About notes / annotations and links

I’m not intractable; I just don’t want to write my own text system to deal wiht annotations. Besides which, Scrivener for me does what Avenir does for you, so I guess you just have a different workflow. Avenir is cool, and Todd is a great guy, so I have zero hard feelings about him getting your custom. :slight_smile:
All the best,

Yeah, it’s not so much ‘like’ as it’s what we have and what Keith can offer us at this time. This issue has been hammered to death and it seems pretty clear that Keith is not at all intractable about it, but has made clear he doesn’t want to spend the enormous amount of time it would take to create his own text system and be able to implement collapsible annotations and footnotes.

Okay, so then we have to make a choice. For me, there’s no question that I’ll take inline annotations and the rest of Scr. over Avenir or anything else. But of course that in no way means others will feel the same way.

Let’s all just be very grateful we have so many excellent choices!! There was a time when Mac software options, especially for writers, were quite pathetic. It’s an embarrassment of riches for Mac owners, these days.


I do actually quite like my annotation system. :slight_smile: I think it’s a question of terminology. Really, it’s better to think of the current annotations as “non-printing” or “non-exporting” ranges of text. It’s modelled on my own method of making notes as I write, which looks like this:

And so forth. These annotations get wiped as the drafts become honed and the text gets changed. In Scrivener, they can be saved as older versions via snapshots.

I sort of think that if I hadn’t introduced an annotation system at all, less people would be bothered, and there would be very few requests for one… :slight_smile:


No, I think the problem stems from calling your system “annotation.” To a scholar, that means footnotes. What you are describing is a series of memoranda: check this later, maybe use a different word, hmmmm, what do I mean here, and so on. In drafting, I put that stuff in [square brackets], or sometimes in bold-face to make it stand out.

Even so, I think academic writers may use Scrivener for at least drafting footnotes. Stick them in the text itself, perhaps inside brackets, or use that column called Notes. Export, and clean them up in word processors, most of which do a fine job with footnotes.

I’d request it. :wink:

Your system actually makes more sense to me than what I had been doing, but I use highlighting for that kind of stuff. For me, an annotation is something that doesn’t belong in the body of the text at all (basically like if I had it on paper and was using post-its or margin notes as I went through it). Maybe I’ll try shifting my use of annotations in Scrivener for a future project and see how it goes.

Also, how does the export deal with your example annotation where you had a space to either side? Would you get a double space? Or is the export “smart” about this? This was another reason I was not happy with annotations: since I didn’t want extra spaces, I was lumping them right up against the previous word (which then resulted in a spellcheck error, too).

I’ve posted about my implementation of footnotes in Scrivener elsewhere:
literatureandlatte.com/forum … ight=#8787
The short version of that post is that I put note material off in separate files, then use the corkboard and Edit Scrivenings to put it in the right place as part of my final preparation. This approach also lets me make notes as visible (with split view) or invisible as desired at any given moment. I’d suggest that those who feel frustrated by Scrivener’s handling of notes try this approach before abandoning the program’s other excellent features.

I also use inline annotations as per Keith’s example, for things that I need to look up or expand upon.


Well, since many Scr. users aren’t academics, I think the terminology is just fine. :slight_smile: Actually, as a scholar myself (the completed dissertation proves it! Ha!), I associate ‘annotations’ a bit more generally with something like comments or annotations such as with pdfs. Maybe that is from years of working with Acrobat. The usage also fits quite nicely with the definition of ‘annotation,’ which could certainly include footnotes, but not necessarily (in fact, the example given in the dictionary is ‘marginal annotations’).

I myself use Scr. quite happily for both footnotes and annotations, which are separate functions in Scr. and automated and therefore easy to use and to distinguish. Both transfer quite nicely Word, a bit less nicely into Mellel (annotations don’t transfer at all).

But I do also understand that with a lot of annotations and footnotes, it can make the text a bit ‘messy’ looking. So I do have sympathy for those wishing for collapsible notes. Though I’m certainly not suggesting them since this has already been discussed ad nauseum (and surely will be discussed again. It seems to be a popular topic!).

Btw, Keith, I’m not sure about annotations, but if you didn’t offer footnotes at all, I doubt I’d be using Scr. nearly as happily as I am now. There would be many projects where I wouldn’t be able to use Scr. at all. That would be very sad. :frowning:

So, for my part, I’m thrilled to death that you thoughtfully included footnotes and annotations in Scr.s feature set, however they have been implemented! It was one of the two things that immediately grabbed my attention when I first discovered Scr.


From Wikipedia:

From askoxford.com (Compact Oxford Dictionary):

From Webster’s online:

Or, just look here:


Now, what exactly is the problem with my use of the term “annotation”?


Not a thing, Obi-Wan. You are The Boss.

(I never liked Corkboard, either!) :smiling_imp:

PS: where is Eiron when we need him for saucy retorts? Is he ill?

Hi Keith

Sorry to add yet another vote for improved annotations… I’ve purchased the Scrivener simply because software this well thought out needs supporting! However when using it recently to prepare a project proposal I found that I had to leave Scrivener and return to Word 2004.

Scrivener works well for every stage of writing… in laying out research (pdf’s, webpages) on a project by project basis, on beginning with a few key ideas, weaving snippets together… It just seems to stumble at the last hurdle - the first draft. When drafting it would be great to be able to cut an entire section out and have it as an annotation, without remaining in the text either exposed or collapsed. This allows you to read through and see if it makes sense and helps avoid the emotional attachment to a phrase or paragraph that you know you haven’t got space for or simple isn’t necessary. As well as for comments and possible points to return to. It’s not a question of final formatting, it’s integral to the writing process (at least for a great deal of people given the level of requests).

