Any way to make notes within a manuscript?

Is there a way to highlight a body of text and flag it for further work? Maybe a sentence or paragraph doesn’t quite work, but you want to remember to come back and work on it later.

I know Scrivener contains a lot of cool ways to work with scenes and such, enabling you to label cards etc, but I’m wondering if there’s a way to build a list of “gotta go back and do that” within the text of a project itself.

Scrivener provides several out of the box tools suitable for this job. You can use inline annotations, comments or even inline or inspector footnotes.

You can also use different colours for text revisions.

I personally mark with an inspector footnote anything I want to came back to. When the job is done, I delete the footnote. I find it simple and straightforward.

Hope this helps!

You can take this a step further too and use a custom keyword as part of the annotation, so you can build a search collection based on it. For instance, I type “XC//” at the beginning of my comments where I need to cross-check a reference or “RS//” for elements that need more research. Using the project search, you can pull together all the documents that have your note code anywhere in them and choose “Save Search As Collection…” from the magnifying glass menu, so you can easily pull up the list of “needs more research” documents.


  1. Do you make XC// and RS// etc inline annotations? or simply type as normal text?

  2. You say you use keywords to build /generate your collections for this purpose. If XC// and RS// are inline annotations, can you generate a search collection based on “XC//” “RS//” etc? Or do you need the keywords to generate the search collection? (inline annotations not enough to generate a search based collection?)

  3. Is there a reason you use the “//”? Would XC alone or RS alone pick up all instances of xc or rs appearing in your draft and you use the // to differentiate?

I’m asking because I am in the process of building a list of inline annotation codes as well as keywords before I revamp my draft. And I’m asking because, though I’ve been using Scrivener for over a year, I have never actually generated or created any type of collection. I am about to take advantage of this feature. I have read about this in the manual and watched all the videos but am just trying to clarify the specifics so I don’t muddle things before I even dive in.

Thank you.

is there a reason you use the // in your keyword

I type the XC//, RS// etc. as part of the inline annotation or comment. When I said “keyword” in the previous post, I just meant this text code, not actual Scrivener keywords such as you’d add in the “Keyword” section of the inspector. Sorry, that could have been written in a less confusing way.

So for instance, I’ll have my passage of text in the editor that references some technology or other I made up in an earlier scene, and I’ll select that and create a new comment that reads: “XC// Double-check that nothing in her explanation to Ted earlier contradicts what it’s doing here, because I really need it to be able to do this.” Or the same thing as an inline annotation. (I use both; it depends on the project or the purpose of the note. Sometimes I want to see the text right there in the editor when I’m reading, such as when it’s a word choice thing and I’m trying out a few different possibilities. Inline notes also work with the regular Find, which I use sometimes to skip through text quickly.)

I use the double slash mainly because I think it looks cool. I probably stole it from Ioa, honestly. (AmberV here on the forums.) As long as whatever text you use as your “code” is unique, it doesn’t matter. This is what you’re basing the search on, so it’s going to be grouped with all the rest of the text in the editor, including comments and footnotes. You want to use some string of characters that isn’t going to appear as a word anywhere else. So “XC” isn’t really in danger of returning false results, but I like the way it looks better when I separate it from the rest of the actual note text with the double slash. You could also use some character like that to make a common word unique: a search for “**Research” won’t return documents that just use the word “research” somewhere in the text.

Say you use inline notes to mark your text and you have three types of comments to yourself: “RESEARCH”, “REVISE” and “EXPAND” written like that, in all caps. You can build a collection of all your documents with stuff you need to research by running a project search for “RESEARCH”, set to “Case Sensitive”, maybe limited to searching in “Text” in case you happen to have “RESEARCH” written somewhere else that you won’t want included. (Select these options from the magnifying glass menu in the project search bar.)

You can then save the search and call it “Stuff I need to research” or what have you. Every time you load the collection in the binder, it will run the search, so you’ll always have an up-to-date list of the documents that need work.

I just put “qqq” in the document notes, or in the text itself.

qqq Change the POV to Charli for this scene

Bob pulled the gun (qqq figure out specific gun model) and shot the bad guy.