Bi-Directional Linking

I use the linking features extensively and the Bookmarks options works great. My requirement is:

  1. Suppose, I have written something in Chapter 3. I will be writing a SEPARATE chapter later on, say chapter 7, when I want to be reminded that I have mentioned this in passing in Chapter 3.
  2. As of now, I add a Bookmark and then drag that into my manuscript for chapter 7.
  3. Is there a way I can make two-way link, so that both these things happen automatically once I link from chapter 3? I don’t want to compile it, just for my reference. But when I open the chapter 7 manuscript for finalization, the link will take care of the rest.

I was wondering if there is any manner to create bi-directional links so that I can skip step number 2 above?

For one thing, there is a compile option that can strip all such links out of the document, leaving you free to use them purely for the writing process. So if putting a link on a sentence or phrase to another section is what works best for you, and you don’t need cross-references (which unfortunately also use links, so you have to choose), then go for it.

As for the other note, have you had a look at “chapter 7” yet? It should already have a bookmark pointing back to “chapter 3”. Unless you switched off the default settings in the Behaviors: Document Links preference pane, both bookmarks and internal links create “back-link” bookmarks pointing back from the target.

You’re right, I understood what I was doing wrong, I had to select Chapter7 when I close the second ] - thanks. Sounds pretty dumb of me, now that you point it out!

I had another query, you may want to move it to another topic and answer it - when I am using the Scratchpad, there is a title that I give to the note that I put in the pad. When I append this to a chapter, is there some way I will know when I am reviewing the chapter that I have inserted it from the scratchpad? And what is the use of the ‘title’ to the scratchpad note. It doesn’t seem to show up anyplace.

Sorry, I seem to be doing something wrong with the linking. I am attaching screenshots, just tell me what it is.

  1. I create a link to a piece of text and write [[link]]. It asks me for link to new or existing. Suppose I say new and suppose I say existing, I get a new subfolder which says link - when I open it, it doesn’t show me the text that I wanted to link. How can I do that, should I copy the text in the popup window?

  2. What it does is that shows all my Bookmarks from a particular sub folder as well.
    and if I create a new one, it shows the words link to and when I click it shows something totally irrelevant. Screenshot 2021-09-18 at 17.38.39

    Screenshot 2021-09-18 at 17.38.00
    Screenshot 2021-09-18 at 17.37.44

  3. I am attaching 4 screenshots, one is for my preferences panel and three for what I have described above,

True to their name document links are links to documents not links to specific spans of text within documents. The doc created when you said new is called ‘link’ because that is the phrase you put in the brackets. And you just told Scriv to create a new doc with that name, so you should not be surprised that the document has no textual content!

No issues with that, that still doesn’t answer my other questions.

I am not fully understanding what it is you are wishing to accomplish. Maybe it would help better to show a screenshot of what you want to see happen, creating that result by hand, rather than what you are getting. Your screenshots all look normal to me. You create a link to something, the window opens for the new text item that is named the link text by default (though as you see you can use your own title upon creation), and you type stuff into the window—or copy and paste if you prefer. What you put in the new item you linked to is entirely up to you. The software will assume nothing.

I’m also a little confused by what you’re referring to as a “subfolder”. The New Link command would never create a folder, all it does is create new text entries.

  1. I am referring to the folder named ‘link to’ under the Art of Selling 8 chapter.
  2. That text in the other screenshot ‘searching for the marginal seller’ is not copied and pasted by me, I don’t know how it shows up. So, next time I’ll copy and paste the text that I want linked. Correct?

Alternatively, I’ll tell you what I want to do. I have a text say ‘abc’ in chapter 1. I know that this ‘abc’ is relevant for what I’ll be writing in chapter 5. When I start writing chapter 5, I want to be reminded that I’ve written something about it in chapter 1. So, I want to create a link. Tell me exactly how I should do this? Nice I put the second ], should I select existing or create new? And then should I copy that text into the window that opens? And when I go to chapter 5, it should show only this one reference and any others that I may have created, but as of now it shows me this one plus all the bookmarks that I’ve created. I hope I’ve been able to make myself clear.

Okay, I’m still not sure, but I will explain how I would do something like I think you want, and hopefully that will help. If it is not quite right, you can say what is wrong with it.

So I am writing in chapter 1 and I think of something I need to talk about in chapter 5, but I am not ready to write chapter 5—I am working on chapter 1. How I make the link depends on the situation:

  • If there is a word or phrase in the text that explains things well enough, then I put [[ brackets ]] around it. This makes the link.
  • If I want to describe why I made the link for myself, or use another phrase that won’t be anything the reader sees, then I will insert an inline annotation (Insert ▸ Inline Annotation) and type the [[link text]] into the annotation bubble. It will be stripped out when I compile, so I can say whatever I want, and use whatever text for the clickable link.

Whichever approach I take, if Chapter 5 does not exist yet, I create a new item, and probably name it by what that chapter will be about rather than whatever phrase I used to link.

On the other hand if I have moved on to working in chapter 3, and think of another thing I need to talk about in chapter 5, it already exists because I created it when working on chapter 1. So in that case, I use the same exact two options depending on whether it will be a linked phrase in the text or an inline annotation.

The difference is that instead of using brackets, which creates links to items by name, I select the text I want to link, and then drag the item in from the binder, onto the selection, to link to it. (Obviously if the binder title for “chapter 5” is text I want to use in the link, then I can use brackets.)

Note that if the binder gets large and you can’t always see what you want to link to, the Quick Search tool (where you can drag search results into the editor to link them) and the Copyholder tool (where the icon can be dragged) are both great tools for making links. In large projects I use one of those two exclusively in fact, as the binder is rarely the best choice once you have more than a hundred or so entries in it. Copyholders are great if you are linking to a particular place from numerous different spots in the draft.

And again, once you create a new document or navigate to it with some notes for what you need to write there, that’s up to you to do. It seems like you are expecting Scrivener to add notes to the link target for you, but I don’t understand how it would know what you want to talk about. And again I use inline annotations to jot down notes at the top. By the time I get to writing Chapter 5, I may have a bunch of notes from different areas of the book already.

I am referring to the folder named ‘link to’ under the Art of Selling 8 chapter.

Oh okay, we would refer to that as a text item or “document”. A subfolder would be to create, with Project ▸ New Folder, a folder indented inside of another folder. It has a different icon and by default works a little different from text items that are nested.

That text in the other screenshot ‘searching for the marginal seller’ is not copied and pasted by me, I don’t know how it shows up. So, next time I’ll copy and paste the text that I want linked. Correct?

I have no idea how that is happening that case. This is not something you have ever typed in yourself? Do you perhaps have Document Templates added to this project? I’d look through them and make sure none have this text in it.

But yeah, like I say, what you type into the editor is up to you. Whether you copy and paste from somewhere else or type it. Scrivener has no idea what you want to put into new files.

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I didn’t understand the above. Everything else is very clear. Thanks a ton

I would try what I describe, if it does not make sense. It may be more clear if you see the result. Try dragging a binder item into the editor. Then try dragging into a text selection. Now you see the options you have in addition to bracket links.

Ok. I tried it and yes I am now pretty clear about the concept. Thanks - I am a bit of a slow learner it looks like!

No worries at all, it is not about being slow or fast always, but sometimes how it is explained. I have to try and find how to explain things in better ways sometimes.