Adding Characters and Locations

I did look through the forum (by keywords) and various other spots, but I’m not finding my answer. If I may ask here…

There is a feature in another software package like Scivener that lets me enter my Characters and Locations. Once entered, those ‘keywords’ are highlighted in the text of the novel I’m writing, making them stand out. Characters in Pink and Locations in Green. How can I accomplish the same thing with Scrivener without manually selecting ever instance of the Character or Location within my novel? I hope this is enough detail. Please let me know if you need additional information.

I asked the same question several months ago. Here is the response thread.

I took from the developer’s response that it may or may not exist. I can select a character’s name in my novel and link that name, using Scrivener Link option to ‘characters’, but only that one selection. It is a link pure and simple. It is such a nice feature to have. I hope I’m wrong and the software can do it.

thank you DickKeaton.

No, what you have asked for doesn’t exist in Scriv as you have described it. The trouble with that kind of approach is that it would only pick up on one use of the characters name, eg Nick vs Nicholas. etc etc.

Any ‘automated’ system is going to be full of errors. However, it is pretty low rent to use the keywords facility to assign characters and locations to any document in your binder and then use searches and collections to track them later.

Thank you for the reply PFender. Not a problem that it cannot do it. It’s just a nicety.

One problem I can think of with colouring text is that, being a rich text editor capable of otherwise colouring text, you could end up with a conflict in automation vs. intention. If you mark a range of text as red, and then later on type in a word that is schedule to be automatically turned green, does it turn green or stay red? Turning green might seem the obvious answer, but what if the whole range that is red is the word that gets highlighted? Say for example you’ve gone through and highlighted the names of things you aren’t sure about, and then later on you add a keyword that automatically colours it green, the red assignment is now invisible. Which is more important, the one you applied or the one the software applied? When you run a formatting search for red text, should it be found, even though it is visibly green? There is also the matter of exporting. I don’t think anyone would expect the automatic colouring to export, but what about the red underneath? These are aren’t huge issues, mind, might they are complications where other software that operates strictly as text needn’t worry with.

It probably just means that ultimately, if something like this were ever considered it would have to take on another form than text colouring, or anything else that could be done with formatting tools, which doesn’t leave a whole lot, if you also eliminate things that are too “noisy”, like boxed highlights, icons and such.

But, speaking of automatic highlights you do get those for free if you search for a character’s name. Search times are highlighted in a persistent fashion when reviewing them. So when you do want to see a certain word or phrase illuminated in the text, you can. It’s just that in Scrivener, the default is to treat all text as equal until asked otherwise.

I don’t know if this would work for you but I’m planning on using a combination of custom meta data and labels to track characters and locations.

This might also be helpful: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=19076&start=0