A compile format to include notes & comments for revision?

This is really a two part question:

  1. I am curious how others use Scrivener for revision. I have worked on a manuscript for three years and the amount of feedback, ideas, etc I have his almost unmanageable. I have used Project Notes, Document Notes, comments, and dedicated text files for ideas and revision notes. I am curious how others keep track of all their revision notes and where they place them. Do you use comments and document notes differently?

  2. I want to create a compile format that will include everything above so that I can print it all and read it at one time–picking and choosing the ideas I do want to execute. I know you can export comments and notes–but these are separate reports and in the case of “document notes” each scrivening comes out as its own separate file. The compile format I have created does capture almost all of the revision text I want, but I can not find a way to include comments without also including the manuscript text. I would just like the comments and notes without the manuscript text. How do I do this in one compile setting?


I think the File/Export/Comments & Annotations command will do just what you are asking for: the notes and inline “red text” will be exported, with all main text stripped out (though in the case of comments, the highlighted text will be included for context).

It sounds like you’ve already set up the compiler to print “everything”, but in case you haven’t, all of that can be done in the Formatting compile option pane. Just enable the checkboxes for the columns you wish to include. “Notes”. Along with the presentation options available in the Options button along the top of that pane, you can also click the override checkbox to the left of that button. This will let you give your notes a distinctive font from the main text, if you wish. You would do that for each type of document icon individually—but a quick way of making everything the same is to set up one the way you like (say the “Folder Level 1+” row) and then copy and paste to copy these settings to the other rows in that table.

Thanks for answer. Yes, I know that the export comments will create an rtf without the manuscript text…but they are not folded in with the document notes and I do not have the same control as a compile.

I assume that the only way to grab the comments in compile is to check the text box in the formatting tab of compile–but then I am getting notes, comments, AND TEXT. I think there are ways to include footnotes in the compile without the text, but can’t find the magic button for comments without the text. The “Export Notes & Comments” compile format setting I have created is perfect and chronological otherwise…if I could just fold the comments in.

PS - What is the copy and paste command to copy a formatting onto another level in the compile window? I knew you could do that but don’t know the quick key.

There is no way to remove the text from the compile output without also removing footnotes, annotations and comments, because they are all attached to the text. The best I can think of is to compile your notes and then export the comments so you have two files. It’s better than many dozens of files anyway (that you’d get with File/Export/Files…).

Just Cmd-C and Cmd-V, like copying and pasting text. But the Edit menu also enables these commands so you can use the menu versions within the Formatting pane, too.

Thanks much. Should I add include comments as a stand alone checkbox independent of text to the features wish list–or is that just not possible to do?

When Command V to paste formatting where have you clicked–in the example text box or just highlighting the level? It didn’t work for me (assuming that ruler/margin setting are part of the paste).

It wouldn’t be impossible, we after all do strip comments and annotations out of the text for the aforementioned export feature, I’m just not sure how much utility it would add to the program given that we do have that feature already. Your point about this not being something you can interleave with Document Notes is duly noted, however. I wonder if perhaps a better solution is to add a “Document Notes” checkbox to that export panel, along with the title options. That would pretty much complete the utility in terms of exporting all of the “meta” content one might attach to a section. Then there is no need to mess with compile settings either, just use the command and check that Notes box. Does that sound like it would do what you need? No need to file a separate report—you’d just end up talking with Keith or myself anyway. :slight_smile: And of course I can’t promise anything, but I can always add it to the list to think about.

Right, I didn’t make that clear, this would be within the upper half of the formatting pane, where you highlight the levels themselves. So for example you can set up the folder formatting, title settings, checkboxes—then select that folder row, hit Cmd-C, then select another row, and Cmd-V. That will “paste” everything, including the checkbox assignments.

You can also copy and paste formatting alone as well, if just want to copy that part. There are two separate forms of copy and paste for that—the same as the ones you would use to copy and paste ruler and font information in the text editor:

  • Format/Font/Copy Font
  • Format/Text/Copy Ruler

In that case you would be copying and pasting within the mock editor itself, putting the selection in the block of text you wish to copy. So if all you want to copy is say, the paragraph indent settings, but not the checkboxes or anything else, those will be the tools to use.

Adding a “Document Notes” & “Project Notes” in the export solution would be a great option.

That said, having a comments & Project Notes checkbox (along with title, text, meta, etc) in the compile options, formatting window seems like a better option. The reason being that I can then have all the compile features available to me in creating this format. I can have chapter titles bold; scenes titled & indented; global font and formatting assigned; and all the notes I have made to myself (no matter their source as a comment or note) throughout the document in line and in order completely integrated. It’s just such a great revision tool to be able to print this all out, in order, as I want to see it. Yes, I could absolutely do the export listed above and then format that RTF file–but why not use the power of Scrivener in the compile rather than an export?

