TOC.

I think I once dragged the sub item into the enclosing folder and that may have caused it to be in the TOC, otherwise, it is a page icon document like many others in the folder. I did not intentionally cause any section breaks.

I was hoping to have one source document I could format differently for pdf book publishing and epub publishing which is why I bought Scrivener. I can still largely do that, but it looks like I need to still edit two final documents and keep them updated separately and track all the changes (or else do all the tweaking all over again for both).

I have not found any good solutions for a writer. In Design has its own big problems creating EPUBs. I used Apple Pages to write my book “Extraordinary Healthcare” because Pages can output EPUB. BUT, it creates a file with 3000 lines of CSS code to perfectly match the printed document. Useless. And no way to tweak the EPUB output.

Can you suggest a workflow?
I have searched the net in vain to find good solutions for writers to self publish high quality publications. I’m wondering if I should go back and start over in Scrivener with an EPUB version from Pages rather than an exported Docx import. Could Scrivener delete Apple’s 3000 lines of CSS and do something more intelligent? Is there a better way?

I got Scrivener after writing the book in Pages. I don’t think I want to write my next book with a word processor after all the problems I encountered moving to other formats.

Where can I get the necessary workflow knowledge to compose easily and output professionally?

Thanks for any pointers you can provide or website/docs that could help.

I just had another idea about the hyphen: if you don’t see it in the Binder, and retyping it doesn’t help, go into the Formatting compile option pane and make sure there isn’t a prefix or suffix supplied to the multi-page icon type (that will be in the Section Layout… button). When there is a multi-line prefix, Scrivener will compact that to one line and insert a hyphen by default, in situations where the title must occupy one line, such as in a ToC. So it could be there is a stray carriage return or something in there.

The thing to look for is in the Inspector, within the “General” section: make sure “Page Break Before” is not checked for any of the items that shouldn’t be in the ToC.

The other place to check is in the Separators compile option pane, where section breaks can be inserted automatically. Commonly this is done when a new folder begins, but you might see a problem there that is causing section breaks to appear in other scenarios.

I had thought you were adding these section breaks intentionally, but if not, then you may be able to get a ToC straight out of the software that you are happy with.

I don’t know what could cause that, it could be a bug you’re seeing. What does that page look like in Sigil? Is there actually a CSS code telling it to be right-aligned?

Well, I would suggest using the same methods that a publisher would use. A book isn’t put together for its final camera-ready state until it has gone through all proofing phases between the editors and author, then the final proof is done with the output document itself to check for awkward paragraph breaks and myriad other layout level adjustments. All of that is rarely going to be done in the same software from start to finish.

But I think, in theory, we can get you pretty close. You might inevitably have to tweak the final product or use post-processing tools to generate the final output, but the main thing we wish to provide with Scrivener is that this be as easy as possible. If we can get you 95% of the way there with a writing tool, then we’re doing okay I think, but even 80% isn’t bad. Just keep in mind, our goal here is to make a writing platform—research, composition and all of that. So pouring tons of development time into publishing-end stuff isn’t really the goal of Scrivener. Sorry that was not clear from the top.

And I do agree with you, I wouldn’t trust any word processor to make a well-formed ePub. Mainly that’s just on account of how bloated their HTML/CSS output is. In my experience, e-books work better the simpler they are, then they let the device itself handle the details.

I do have an image, an ornament that precedes the Chapter Titles and also the introduction, so there is:
<$img:ChapterOrnament;w=250> in the Prefix box.

I needed to use a multipage icon type because my folders at level 1 are chapters which are numbered and the Introduction is not a chapter, but I want the ornament there because it is an important section and I want to set it off. Folders (Chapters) also have the ornament graphic, but to not have hyphens.

There is no page break in the inspector for the offending item I don’t want in the TOC.

I only have section breaks before folders after text document. The offending TOC item is not in that category and no other section breaks are used in the Separators pane. Section breaks before folders are for my chapters which are folders at level 1.

The offending TOC item is the third item in a list of text pages which are all under a multi text icon which is under another multi text icon – an empty one.

I don’t yet know how to use CSS in Sigil, but on that line in Sigil the right justified icon is selected.
I can select other icons to correct it.

Thanks for your comments on publishing workflow. I’ll use Scrivener to get all the words right and images if possible and do final tweaking in other apps.

Can I set image resolution and positioning differently for print and epub? At least resolution so I don’t have to use two sets of images in the document?

Hi Sarvasri,

Ioa is away at the moment, so he has asked me to take a look at this. Could you please zip up your project (via File > Back Up > Back Up To… , and selecting the “Backup as ZIP file” option), and send it to us at mac DOT support AT literatureandlatte DOT com? Please mark it for my attention, and I’ll have a look at it to see if we can track down origin of the stray hyphen and unwanted entry in the table of contents.

All the best,
Astrid

I just sent the document to you. I have been away from the project since I couldn’t fix the problem and had other pressing demands.

Hi Sarvasri,

Just to let you know that I have replied to the email that you sent to our support address.

All the best,
Astrid