Whether you’re producing an ebook for an online retailer or sending out the first 50 pages of your manuscript to an agent, chances are you’ll have several sections that are formatted differently. For example, your title page, scene text, and back matter.
To successfully format your work, you’ll need to understand two new concepts: section types and section layouts. Section types are values you assign to files within your project that require the same format. Section layouts are the aforementioned visual representations of what those sections will look like.
Understanding Section Types
Section types might sound similar to styles, but styles are applied to a specific portion of text—often to differentiate it from the rest—while section types are assigned to an entire document or folder. For example, you might have a section type called Scenes that is assigned to the text documents that contain the actual scenes of the book. See how easy this naming thing is?
Another section type could be called Back Matter, and would apply to everything that comes after “The End.” If you’re using chapter folders, you’ll need a section type for those too, so you can specify whether the title is printed or just a chapter number, the font size, and so on.
You choose names that make sense to you and assign them to the desired files.
When you’re ready to compile, you tell Scrivener how each section type should be formatted by assigning a section layout to it. More on that later.
TIP: I find it helpful to have an “unformatted” section type to apply to files that stay exactly as they are displayed in the Editor. This is helpful for things like your title page and other front or back matter items with unusual typography or alignment.
Viewing Section Types
To view a project’s section types, go to Project>Project Settings>Section Types. What you see in the list varies depending on the template you chose when creating your project (and whether or not you’ve made changes).
Modifying Section Types
Before making changes to the existing section types, take a minute to think of the different formats you’ll need for your manuscript. Don’t worry, you can always modify them later.
- To change the name of an existing section type, double-click it and type the new name.
- To add a new section type, click the + button at the bottom of the pane.
- Select a section type in the list and click the – button to delete it.
Assigning Section Types Automatically
You can automatically assign section types based on file type (e.g. document or folder) and hierarchy level (i.e. subdocument level in the Binder).
For example, you might assign All Files (i.e. text documents) to your Scenes section type by default. [Read more…]