Additionally, I wish that some of the Scrivenings/text files in the Binder could be added to the compile I have described and not just the manuscript folders and files. That way in creating a revision compile I could add text files that are ideas & revision notes (research, timelines, concepts, etc) that I keep in the Binder outside the manuscript. Wish I could select “Binder” in the contents tab of the compile window along with Manuscript, Current Selection, and Search Results. I realize there is a work around where I could create a Collection that included these revision text files that are outside the manuscript and do it that way–but that is a little cumbersome.

Thanks for listening. I LOVE the program and have taught workshops on its use to writers in my area.

Have you tried creating a Collection containing both Manuscript and other (Research?) document in it and compiling that? A little tedious to do as you’d have to add all the Manuscript documents and all the others too but you can select the Collection for Compile.

The checkboxes in the Formatting pane relate to the information for that particular icon type and outline level depth—they are repeated, as a sort of export template, for every single item that the compiler assembles. If there was Project Notes checkbox here, then a 212 item outline would export all of your notes 212 times! :slight_smile: This pane is all about assigning content and format to the outline as a whole, via the principle of iteration.

But to take a less literal interpretation of what you are asking for: this basic desire of having Project Notes something you can export will be resolved in the future. The current design kind of outgrew itself, and that is an acknowledged weakness with it. Originally it was just a blue box in the Inspector panel, and that’s it. Now it kind of suggests that it is more than what it was originally meant to be: the kind of place you jot down things like remembering to send a copy to your editor on the 15th, or what have you. :slight_smile: Nothing you’d want to compile.

As for having a Comments checkbox, that would I fear confuse the issue since the Footnotes & Comments pane is where you choose whether and how linked comments and inline annotations are included, and there are way too many options available for these features to jam them all into the Formatting pane (which is already overloaded and easily the most complicated pane in the compiler), and in nearly every case, a global toggle for notations is all you need, not a high-granularity outline based system (I want inline annotations for folders instead of files, etc., that seems awfully fiddly to me).

As noted, there already is a method for doing this if you really need it. It’s not a common need however given the design of having a drafting area of the Binder that is purely and simply for the composition of your final product (in all of its stages, so sometimes that might mean meta-data and notes), not for exporting research and such. The result is no confusion over what can and cannot be compiled—you can’t put a PDF in the Draft folder, so nobody is going to expect Scrivener to graft a preformatted PDF file in the middle of their book, and wonder why it silently disappears from the Contents compile pane when they try.

Thank you for the feedback, and especially for the workshops you do!

That’s actually not too difficult to do. If you Opt-drag a folder into a collection tab you will assign not only that folder, but all of its descendant items, to the collection. So one could just Cmd-click these two folders and Opt-drag them to the tab—boom, done.

Wow try to help someone and you learn something yourself. :slight_smile: I didn’t know that Opt-Drag on a folder put the whole lot in a Collection. I’ve been resisting using a Collection for a different narrative order because I thought it was too much trouble to put each document (of 200+) into that Collection.

Problem is though that an Opt-Dragged folder goes in as a single entity and the documents contained within it can’t be moved around and that doesn’t allow alternate reading order. :frowning: Still Opt-Drag is a useful one to remember. :slight_smile:

Hmm, that doesn’t sound quite right. The result should be all of the folder’s items added to the Collection, just as if you had dragged them all in individually. For example:

Folder A
    file 1
    file 2
    file 3

When Opt-dragging “Folder A”, you would get a collection with all four of the above items in sequence, and they can be moved around within the Collection as per normal. The only time a Collection does not allow you to re-order items is if it is just a search result.

That what I assumed would happen but what appeared in the Binder for the Collection was Folder A and nothing else. The individual documents were visible in corkboard and scrivening view but they were not listed under the Collection in the Binder.

That looks like the standard behaviour—i.e. what you would get if you drag in a folder without the Option key. You’ve always been able to drag a folder into a Collection and then use that to view its contents—but that has always been a direct view of the Binder, and its subsidiary items are not a part of the Collection.

Maybe make sure you’re dragging a regular folder. This technique will not work on the three special root folders, like Draft, since they cannot be added to Collections.

Ah right, turns out to be biscuit (cookie to some) crumbs under the left-hand Opt key on my keyboard. (I’m right-handed so that’s my mouse hand.) Blew the crumbs away and now I get the desiredFolder A Document A …result. Must learn not to eat biscuits over my keyboard. Oops.