Word wrap around images + TOC and Appendix questions

New Forum Member here, hoping to get some light shed on my Scrivener problems.

I am writing an instructional primer on mountain biking. It was my impression that Scrivener is a publishing system that can produce eBooks as well as produce the necessary output to send to a publisher for print books. I am beginning to think I am wrong about this.

My main issues is that of word-wrap or text-flow around images. Apparently cannot be done in Scrivener. This blows my mind. With all the talk in the manual about Markdown, I figured that must be the path to getting this to happen, but it’s not looking that way (plus I have not been able to get Markdown to work in Scrivener so far. Apparently I am confused as to how to do that).

Lacking this utterly needed feature for publishing an instructional book with images, what to do? Are there other apps I need to add to my workflow?

Other features that I expect to see but don’t:

  1. Auto creation of the TOC
  1. Auto creation of the Appendix

Lastly, I don’t understand how to control paragraph spacing in the compiled document. It’s in the editor, but no paragraph spacing control that I’ve seen in the Section Layouts.

Please advise.

Thank you.

If you need to do layout, you need a layout app, like Affinity Publisher. Scrivener can compile to many formats, but it’s not a wysiwyg editor and not a layout tool.

It can create a ToC but it’s not a dynamic ToC, you make it when you are done writing.

Scrivener is a writing software, not a desktop publishing software.

Using the Markdown capabilities, though, you can use the built-in support to compile to LaTeX, pandoc, or other programamtic layout systems like that and control your layout in that fashion. But Lunk’s point that Scrivener is not a graphical layout tool stands.


Attached please find samples of the:

1) wraparound text available with Scrivener+LaTeX:
[attachment=2]Scrivener+Latex Document Page.png[/attachment]
2) corresponding Scrivener+LaTeX code:
[attachment=1]Scrivener+LaTeX Code.png[/attachment]
3) entry for the corresponding ‘Figure 9.8’ (in 1) above) that appears in the Scrivener+LaTeX document ‘List of Figures’:
[attachment=0]Scrivener+LaTeX List of Figures.png[/attachment]
I currently have ~80 images included in the document using wraparound text

FYI, TOC and Appendix are similarly available with Scrivener+LaTeX!

Hope this helps!

Thanks for everyone’s help. I guess the export capabilities to eBook formats misled me into thinking that it was intended to be used as a single tool to create eBooks.

Graphical tool: Well, no it certainly isn’t that. I kept finding my self thinking of the old, now nearly-outdated term “WYSIWYG.” It certainly isn’t that.

Ebooks indeed are an entirely different matter. The others are referring to print media, which requires a different and much more complicated toolset, either via the WYSIWYG model in desktop publishing software or other systems such as LaTeX.

Ebooks are just HTML and CSS with some additional glue to define the book as a structural piece of technology, and thus capable of doing many of the things you would see being done on a website, such as flowing text around images (or even single letters, to make drop-caps). Importantly, Scrivener has all of the tools you would need to do this kind of advanced formatting—so you are not wrong in thinking it’s a good tool for that.

Although this post describes a technique to get more than one image on a single line, everything about the technique that is described there (especially in the latter half) is how you would make an image float to the left or right of the text. The difference of course will be in the specific CSS that is used. You can look all of that up in a tool like Sigil though, which is also a great place to test and develop the CSS you want to put into Scrivener. Changes are made in real time as you edit, as opposed to compiling over and over. But once you get things looking the way you want, you can paste the CSS solution into Scrivener, as described in that post.

One thing worth mentioning is that if you put an image on its own line with a caption following it, then Scrivener is going to try and format that in a way that won’t work well with this technique. The sample project in that thread in fact will demonstrate this setup. If you try to apply a style to the image line you’ll find it gets lost. If you do need figure captions, then I’d suggest having both the figure and the caption in the same paragraph style, separating the line with a line break, and maybe using a character style on the caption line if you need it. This would give you HTML structure like this:

<p class="left-float"><img .../><br/> <span class="caption-line">...</span></p>

That would give you everything you need to float the image along with its caption, and style the caption nicely. But if you want a div around the whole thing, you could do that as well with the Styles pane and its ability to add a prefix and suffix around the styled text, and set the styled text to raw markup.

Thanks tons for your input on this. I am now hopeful.