How to create a table of contents in Scrivener

In this blog post I share an easy way to create a clickable table of contents in Scrivener.

In this video I share an easy way to create a clickable table of contents in Scrivener

I got so excited when I learned how to do this. I make sure to have a clickable table of contents because it makes it easier to go through the manuscript for an edit. It is also a great feature if you want to share a PDF with an easy overview and navigation.

5 easy steps to create a table of contents in Scrivener

  1. Make a new text in the binder and move it above the chapters. Name it table of contents
  2. Mark the chapters
  3. Go to edit in the menu bar and choose the copy special and then click the copy documents as ToC
  4. Then click the new text named Table of content
  5. Press Command + V (⌘+V) to paste

VOILA, you should now see the clickable table of contents.

Ways to use the clickable table of contents

I have a stack of notebooks next to my computer. I need to go through them a second time for the memoir I am writing. But it is such a daunting task. It is not always I remember to put down the date, and a lot of the content is just to-do lists and random notes. I know I have to go through them again so this time I am taking the time to write down important parts in Scrivener and then name the chapter with the date and content. From there I can make my table of contents and compile the document so next time I have to check a date or episode I just go to the table of contents and click.

It has come in handy for me in other ways too. Right now I use it for my book proposal which contains both its own table contents but also an example of the table of contents of the book. I also use it for writing and editing my book because it helps me to stay focused on one chapter at a time.

Table of contents or not

As a young reader, I loved it when chapters had titles. It builds up the anticipation and I started to imagine what the chapter would be about. I still feel intrigued when I find a book with chapter titles.

When I went to college, I learned a good study hack, which is to go to the table of contents to get a quick overview of the structure and focus of the book. From this, you can learn a lot about the author’s view and thematic standpoint.

If you are writing fiction and don’t want chapter titles then make a table of contents anyway. It is an easy way to check the outline and structure of your book. For my memoir, it helps me stay on track to tell the story.

I hope this post on how to create a clickable table of contents in Scrivener inspired some writing.

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