Assigning categories different highlighter colors

It would be extremely helpful if I could assign categories with different highlighter colors so that I can highlight the text that is relevant in a document.

In my research information, I sometimes have text that is relevant to multiple categories and being able to highlight the text in each color and then when I search by category only have that color show would be incredibly helpful.

Another item that would also be helpful is if when the text is highlighted that the category is automatically added to the keywords.

What are you referring to by categories? There isn’t a dedicated feature in Scrivener called that.

That aside, highlight colour just tracks whatever you used last, so if you switch from one type of work to another, you should only have to do that once per switch.

Guess I wasn’t clear since I tend to use category and keyword interchangeably.

But what would be very helpful in referencing back to information that pertains to a specific keyword is if I could assign that keyword a highlighter color to mark the text. As it is now I have to constantly re-read my notes to find the relevant information for the keyword assigned to the file. All of my research files have multiple keywords (usually 10+), so the ability to mark the same text with multiple colors usually would occur. As it is now, if I highlight text I can’t add additional colors for other keywords to the same words.

It would really cut down on the amount of searching and re-reading I would have to do if when I select a keyword that in addition to the file list being shortened to the relevant files, the highlighted text assigned to that keyword would show in the files. To clarify this statement a little, if I’ve marked text with multiple colors only the highlighter color for the keyword selected would show.

I’m not sure if I’m following on the whole idea, but since currently keywords are assigned on a per document basis (and not a phrase or paragraph, as colour highlighting is), one approach that you could use out of the box is to break down your documents (via splitting) to a keyword-specific level, then assign one or more keywords to the pertaining text subdocument. That way you’d not need to add both colours and keywords, but just keywords.

Does this make sense for your need?

Thanks for the suggestion.

But since I’m already dealing with hundreds of research documents, splitting them would make it extremely difficult and time consuming to do. It would also make following the thoughts being presented in the documents impossible.

What I would mark, if I could highlight, wouldn’t be completely inclusive but would highlight the most relevant or key facts to the keyword I was searching on. Text before or after the highlighted text may or may not be relevant. Plus the relevancy of text sometimes changes as I’m working, so I need to be able to see the entire document instead of having to piece together multiple files.

Am I getting any clearer?

Yes, of course. Please don’t get me wrong: I think your idea is very interesting! :exclamation: (In fact it has come up before in relation to tracking of dialogues and characters).

I’m just trying to make what is available now work for you on the meantime, since the final word on new features is always on the developer’s hands.

Remember that you can use Scrivenings mode, which you can make work almost transparently on the Mac: just disable the “titles in scrivenings” option and enable “separate by single lines” and I think you’re set. You will see all those small documents work as if they were only one, plus you’ll get the benefit of the keywords.

Hope this helps!

One wouldn’t have to go through and split up everything at once, if that is what you mean. Think of it more as a reaction than a systematic task, not unlike highlighting text with a keyword topic—you would do it as you read. So you note a topic you wish to set apart, you put the cursor at that spot and press Cmd-K, name it maybe, give it a keyword, and read on. You only split where you need to, when you need to. The result is a tidy contextually organised skeleton of the document in the Binder, a skeleton that matches what you needed to extract from the document, not some arbitrary sectioning or whatnot.

Basically, for the types of tasks you are describing, the Binder item is meant to be the smallest working unit in the system. It’s meant to be something you can take down to paragraph levels if needed. Then you can do what you want—you can punch in a keyword for a particular topic and search for it, getting only those pieces of the text that are marked with that keyword. Need to see the context from that search result? Not a problem, use Ctrl-Cmd-R (View/Go To/Enclosing Group). If you’re in Scrivenings mode already, you’ll just be opening up the rest of the “document” from around that outline piece you were focussed on.

Yes, as noted that is what Scrivenings is for. To view the text as a whole, simply click on the least indented branch of the outline tree you wish to examine and hit Cmd-1 or View/Scrivenings. If you have the research document loaded this way and use split, it is even done right in the session—it’s all very seamless at that point—you’re just “drawing lines” at important spots in the text, dissecting it.

I think I get what you’re basically asking for at this point, but I can say that the concept of formalised sub-document textual tagging has been brought up in the past, and the developer feels the existing tools are adequate for this, within the scope of what the software intends. Hopefully you can find something that works. There are a lot of things to try: inline annotations to place keyword markers, even linked comments which allow coloured highlights to be annotated, basically.