Annotation or Notes?

Doing the trial of both Scrivener and StoryMill and Scrivener is winning hands down and will get my money if I can figure out one little thing – notes/annotation. What I want to do is basically flag a section of the text and put a hidden note in there (for later revisions). I don’t want it to get in the way of the text, as the annotations seem do do right now. And then I want to be able to easily access that note when I’m ready to go back to it, preferably by clicking on it or opening a document notes drawer. I’m a professional screenwriter and I’m used to the “script notes” of Final Draft and StoryMill has a similar feature. Anyway, if I can figure this out I’d gladly pull the trigger and buy Scrivener. Thanks!

You can easily create a linked note (similar to StoryMill style notes) by selecting the text you wish to annotate, and pressing Cmd-L. A new document will be created (and a new folder in the Binder, if necessary, called Notes) and linked to this spot. Or, if you wish to simply have the link hidden in an annotation, you could create one, and press Cmd-L. You’ll get a date stamp and a link just as before. Since links do not export, either method will be invisible when it comes time to compile (unless of course you leave annotations in the final compile export options).

Thanks. It worked, but it would be ideal if you could link the note to the notes pane in the inspector. That way you can see the note while you’re writing as opposed to opening a completely new document window or splitting the pane. But I still think Scrivener will be my choice over StoryMill or a myriad of other reasons. Thanks again.

Seems you are happier with notes over annotations, but have you tried switching on “ghost mode” for the annotations?

They don’t interfere with the text anywhere near as much then, and thus they are my preferred method (I don’t like jumping out of the document either).


Thanks. I’ll give it a try.

Well the problem there is that you only have one notepad per document, and it would seem to me very likely that a document would need more than one note at a time. But if you do want to see notes along side the original document, you could try messing with the settings in the Navigation preferences. There are ways to make clicked on links open up automatically in a split, as well as newly created links.

And as Matt suggested, ghost notes. A lot of people come up against Scrivener’s in-line notation approach and baulk because they are used to notes being tucked away in margins or behind icons and such. It can take a little adjusting to, but a lot of those same people have come to prefer having everything in one text area. And that was even before we could fade them out.