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erwindink

Section Title = Section Separator?

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I'm confused about the differences between Section Separator and Section Titles. Perhaps the User Guide is not up to date but I can find nothing in about Section Separators or Section Titles. I have read in several messages in this forum that if a section separator is removed then the section will not longer be recognized. But I created a style called Section Title and it seems to act exactly like the Section Separator. I have deleted all my # symbols but all of my sections are still there and I can move them around easily.

 

I have two books in progress that in which I am only using Section Titles and not Section Separators. As far as I can tell, the two styles function almost identically.

 

Am I missing something?

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Things are weirder than I thought. I just created a blank document. I deleted all the text and added a single section separator at the start. Then, without creating any section text, I started a second section and a third. Now I have a document that shows three clear section separators on the page but only a single section on the Project list and the section pop-up menu.

 

Clearly, there is something about sections I do not understand...

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One more piece of the puzzle and possibly a factor in my confusion: when I use my new Section Title style, any change I make to the text on the page becomes the new section name in the Project list. I now think I understand that there are no such things as Section Titles other than the style I created. Sometimes, as they are created new sections show up on the Project list as Untitled Section but other times the section name consists of the first few words of the section text.

 

What determines the name of a section in the Project list?

 

Can this get any more confusing? Seriously, I'm a very organized person and I can't find any logic or consistency in how sections work.

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The # on a line by itself tells Storyist where a section ends.

 

In version 1, we had actual section titles that appeared on the page as linked text. People objected, because they did not want the titles in printed or exported text. So in version 2, Steve removed the in-text section titles. Now you name/rename a section title in the Project View by double-clicking or clicking and holding on "Untitled Section" and giving it a name, in the usual Apple way.

 

I am not sure what is going on with your Section Title style. It is certainly possible to set up styles to mimic project functions. But it is both simpler and safer to use # on a line by itself, styled as a Section Separator, and name the sections in the Project View.

 

I f you want to get rid of the # in the final output you can do that. It's not a thing to mess with until the last minute, though.

 

As for the three section separators on the page that appeared as one, did you make sure that you styled them as Section Separator—since you had not been using that style?

 

The easiest way to add a section is to click on a section in the Project View, then click + (lower left corner). Name the section, which is already selected, then hit Return and drag the new section wherever you'd like it to live.

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The # on a line by itself tells Storyist where a section ends.

That was a crucial piece of information. I had been thinking of separators as delineating the start of a section and just by reversing that using separators just became a little more intuitive.

 

In version 1, we had actual section titles that appeared on the page as linked text. People objected, because they did not want the titles in printed or exported text. So in version 2, Steve removed the in-text section titles. Now you name/rename a section title in the Project View by double-clicking or clicking and holding on "Untitled Section" and giving it a name, in the usual Apple way.

Leave it to me to have a non-standard need. I am writing a couple of instruction manuals and so I will be using a lot of section titles on the page. I am also writing a book of poetry and another of haiku, each of which has unique needs. For example, the poetry book will have Poem Titles that must start on a new page. I know that Storyist isn't meant to be a page layout program but I have a strong need to be able to control my writing environment. Sections and styles should do the job once I understand them better.

 

I am not sure what is going on with your Section Title style. It is certainly possible to set up styles to mimic project functions. But it is both simpler and safer to use # on a line by itself, styled as a Section Separator, and name the sections in the Project View.

I suppose I've stumbled on a bug then because I just created two books, each with a couple dozen sections listed in the project view and not a single separator added by me. Better still, I didn't have to type the section names.

In the project view, every section is named with the text I've used on the page -- upating the text updates the section name. For example, I can type this on a line by itself in section text:

 

New Section

 

As soon as I assign the style, "Section Title" to that line a new section in the project view appears named "New Section." There is no visible separator associated with this new section. However, once I move the section, a new separator appears BEFORE the new section. Oddly, the section I just moved still has no separator at the end and any time I edit the "New Section" text on the page, the section name in the project view gets updated.

 

From everything you've said I take it that this is not supposed to be happening.

 

At any rate, now that I'm using separators to mark the end of a section I am getting along with Storyist pretty well. I'm having to manually add them in to all my separator free sections but at least I'm endiing up with section names that update themselves if the page text changes.

 

As for the three section separators on the page that appeared as one, did you make sure that you styled them as Section Separator—since you had not been using that style?

Yup.

 

The easiest way to add a section is to click on a section in the Project View, then click + (lower left corner). Name the section, which is already selected, then hit Return and drag the new section wherever you'd like it to live.

That might be the case when creating new sections from scratch. In my case, I'm copying and pasting long passages of text from Scrivener that includes many sections. I then simply find the Section Title text, assign it to the Section Title style and, blammo, instant section.

