Which import produces outline with folders and subnotes?

The only two I’ve found is

  • import from another scrivener tool
  • outline mode via opml and freenodes (extreme limited input, and the tools producing these structures don’t support real import into the text easily)
  • drag and drop of folder based structure of text files.

So question: Which way can I have a single document which will be split up according to the inner logic of the document and result in folders and subfolders?

[I would html expect this to do with the headings but since that results in zero import on my side, I cannot test that. ]

Although not hierarchical, the Import & Split menu command can break up a document according to some predictable string. A common example would be to split up a document by the word “Chapter”, or maybe by the common scene separator, “#”. We have more plans for improving import support down the road for both Windows and Mac. It’s never been a huge priority since Scrivener is primarily an authoring environment, but certainly when you’re just starting out and have existing WIPs as files all over the place, it would be nice to have a few more methods.

For fictional authors this makes sense, but as a non fiction author, the structure of the book is the backbone. Once you have your skeleton, you can put ‘flesh’ onto it. That usually however requires a lot of research and working with imports from all kinds of sources.

The current import is way too simple (just one level) and there are no words like “chapter” to split it up in non fiction - again, for your normal fiction writer fine.
You can see the example TOC of my Twitter book here
mit140zeichen.de/wp-content/uplo … ichnis.pdf

And that is not even how much it should have been for reference but my publisher did not like too many entries in the TOC - readers on the other hand asked for them.

Scrivener has some advantages in easier multilevel structuring of different projects. Not the best, but better than some others.

I would consider the skeleton to be 50-70% of the work. A great skeleton will allow you to make effective subparts which you then can work through. Which btw makes it so problematic that the Windows version of Scrivener has no visibility of the folder / notes names in the scrivening mode. Different to fiction, these elements are changed frequently, making it way too much work to change them 2x everywhere.

At which point an exchange format between f.e. word and scrivener would make sense.
Interchangeable= importing and exporting including folder structure and not use flat level.

Implementing markdown will be probably more work than implementing a stupid algorithm for doing H1-H8 import with any text in between put into the text. Word and Markdown are more powerful and have many other reason, but not everybody has the tool or understands markdown.

Since Word can export beautiful formatted HTML and there are tons of Markdown / HTML conversion tools out there, HTML would again be the easiest option.

Also most outliner / mindmapping tools only allow for a mini first draft of outlining, once you go deeper into the specs you need the text part with it.

To reiterate, what I was pointing out above is that importing mostly or largely completed works into Scrivener is something that has had a lower priority historically, since one typically uses Scrivener to create the works in the first place, and there you can outline to your heart’s content—no matter what type of writing you do. I would suggest that authors of fiction can benefit from detailed outlining just as much as any non-fiction author. Your estimation that the skeleton of the work is half or more is of course well regarded here. :slight_smile: This is a program that is arguably built around that concept as a foundational principle, and is one of the many reasons I feel it is the best writing package out there. It lives and breathes outlines.

That said, and specifically for import, the second issue that makes this lower priority is that although there are of course many authors that take the time to learn how to outline in their word processors and maybe even learn how to use dedicated thinking tools that allow OPML—these are decided the minority. Most people don’t even know how to use a simple stylesheet and don’t care to. So not having a full outline import has not been a major issue for all of the years this software has been around.

Of course, we know that not everyone steps into the Scrivener universe with no words on their plate to start with. So as I say, we do have plans to broaden import capabilities in these areas. Specifically for the Windows version however, there are many things along the lines of making the writing interface and toolkit better that are more important to complete now. Of course, everyone will disagree on precisely what that means, but that’s the choice we made, for the reasons above.

And once again: it won’t always be that way, but I think it is important to once again state that the Mac version has been without any kind of outline import (niche OPML and Markdown aside) since 2007, and this issue very, very rarely comes up. Hence…