Bidirectional links within a single Scrivener project

Hi all, I looked up about with “two-way links” and “bidirectional links” in the forum but all references took me to Scapple. :frowning:

Is it possible to create a bidirectional link in Scrivener?

I mean, may I create a link in document A which refers to document B, and simultaneously obtain a link in document B that refers to document A? Or do I need to create two different links, on separate steps?

What I’m trying to do is to manage a sort of to-do list and cross-reference tool. I have a list of documents in chronological order in one place (i.e. each part of the character’s bio, document A) and I’m willing to mark it “completed” when I’ve covered that part on the manuscript (document B), knowing exactly where I did it (on the manuscript the order is not chronological, so I cannot just rearrange the documents and move them to the manuscript as in-line notes, synopsis or something like that.)

I was thinking that the existence of a bidirectional link in a document would easily allow me to check if that topic is covered already or not, as well as to allow me to move back a forth between the chronological order and the manuscript order.

Or maybe there’s a better “Scrivener way”?

Many thanks in advance,

I think the native Scrivener way to accomplish this would be via a Collection. A collection allows you to juxtapose and associate documents without moving them from their home positions in the project.

Whether the pairings are Origin/Destination, Objective/Deliverable, Product/Customer or Raw Material/Finished Good, the principle is the same. You’re trying to match Type A’s with Type B’s.

So you would give each “A” an individual document title, and drag it into your collection. The “A’s” should have a common label for a distinct color tag. Then drag the “B’s” that associate with an “A” into position beneath it, and make sure that these too share a distinct label and color tag. Then traverse the collection top to bottom to make sure the docs are matched up nicely, and to double check on the pieces that are missing.

Hope to hear how you finally approach this problem and how it works out.

Rgds – Jerome

Sorry, JJSlote , I don’t quite get it yet. You mean a single collection to keep all the A-B associations?

The problem I see with that is that associations are not always 1 to 1. A document A may be associated with B and C at the same time…

Actually we do have a planned feature for this that might do everything you need—I know it certainly does for me, and I’m a rather heavy user of two-way linking. What I’m describing would create a Reference in the inspector, back to anything that points from a linking item. So if you create a Scrivener Link in a text file, then the thing you linked to will have a Reference pointing back to the item you added the link in. Likewise if you drag your own Reference from one thing to another, back-links will be created. What it effectively accomplishes is a list of back-links in the sidebar for any item. You can at glance see anything that has linked to it over time.

Collections do address a broad range of workflows, this is true, but yes in cases where item C has been linked to by six other items, and C is only one of fifty things you are tracking, I think the power that Collections provides would be too diffuse to be useful. What you would effectively need is a special collection for each item—which, when you think about it is References, to come full circle, which at the moment must be maintained by hand.

Indeed, Document References allow for recurrence. And a single document can support all these references centrally, provided the A’s and B’s are color coded. Sounds like a thing to try.

Yes, tha’s exactly what will work for me too. Looking forward to it!

Thank you very much. On the meantime, I guess I’ll experiment with References.

Best regards,

Just to wrap this up, References did the trick for me, even though I have to maintain them by hand.

But on the other side I learned how to use collections to manage another aspect I wanted to grasp, which is character dialogue tracking.

Thank you very much, JJSlote and AmberV. Both of your suggestions lead me to something useful!

Best regards,