Using chapters and scenes

I’m trying to find my way around chapters and scenes. I can see that a nested folder structure can be used such you have Draft and within Draft, a number of chapters. Within each chapter, a number of scenes can be nested.
When I try organising my MS like this, it seems that the chapter folders are being treated as text documents themselves rather than as containers for other folders. It creates the condition where clicking on a chapter shows a blank page in the editing window and a blank box on the corkboard rather than a container for the nested scenes. This is nonsensical: the folder structure is not behaving as a nested tree.
What am I doing wrong?

(I would attach an image of the workspace but the forum says I cannot attach media to a post despite the facility being provided.)

Yeah, that’s unfortunate. It’s one of the anti-spam tactics L&L has adopted with these new forums, that you cannot upload images until you’ve reached a certain (unknown to me) number of posts. The good news is that it must be working, because the spam posts have virtually disappeared here, and they were quite a nuisance in the old forums.

This is also how I do it.

Yes, this is normal behavior. You’ll find it’s discussed in the Tutorial (Help > About), under the topic The Binder. It’s part of Scrivener’s flexibility. There isn’t much difference between Folders and Text documents when you’re working in the binder. Both can have children. Both can contain text. There are users here who don’t even bother using Folders, and instead create sub-documents (children) of documents. They’ll have text in the parent container documents as well as the children sub-documents. And those children sub-documents can have their own children sub-documents. It’s not how my mind works, but part of the beauty of Scrivener is that it doesn’t cater to just one way of doing things.

I prefer using folders, because like you I don’t intend to write in them, will only use them as containers, and I like the fact that the default icon makes that clear.

When that happens, click on the Group Mode icon you want to see. Scrivenings, Corkboard, or Outliner. Scrivener is supposed to remember your choice, so next time it will choose that Group Mode by default.


For example, in this screenshot of the Tutorial project, folder Get It Out There is selected in the Binder. What we’re seeing is the (empty) text contents of that folder.

When I click on the Group Mode Scrivenings (left-most) icon, the mode changes to Scrivenings and we see the text of the 2 children sub-documents. (If folder Get It Out There contained text, we’d see that here too. This behavior can be disabled in File > Options > Behaviors > Folders & Files > Include enclosing folder text in Scrivenings mode.)

Now I’ve clicked on Group Mode Corkboard (center) icon, and we see the Corkboard.

Last but not least, I click on the Group Mode Outliner (right-most) icon to display the Outliner.

One thing to point out about the Tutorial binder that you can see in the above screenshots, is that documents Main Interface and The Inspector both contain children sub-documents. The Main Interface document also contains its own text. So L&L were demonstrating by example the many ways the Scrivener binder can be set up. It’s all down to the writer’s preference.

Another thing to point out is that the Group Mode icons are like toggle switches. If a Group Mode icon is selected, when you click on it again, it will toggle you back to the text contents of the folder. So for example, if the Outliner is already displayed in the editor, when I click on the Group Mode Outliner icon, it will toggle me to the text contents of the binder item. And then if I click on Group Mode Outliner icon again, Scriv will load the Outliner view again. It sounds more complicated in my description than it is in practice. :nerd_face:

You may want to read through and play around with the Interactive Tutorial (Help > About) a bit, as doing so definitely decreased my own learning curve. The material under folder The Basics provides a good overview of the little tricks that make Scrivener such a nice environment to work in.

Let me know if you have any other questions.



It may also have something to do with section types, which is mainly for the compilation process, but I think it also helps the folder structure to know how to behave.
In the last version of Scrivener for Windows they are on Proyect > configuration > Section types. There you can put names to the section types and make them predetermined depending on the structure.
Hope it helps.

Yes, Section Types are certainly key to compiling. The OP seemed to be asking about navigation and binder/editor interaction. I could be wrong, but I’m unaware of any impact that Section Types have on those things. The non-compilation differences between folders and files are relatively few and seem to be controlled by the settings in File > Options > Behaviors > Folders & Files.