Bookends and Scrivener (again)

I am curious what the users of Scrivener and Bookends have found to be the best way to handle your references — considered as sources — in Scrivener. Do you put some kind of link or other reference to your sources in the reference section in the binder, or do you just pop straight over to bookends when you need to consult a source? What have you found is the most efficient way of using the two together?

Use the automatic linking to the Bookends database. In the ‘Scrivener Preferences —> General’ set ‘Bookends’ as the ‘Bibliography Manager’, and in the ‘Bookends Preferences —> General’ set ‘Scrivener’ as the ‘Wordprocessor’ (leave the ‘Creator = scrv’) alone.

When you’ve done that, Cmd-Y in Scrivener will take you to your Bookends bibliography; choose your reference and Cmd-Y takes you back to Scrivener, dumping a reference code — it looks like this: {Chao, 1948, #31610} — where your cursor is, in a Footnote or in the main text. When you compile, and I think RTF is best for this, you run the Bookends ‘Biblio —> Scan Document’ over the file and it will turn that into a proper citation and make the bibliography of all the citations for you.

I haven’t used it for a while, so if you need to include the page number in your citation, you’ll need to look in Bookends how to do that. Also note that Nisus Writer Pro, Mellel and presumably Word have the hooks to allow you to do the scanning from within the wordprocessor without having to invoke Bookends scanning separately.

You put your Bookends database anywhere that is practical for you and Bookends, not within the Scrivener project’s Reference Folder. My database is in the Cloud so I can access it from either of my computers.


Edited to put in a missing )

Mr X

Thank you. When working on a particular project, how do you incorporate Bookends into the ref section of Scrivener or do you not hook them up there. Do you just put stuff that is not in BE in the ref section of the binder, for example stuff in DTOP that you do not have in BE. Cheers!

Bookends handles the citations and bibliography; I should think any text from a document of any sort you that you need to refer to while writing you would need to put in the reference folder in some form, or quote within your writings. Bookends, Sente and the others merely give you a way of managing citation details and bibliography. I have to say that my use of Bookends has only been for that; others may be able to contribute more.

As for DTPO — I did purchase DTP, though I have never got to grips with it and it was excessive to my needs — other people on the forum will be able to help you with that, as there are people who have considerable experience with DTPO, and also Tinderbox if that’s of any interest. You should do a search of the forums for DTPO as it has come up in a number of threads. If you want more direct response, start a separate thread on DTPO, as its users here may use Endnote, Zotero, Papers or other bibliography managers, and not pay too much attention to this thread on Bookends.


Mr X

Again pertinent advice and once again I must thank you. I do appreciate you time and I will probably do the search as you recommend and then possible start a thread once I have looked at what is there. Thank you again for your time. Cheers!

My pleasure.


FWIW, I use BE12, DTPO and Scrivener.

Trying to finish off my PHD this side - and so went through your exercise a while back - so figure I’ll wade in with some thoughts… 8)

I only use BE for my referencing purposes. And to generate my automatic bibliography. The annotation/notes/tag-cloud features look interesting, and might actually work quite well!

But to be honest, I don’t really have the time/inclination to change what’s working for me currently, so I haven’t really looked at them at all. If I were to aim one complaint at BE, it would be that the manual is not the most user-friendly of documents. I have stumbled across features after several months, that have made massive differences to the usability of BE, that were missed completely due to my not appreciating what was being explained/implied in the Manual. That being said - as mentioned, my approach to BE has simply been to get it to do what I need it to, and not much else. When my dissertation is done, I’ll roll up the sleeves proper, and give it a good go again - maybe then my view will change. Regardless, it remains a very stable programme, and it does what I need it to, without hassles - so I’m happily going to stick with it!

I am heavily invested in DTPO, as my information manager. All my PDFs are inside of it, together with extensive annotation notes. In conjunction with my iPad, where I do plenty of annotation as well (Goodreader <> DTTG), I have all my bases covered. DTPO 3 is apparently going to have some serious changes across the board, and is something many of us are looking forward to.

Scrivener is where I create all my writing - before (as late as possible), compiling into Word, to be sent off to my supervisor, chapter by chapter.

The way I look at it, I’m using a specific tool for a specific task - and not relying on one or two, to try and do several things. Jack of all trades - master of none etc. So in short, DTPO remains my database manager that I use to unlock my library, and find everything (and since every item is searchable, this obviously helps things tremendously) - BE takes care of my footnoting and bibliography - Scrivener takes care of the creation, and Word the final formatting.

I pull everything together using a combination of Keyboard Maestro, ActionsApp for iPad, and Alfred (with Powerpack). Between these three, it’s really a non-issue about where things are kept, since I am able to jump between/pull in info from anywhere, seamlessly, with my fingers seldom having to leave the keyboard in most cases… Of course, it helps that I virtually always only work on my MBP connected to a 24" external monitor - that certainly makes things easier when it comes to using OSX’s virtual spaces. Were I have to been forced to operate solely off a 13" (or heaven forbid, 11") screen, things might have been different.

But since I don’t, I pretty much leave everything in their respective programmes. For those occasional situations where I might be referring heavily to one article, I might pull it in to Scrivener’s research folder, and then split view - to assist in the writing with the source being right there. As soon as I’m done, that article gets deleted again - I don’t really like having a bloated research folder, and at most - will only ever have 1/2/3 articles in there, at any given time. I realise that many people use the Research folder extensively, but due to my use of DTPO, it’s never really been necessary for me.

Question: Since you can annotate a PDF in BE is there a reason why your PDFs are in DTPO rather than BE since you could have DTPO index the Bookends PDF folder? Or is this a hangover from when BE could not annotate PDFs? Thanks for all the information. Also, may I take it that you find the rest of the features of Scrivener more helpful than a WP like NIsus and Mellel even though you do not use the research part of the binder?

Once again thank you the information!

Apologies for the delay in my reply – I now realise I wasn’t subscribed to this, and so never saw your question.

I became heavily invested inside DTPO prior to my focus shifting properly to BE12 – but despite that, DTPO as an information manager will take plenty to beat, in terms of feature-set and functionality. The ease with which one can generate links between different files, the ability to create Replicants or Duplicates, the superior search functionality, and DTPO’s AI features (See Also & Auto-Classify) trumps what might be available inside a Reference Manager, imo.

I guess, coming back to what was said earlier – I used DTPO to manage my information, and BE to manage my citations/references. BE could certainly perform an adequate task of the former – and this might be more than enough for most people – but I prefer to use specialist/focused software, for specialist tasks.

That, and I still don’t find the BE manual etc. to be very easy to get into – the ‘point-of-entry-friction’ has been a not-insignificant reason behind why I haven’t switched things.

Regarding Scrivener over Mellel – spent several minutes looking around on my laptop now – think I’m starting to lose my memory! :slight_smile:

I was convinced I had purchased and downloaded NWP, but turns out the only other WP I can find on my machines, is Mellel – so must be that one then!

Mellel is on the back burner at the moment, for the simple reason that between Scrivener and Word, I’m pretty much covered in terms of finishing my dissertation. When it’s done – and I no longer need to send anything of mine to a supervisor etc., who only has MS Word, then I will start exploring Mellel properly. My brief time spent skimming through the manual, certainly suggests it could completely replace my using Word – but that will only be confirmed in due course.

I am comfortable in my use of Scrivener at the moment – and the long-promised release of Scrivener for iOS being imminent, means it will probably be unlikely I would ever abandon it to return back to only using Word/Mellel…

Hope the above helps!