 

I can't say it's been easy figuring all this out. It's a shame that the user guide is so skimpy and incomplete. I couldn't have figured all of this out without your help here. I think the way separators are used in Storyist is so unique and non-intuitive it would be helpful a more comprehensive manual or video tutorials.

 

Thanks again for all your help.

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You're welcome, erwindink. It does seem as if you are making some special demands on the program—which is a good thing, on the whole. I'm glad you're finding solutions. Steve Shepard will probably check in soon to answer your comments about the section titles.

 

If you think about how people generally write a novel, the section separators will be more intuitive (I never had any trouble with them, even in the beginning). A novelist generally writes a scene, then puts a #, *, or other character or just a blank line as a scene separator, then writes another scene. The only trick for a novelist in approaching Storyist is to remember that only # works in that way within Storyist, although it's possible (I have done it for both my books) to use something else in a final exported e-book).

 

I think the stuff with the section title is not a bug but a consequence of Steve adjusting for people who did not put # after the final scene/section in their chapters. When those people then tried to move the section, it seemed to disappear, because Storyist had no way to know where it ended. So now Storyist adds the # before moving. But it always marks the end, not the beginning.

 

The user manual could use more work, I agree, but realistically there will never be a way to predict every question a writer will ask. The forums are designed to supplement the manual in just this way. And there are tutorial videos available at the Support site, although I can't swear that one answers exactly the questions you are asking.

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Hi erwindink,

 

I just created a blank document. I deleted all the text and added a single section separator at the start. Then, without creating any section text, I started a second section and a third. Now I have a document that shows three clear section separators on the page but only a single section on the Project list and the section pop-up menu.

 

I just tried the same thing here and got three sections. Are you sure the section separator (#) is the only thing on the line? Make sure you don't have any extra spaces or tabs.

 

-Steve

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Hi erwindink,

 

One more piece of the puzzle and possibly a factor in my confusion: when I use my new Section Title style, any change I make to the text on the page becomes the new section name in the Project list.

 

If your section title style is a heading-level style, then any paragraph having the style will be included in the Project view. When you make changes, what style are you using? Is it possible these changes have your section title style?

 

What determines the name of a section in the Project list?

 

For heading-level styles, the name in the Project view is the same as the text in the paragraph. For body text styles (separated by headings or section separators), the name is usually Untitled Section.

 

-Steve

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Hi erwindink,

 

 

 

I just tried the same thing here and got three sections. Are you sure the section separator (#) is the only thing on the line? Make sure you don't have any extra spaces or tabs.

 

-Steve

 

I am unable to reproduce this error so I have to presume you are correct that I must have inadvertently had a space or other invisible character on the line. Thanks.

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If your section title style is a heading-level style, then any paragraph having the style will be included in the Project view. When you make changes, what style are you using? Is it possible these changes have your section title style?

 

I have attached two screen captures to illustrate. I have a style called Section Title. It is based on Section Text and has an outline level of Body Text. As you can see from the image, there is no Section Separator visible anywhere yet you can see two lines that are acting as separators. The lines, "Dialogue" and "New Sections" appear in the document as headers but they are styled as Section Title which is based on Section Text. You can also see that each of these sections appears in the project view. If I edit either of these lines on the page, the corresponding section name in the project view is updated accordingly. For example, if I change "Dialogue" on the page to "Dimples" the section name in the project view also is changed to say "Dimples." Which is a good thing. It's exactly how I would want a Section Title style to work. The only confusion is that I was under the impression that this was not how things work based on what I've been reading on this forum.

 

Now that you tell me the difference between a header-level style and a body-level style my understanding of how things are supposed to work is better. But the fact that my Section Title is a body-level style just confuses the issue. The fact that the User Guide says nothing about header-level or body-level styles is also pertinent. Thankfully, Marguerite has been very helpful and now your comments help further clarify things for me.

 

post-2672-0-60417100-1368122297_thumb.png

post-2672-0-47816600-1368122301_thumb.png

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Hi erwindink,

 

Thank you for the screenshots.

 

I suspect that the fact that your Section Title style appears in the Project view (and so acts as a heading-level style) even though it is a body text style is a hold-over from version 1 and is included for compatibility with manuscripts created in version 1. I'll take a look at the code to make sure.

 

If this is the behavior you are looking for, you could also create a new style (e.g. Section Heading) and assign it a heading level of 2.

 

-Steve

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If this is the behavior you are looking for, you could also create a new style (e.g. Section Heading) and assign it a heading level of 2.

-Steve

 

Yup, that's exactly one of the behaviors I was hoping for. Now that I know about header-level styles I will definitely be using them. Thanks again.

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