Tree structure for more items

Tree structures are evident in Scrivener but their are inconsistent in practice.

When compiling I would like to click on a folder and include all its internals. I am writing a manuscript with parts and being able to enable or disable a sub-tree with one click would be very helpful. What is not helpful is having to click on each and every single individual item when changing the compile. Very frustrating.

A tree structure for characters and locations besides making them into groups. Groups make it more difficult to see the complete structure (for me).

Of course, I am open to learning more about how I am not using all the features but a fairly extensive search didn’t provide positive results. Hopefully I am not violating one idea per post but I do see these as all connected … in a tree structure at least. 8)

This should already be possible. Are you using the following compile settings?

With this, you can click on any folder and everything within that folder will automatically be included. Selecting multiple folders will add their content as well.

I’m unclear on your distinction between tree structures and groups, here. Groups are what create a tree structure, at least with how this software works. You cant have one without the other.

But all of that aside, please do not feel obligated to use groups in Scrivener if they impede your ability to work. Many people prefer to just keep a linear sequence of files for their book, one chapter or section after the other. One of the advantages of this program is that you can outline as much as you want—which may not be any outlining at all (at least in the sense that there is more than one “level” of indent depth in your Draft folder).

I can use groups to solve some of my issues, it wasn’t obvious to me that was the proper solution. I am still coming up to speed on the documentation and its style. So please bear with me and I do appreciate the assistance.

However, I found ‘current selection’ but it is below my document (manuscript). I switched to current selection and ticked include sub-folders but compile says there is nothing to compile. That must be caused by my manuscript being above that option.

How was I supposed to set it up to get this functionality?

I chose multi-part manuscript as that is my intended compilation method; Compile Part 1, then Part 2, etc… But the entire manuscript is my Scrivener project.

EDIT, Updated: When accessing the manuscript the included function does nothing. It will not include a section unless it is ticked to the right of that document. If I uncheck all the sub documents but select the parent group the individual items do not get included in the compile. Any minor document that is ticked will get printed and no document that is unchecked is in the final output.

This is what got me confused in the first part. And it seemed that the natural tree order could be enhanced for much of the areas. Or at the least their documentation could be a bit more clear.

Okay, just to be clear, “Current Selection” refers to the items you have selected in the Binder, prior to calling up the compile pane. So you’d select the folders you wish to compile first, then use File/Compile…, and enable these settings in the Contents compile option pane. If this is done correctly, you should see the folders you selected along with their child items in the Contents list below those settings.

Thanks for the clarification. And that is what I did. That option does not print the items beneath a folder unless each individual item is checked in addition. I went back to a sub-folder from the parent and unchecked each item. Then made certain that the include sub-documents was ticked and the folder itself was ticked as well. The folder was not compiled into the output file.

I use the compile icon but file/compile puts me in the same dialogue box.

This method is independent of any “Include in Compile” checkmarks—it’s in fact an alternate method so that you do not have to mess with the checkboxes at all, although the state of this checkbox will supersede selection. Think of it this way:

  • The selector at the top of the Contents list chooses the “scope” of what is eligible to compile. With “Current Selection” only the selected items (or optionally their descendent items) are included.
  • The “Include in Compile” checkbox is a static setting, independent for each item. Thus it is possible to use the above feature to change the scope, but still have items in the list that will not be compiled. If nothing in the list has a checkmark, the nothing will compile. It works this way because stuff you’ve excluded may be stuff you never want to compile, like chapter notes or an old revision of a scene. You wouldn’t want the subdocuments option to ignore that setting and include them anyway.

Would it possible to post a screenshot of what you have in the compile list? Use Shift-Cmd-4 and draw a rectangle around the spot on the screen you wish to capture. By default that will put a picture on your Desktop. Here is a screenshot of a demonstration, where I have selected an entire part, as well as the chapter directly preceding it. The pink arrows indicate these two entries in the content list, and the green arrows highlight the items implicitly added by selecting the subdocuments option. And of course, everything is checked off, I’m not messing with those at all.

[size=80]Current Selection Example[/size]

Also of note, see how stuff is indented in the Binder, and how anything indented to the right of the selected containers is included? If you do not see similar indentation then that may explain why things aren’t showing up for you—without that indent, they are not subdocuments.

That’s fine, it all goes to the same feature. The button is just there to make things easier, but not everyone may have the button on their toolbar (or even a toolbar at all), so I tend to refer to features using their menu address, which never changes.

We are talking about the same exact thing but from different sides.

I have a large document that has several parts. Two of which were done in a previous editor. The third part is being done in Scrivener currently while I expected to port the others in later. As a WIP it also has several parts in various sub-folders. But I want to be able to compile Part 3 without 1, 2 & the as yet unedited 4. But, each and every single item must be checked manually. I want to be able to click, included documents and actually compile them regardless of their check boxes. Compiling comments, notes and research I thought was separately selectable. I have yet to use them to any extent.

Your screen shot shows my problem exactly. A tree structure that each element has a check box that must be physically checked or unchecked regardless of the status of its parent.

To me that is the problem.

There is an option to completely ignore these checkboxes, if that is what you are looking for. Below the Contents list, you’ll see a drop-down that says “Compile: ‘Included documents’” by default. If you change that to “All”, then it won’t matter what is checked or unchecked—everything in the list above will be included.

It is designed to work this way because there may be cases where you want to nest things into a container but leave that container itself invisible to the output. This checkbox is always per-item, and as such, it is better used for small exceptions, rather than making large choices.

To me, it doesn’t sound like you need the “Include” checkboxes at all for what you are doing. Just Cmd-click on the Part 3 & 4 folders in the Binder and use this Current Selection feature. I think the checkboxes are just confusing the issue—I’d leave them all enabled unless something clearly isn’t meant to be compiled no matter what your selection choice.

To be clear you can use them for this if you want, but like you say, it’s a bit of a bother to toggle them all off for the rest of the Draft, and then toggle them all back on later. Do note you can change the checkbox state for batches of items at once however. Simply select all of the items you want to change in the Contents list (Shift-click between the first and last item works well here), and then hold down the Option key and click on any of the checkboxes within that selection. That is certainly easier than clicking dozens of times anyway.