Yet another compile question [on structure-based Section Types]

Trying to get my head round Compile…

This Help text refers to a section type setting called “Structure-Based”.

But as far as I can see there is no such setting.

This panel is where you define what “structure-based” means, it is where you define the structure of the project, so you won’t find anything about applying structure-based types here, as that would lead to all kinds of chicken and egg problems.

Have a look at Figure 7.6 in the user manual, which shows a more fleshed out version of this settings pane, and then scroll down to Figure 7.7, which shows the effects of this panel on a screenshot of the Outliner with some example binder items structured into a hierarchy. All of those section types in light grey are structure-based. They are pulling from the settings established in the first screenshot. Anything in black is manually defined in the outliner (or the inspector), and thus not structure-based (and if you check the drop-downs there, that is where you will find this setting, to revert from manually defined). Thus you can think of that phrase as meaning “default”, at least in terms of how this project establishes the default Type for a particular level or item type (folder vs file group vs file).

Well, I was reading the manual when I came up against this misunderstanding.

So ‘structure-based’ is not in fact a section type, as the help text suggests, but a class or attribute of section types. Is that right? Section types can also be ‘manually defined’. I think I might find it clearer if they were called ‘default’ instead of ‘structure-based’

I’ll carry on reading! Thanks.

I don’t think it would be much clearer because ‘default’ does not say much. It’s one of those generic words you use when there is nothing better you can say about what is going on, what will be the result of leaving something in its current state. Plus it wouldn’t really reduce the conceptualisation you have built up, that there is some prototypical section type above all others as a discrete entity, when there isn’t really. If we called it “default” then people would just go looking for the “Default” setting in this panel, or wonder where that is when you set up compile. How did all of these things end up getting called “Subsection” when I set them to “Default”… etc.

Structure-based at least talks about what is going on. The assignment will be based on the structure. What is the structure? That is outlining 101. We don’t expect everyone to get it immediately, or maybe even ever, but at least it speaks the jargon consistently.

P.S. I do kind of agree that the help text isn’t super clear on what it means. Maybe something like, “…used during Compile for documents that have had their section type left to be ‘structure-based’”, would be a bit closer to the idea, though I don’t know if that’s much more clear all by itself.

I think of it as a mechanism for defining section types. You can use the Section Types panel from your first screenshot to assign section types based on where a document is in the Binder (hence “structure-based”).