Tables of Contents in Scrivener

Because this has just driven me insane for an hour or so, until finding the random paragraphs needed. In case you’re googling the same problem 🙂

The instructions in the “Creating a Table of Contents” section in the Scrivener manual are right; but not entirely well structured.

For Table of Contents creation, you firstly want the section which talks about Edit > “Copy Special” > “Copy Documents as ToC” is right (briefly, select the bits you want in the binder, then press that button, then paste in the stuff that’s now on the clipboard).

However, that only creates a set of links. When you save as word/RTF, and open it in Word, only placeholder question marks appear in the document. To replace those placeholders with the actual page numbers or whatever, you need to press the print menu to generate a print preview. Word will then calculate page numbers and replace the placeholders appropriately.


Hopefully putting this here will save someone else the 90 minutes that finding those 3 paragraphs in the manual took (and figuring out what to look for). It was obvious after a full reading of chapter 22 of the manual (entitled ” Creating a Table of Contents”). Don’t stop reading when it starts talking about LaTeX; the word stuff is after that (normally I’d approve, but this time, it was annoying).


Nov 2011
POSTED IN Uncategorized
DISCUSSION 15 Comments

15 Responses to : Tables of Contents in Scrivener

  1. Caro says:

    Thank you!!!

  2. Sven Laqua says:

    Very helpful pointer, especially when fighting with a 200+ pages thesis containing around 200 ToC items – you’re a life saver 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this. Worked a treat and saved me a lot of time and hair loss.

  4. Kelly V says:

    Thanks. I am struggling to make an index for an ebook, any ideas how to do that in scrivener?

  5. Brian Tarbox says:

    Thanks but is there a way to do this for PDFs? I’m working on a Mac and Microsoft Word for Mac is just a crash factory. Nine times out of ten Word just crashes when trying to read a Scrivner produced document.

  6. Dale Lancaster says:

    Struggled for ages with Toc cannot find table of contents or Toc in writing in chaptor 22. In compiling the draughts. – This was one of the first things I wanted to learn in Scrivener. will buy a book on scrivener then I may pick it up better. Have done it before using microsoft word within one hour: but this has me beat at momment.

    • James Short says:

      I realize your post is older, but I thought I would answer anyway for others who may have found this.

      FYI – I’m using the MAC version

      You can find the step by step instructions in Chapter 23 on page 337.

      Here is the text you are looking for: “Creating a table of contents is a simple process, but because it is a static list, you will probably want to save it for one of your final steps, as any changes in outline order or the addition or removal of sections will not be reflected in the list. The first step is to select all of the items you wish to have represented in the contents. The easiest way to do this is using the outliner.”

      Then, it lists the steps. NOT hard and it worked smoothly for me when I compiled for Word.

  7. Reekreek says:

    It doesn’t work for the Microsoft Windows version, there is no option for Table of Contents (ToC). 🙁

    Anyone have a helpful link?

  8. Nicole says:

    I guess this only works for the Mac-version… so I’ll need to continue to look for a solution… there is no ‘edit–>copy special–> ??!!!’ unfortunately in the Windows version…

  9. Sharon says:


    Thanks for the post – its helpful.

    Any ideas about the error ‘bookmark not defined’ when exporting the TOC…

    Can’t see anything about it on any other forums.


  10. Jerry says:


  11. James Short says:

    Thank you SO much for this simple post. I just wish I had found it before I spent 60 minutes on the subject. But, at least it wasn’t longer than that!

  12. David Ruekberg says:

    Yay! Thank you!

  13. Maria Baggio says:

    Hey man thank you SO MUCH for that!! I was just about to give up

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