Since I'm writing a paperback, not an e-book, I wonder if and how I can teach Scrivener to use chapter numbers and/or page numbers when I insert a hyperlink.

As a non-fiction book, I have quite a few "see chapter 12 for details" or "as discussed in chapter 4" references. By default, when I enter these references into Scrivener, it will use the title. But I'd like to give my readers something they don't need to search for. I searched and couldn't find that option. Where is it hiding?

  • Note that cross-referencing, including page numbers, only makes sense when compiling to Print or PDF ...
    – user59836
    May 31, 2023 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


Presumably, you are writing with the intention of perhaps publishing as an ebook in the future, otherwise why bother with hyperlinks at all in a paperback? Why not just write, "See Chapter 1 for details."?

But, that aside. If you do want to use hyperlinks, it's all about how you structure your binder. Scrivener draws its information (titles) from there. So, if you set up your binder so that you have Chapter 1 as a folder, with the relevant chapter parts inside, you have the choice to refer to the chapter as a whole or a subdocument (part) within it.

I'm a Mac user, so your options may be a bit different if you're using Windows. But, it's in Edit, Link to Document. And if your binder is structured appropriately, you will see your chapter number as an option to link to.

I set up a quick test project so you can see it in action:

enter image description here *

As per Op's additional comment:

AFAIK, there's no way to get the binder to auto number for you while you're writing but you can use chapter titles and get it to auto number during compile.

However, I think what you're really asking is:

If you re-order the binder, how do you get Scrivener to update all your links to use the new chapter names/numbers?

You can do this in two ways: before and during compile.


You can move the chapters around as you wish, renaming them as you go. What used to be Chapter 1 may have become Chapter 2 over time and that's okay.

Once the book is finished, the binder is organised, and everything is named as you desire, you can simply click on the main draft folder in the binder, go into Scrivenings view and select your entire book with Cmd-A, then use Edit, Text Tidying, Update Document Links To Use Target Titles.

As you can see from the sample project I created, my link to Chapter 1, which has now moved in the binder and been renamed to Chapter 2, has automatically updated:

enter image description here


If you use chapter names rather than chapter numbers while writing, entering hyperlinks as you go that refer to the chapter names:

enter image description here

You can then get Scrivener to automatically number the chapters during compile using the Chapter <$t> placeholder, and autoupdate the links during the compile by ensuring that the option to update all the document links is checked (it is by default):

enter image description here

Then, in the final document, you will have automatically numbered chapters with automatically updated links:

enter image description here


  • I understand how to place the links, but it will use the NAME of the binder, not a numbering. I use links so it auto-renumbers if I change the order of things in the binder, that's the whole point. I don't want to manually write "chapter 3" and then change it all if chapter 3 becomes chapter 4.
    – Tom
    Mar 9, 2019 at 19:51
  • @Tom Sorry, I didn't get that from your question, you might want to reword it. When you say, you don't want to 'change it all' do you mean in the Binder or in the entire book? If you want Scrivener to auto-number the binder as you go, I don't think that's an option. You have to do that bit manually AFAIK. But if you mean you don't want to change the whole book, manually updating all the links, that part you don't have to do. I'm going to add this to the bottom of my answer so I can put in another screen grab.
    – GGx
    Mar 10, 2019 at 8:29
  • @Tom I've updated my answer to include two options for you. HTH.
    – GGx
    Mar 10, 2019 at 8:59
  • Thanks! That is exactly what I was looking for, I can figure out the remaining details by myself. Scrivener does this during compile time, I just didn't get that.
    – Tom
    Mar 10, 2019 at 10:05
  • 1
    NP @Tom. If I had my Scrivener learning curve over, I would learn compile first. I remember missing a deadline because I couldn't get my MS compiled. In itself it's quite a learning curve because it's very powerful. You may find you are spending a lot of time doing things you don't need to that compile can handle for you. Like this issue. There are great videos on YouTube from Literature and Latte for how to compile and their technical support forums are excellent. Good luck with your book!
    – GGx
    Mar 10, 2019 at 10:52

You can place the placeholder tag for page number <$p> inside the link, it will refer to the page linked to. Like so:

We will see that on chapter 2, page <$p>.

Notice that the page number must really be inside the link, not just after it. If you do it like that:

We will see that on chapter 2, page <$>.

it will contain (i believe) the current page number, not the linked one. I usually overwrite the last character of the link to ensure the tag is inside it. It might be very confusing if you change the formatting of the link...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.