Word 2004 does this the best to my mind. I would imagine, having followed this forum that coding that wouldn’t be feasible. However Avenir’s annotations seem very possible. How about multiple notes attached to each text document and links within the document. Or if links don’t feel right, maybe the relevant note could appear when you’re in the right place in the text. Seems like a very natural extension to Scrivener’s organisation - where everything is clustered around the main page of text but the text remains pure and focused.

I would pay a lot more if this was added; in a Pro version for example. Go on.

I am surprised about how easily I got used to inline footnotes and annotations. LAst summer I thought they would drive me away from Scrivener, but I never felt uneasy with them once they were introduced.


Thank you for all your feedback. However, I feel I have to lay down the law a little at this juncture: annotations will not change during 1.x releases. Yes, in an ideal world they would collapse and hide and all sorts of things, but there is only so much one man can do. Scrivener cannot use Avenir’s implementation because it already uses links for hyperlinks and Scrivener links.

It is unreasonable to expect $35 software to provide the same sort of customised text functionality as a $200 piece of software. Moreover, the Readme makes it very clear that there are no promises of any changes whatsoever to Scrivener, and that should you purchase, you purchase as-is.

This is not meant to sound harsh - I do value your opinions, and I will consider them carefully when it comes time to plan the features of 2.0 in a year or two’s time. But that is a long way off. For now, the annotations feature is what it is. If you do not like it and would rather use another program, I will not hate you for it, I promise. :slight_smile:

All the best,

Hi Keith
Completely understand your position. Yes it’s unreasonable to be subjected to all these requests for software that only costs £23 and developed by one person. But it’s worth a lot more and we would pay a lot more! and it’s frustrating when everything about Scrivener is so dazzling and intuitive and it’s simple missing one refinement to a feature it already sports. Anyway I took your advice and started hunting around for other software (after giving hope that Scrivener was the one.) I didn’t have to go far, a quick visit to Scrivener Gold revealed just the annotation system I was requesting. I fear that pleading for this system to make the leap to the full version won’t work (I’d re-register 5 times, promise…take the bribe), you must’ve had your reasons for abandoning it afterall. And so I will live happily ever after in the Gold version!

On a different note I highly recommend the British book “Do It Tomorrow” for overcoming procrastination (reading your blog earlier made me think of it).

Lol, a lot of people hated the Scrivener Gold implementation. Oh well.

Sadly, SG is unlikely to work on Leopard.


Is there no way to add a toggle that causes the editor to just ignore annotations and footnotes so they disappear entirely (temporarily)?

See the FAQ for a few ways to do this (Section II, 6), but no there is not a true toggle. Just some quick ways to bulk erase in a duplicate file and such.

Also please do try searching the forum. This has been discussed to death.

I think annotations should all be named Bertrand and follow me wherever I go, complimenting me on my new dress even though I’m not wearing a dress, let alone a new one. Bertrand(s) would also have to work two jobs down at the grist mill to pay for the dress I one day hope to buy, the new one that he/they keep complimenting me on. The first of Bertrand’s jobs, the “day shift” one, would involve hiring philosophers to read their essays to the grist, keeping it distracted enough not to get any funny ideas about escape or mutiny. Grist is unpredictable and should never be left alone with any of the high-powered weapons I leave lying around in various strategic locations about the mill, mostly in corners near water fountains but sometimes propping up the many lopsided end tables I was able to purchase for next to nothing from the Antique Batallion®. Bertrand’s other job, the “night shift” one, would be primarily to erase all of the quotation marks in which I needlessly enclose the phrases “day shift” and “night shift”, but the position would also involve one other duty: to be the philospher(s) hired by him/themselves for the purpose of distracting the grist, but quitting upon realizing that the mill isn’t up to code, especially the bit of code governing high-powered weaponry placement and end table lopsidedness.

Could you please implement this, Keith? For once in your big fat selfish life could you think of us, the children, the ones who suckled at your breast until you so callously tossed us into the cold to fend for ourselves amidst the vultures and hyenas of our respective cold fusion-powered subterranean mass transit systems? If you have one ounce of decency, sir, you will not only add this functionality to Scrivener, but you will rewrite the program entirely so that it will henceforth be a video game wherein you guide a silly frog from the bottom of the screen all the way up to a promising career in gastroenterology. You shall move to Russia and call your game Tetris. In your right hand you will carry a rag doll of Alexander Pushkin and in your left you shall carry Alexander Pushpin, that is to say, a pushpin that now goes by the name Alexander, having married into a wealthy family and dispensed its maiden name, which was Dostoyevsky. Whenever you are asked to explain your game, firmly insert Alexander Pushpin into the arse of Alexander Pushkin, and if what the Voodoo practitioners say is true, everyone in the forums who has pleaded for a comparative track changes feature will bolt sharply out of his seat, complain insincerely of rheumatism, then sit back down just like Julie Andrews did in The Nun Who Ended Up With Christopher Plummer Much to the Dismay of the Nazis, Who Were Themselves Hoping to Collectively End Up With Christopher Plummer.

End of line.

P.S… forgive me; it’s four a.m. and I have writer’s block. This was my little way of avoiding having to deal with it.

Woah. :open_mouth: :slight_smile:

Now that’s what I call free writing … :smiley: