Trying to Understand How My Binder Changes Have Changed Outliner View

Yesterday, I changed the structure of my folders in the Binder, and I have been surprised at the accompanying change in the Outliner, and I am trying to understand what has happened.

Before the change, the hierarchy of my folders in the Binder was:

And so on.

With the above structure, in both the Binder and Outline Views, the ‘Part 1’ sections had an arrow/caret the left of the word ‘Part’ in order to reveal or hide the Chapters within the Parts.

The new structure is this:

Now, the arrow/caret is still next to the ‘Part’ in the Binder, but is only there in the Outliner View if I select two or more ‘Parts’ in the Binder.

If I select only one ‘Part’ in the Binder, then the title of that Part (1, 2 etc.) does not appear in the main Outliner window – it appears in the grey bar above that (the one with the Split icon at the far right, next to the Inspector.

The upshot of this, of course, is that if I only have one Part selected, and want to have the option of displaying or hiding (in the Outline View) the files in that Part, I cannot do so (i.e., the arrow/caret is not there to allow this).

I understand the hierarchical way Scrivener displays files, but am wondering if, using the structure I now have, there is jiggery-pokery that can be applied in order to display the arrow/caret display in Outline View if I have only one Part selected in the Binder.

Is this possible?

Grateful for any replies.

If you only select one Part, that’s all that will appear in the Outline view. So in the revised outline, there’s no disclosure triangle because there’s no hierarchy to disclose.

The Outline and Binder are working from exactly the same underlying project structure, but the Outline view gives you more control over what parts of it you see.

Note also that you have moved Part 1 and Part 2 out of the Manuscript folder, which means that from Scrivener’s point of view they are no longer part of your (potential) output document. Which is fine, provided that’s what you actually want.

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Thanks, Katherine.

I was thinking that because there are still a folder (Parts), and files, and because they display with the disclosure triangle in the Binder, there might be some way to duplicate that display option in the Outline View.

Another way of looking at this might be to ask, if the Outline and Binder are working from exactly the same underlying project structure then why does the Binder have an option of display via the disclosure triangle, and the Outline View does not?

Move up one level in the Outline. Right now you are “inside” Part 1, so you don’t see the context of the rest of the project.

Because they are different views of the structure. The Corkboard is also a view of the same structure, albeit a radically different one. :nerd_face: (Perhaps the Binder and the Outliner not being radically different has led to your being surprised by their different behavior?)

The Binder always (*1) shows the contents of the entire project. So all top-level folders are always visible.
(*1) Unless you Hoist a folder in the Binder. (ETA: When you hoist a folder in the Binder, the Binder behaves like the Outliner, by only showing you the contents of the selected folder.)

The Outliner always (*2) shows the contents of the selected folder, but not the selected folder itself.
(*2) Unless you’ve selected multiple folders.

Your project’s new top level structure has at least two additional folders in it, like so:

  1. Manuscript
  2. Part 1
  3. Part 2
  4. Research
  5. Trash

If you select any one of these top level folders in the Binder, you won’t see the folder itself in the Outliner, just the selected folder’s contents.

In your old structure, if you’d selected one of Manuscript or Research or Trash, you also wouldn’t have seen the folder itself in the Outliner. For that matter, if you’d selected the old structure’s Part 1 folder you wouldn’t have seen it in the Outliner either, just its contents.

Sorry for all the repetition. just trying to get the patterns of the two different views across.


Thanks for your reply, Jim. I appreciate it.

And please do not apologize for anything - I enjoyed your description/explanation, and understand it.

I think I perhaps have not expressed clearly what I am trying to say here.

I am focusing more on flexibility of display.

In the example I am talking about, the title of the ‘Part’ (in my ‘New’ structure) is in the grey bar above the main content of the Outline window.

So, some coding has gone into putting that title in that physical position (for the reasons you state about how Scrivener has been designed to display structure).

And I understand that this current way of displaying hierarchical structure is logical, and makes sense within the way that Scrivener has been designed, from a particular viewpoint (literal and conceptual).

However, this is only coding . And just as coding can be manipulated and changed to provide a different result (and your Hoist feature example is a good one because, as you point out, the Hoist feature actually changes the way the Binder behaves), I would find it useful to have a feature added to have an optional disclosure triangle added in the way I describe elsewhere in this article (i.e., in a parallel to your Hoist example, temporarily changing the way that the Outliner behaves).

If the Hoist feature (which, by the way, I love) changes the ‘usual’ display and way something can be looked at, not only physically, but also conceptually, then this can be done for other features.

I do realize that for the Windows version there are some coding difficulties (e.g., the ‘Back Up To’ feature has a keyboard shortcut, but the ‘Back Up Now’ does not because apparently the coding for that is difficult to implement).

Apologies if I am not being clear about this.

Okay, now I’m seeing what you mean. Thanks for clarifying, but in rereading your first post more closely I see your ask was there all along.

The bolded-italicized bit from your original post is the “feature” you’re looking for, correct? You want the ability to expand or collapse the folder whose contents is displayed in the Outliner.

Let’s say that feature were implemented, and, as an example, your selected folder in the Outliner was Get Organized.

You could expand Get Organized and see its contents – (which you can do now)

And you could collapse Get Organized – (this would be the new feature)

If that’s what you’re looking for, I guess if I were L&L, the first question I’d ask is: What’s the use case for it?

I’m sure you have one in mind, but at the moment a practical way to utilize this new ability is not jumping out at me. :innocent:

(Then again, I’ve never been one for thinking outside the box.) :scream_cat: