Categories for Annotations

I’m working with a group on a project. I seek to create different sets of annotations for different team members.

For instance: imagine a screenplay, in which there are several characters. I’d like to embed in the script inline and external annotations for each actor; and to be able compile versions of the script for each actor that have only the annotations relevant to his/her character

I’m new to Scriviner, so may be missing something about how it works; it’s a very deep program. But I think this would require two new bits of functionality:

{1} A means to apply labels, keywords, color, or some other kind of metadata to annotations

{2} A means to select which to show at compile-time. E.g. currently one can opt to include or exclude footnotes and annotations; would be great if this were slightly expanded to allow the user to specify which sets of footnotes and annotations, by label/keyword.

Related (*though perhaps independently useful):

{3} It would be great to have a means to show/hide annotations while working with a doc – when annotations are extensively used, it can get hard to read the main body of the text. (*this feature might already exist; sorry if i missed it.) Of course if the annotation-label functionality above were added, would be great to be able to show/hide by label.

Thanks for a great product, & best wishes –

These are all document-based forms of meta-data, there is no way to attach them to specific bits of text within the editor, just like a Finder tag cannot be applied to a spot inside of an image, or a phrase of text in a PDF.

I’m not sure if this fits in with how you work, but I categorise annotations by using text prefixes, such as “XREF//” to indicate that I should cross-reference to another section from this point once it exists. The double-slash is a status indicator useful for project searches, in that once I’ve addressed the annotation, if I do not wish to delete it for whatever reason, I can remove the slashes and thus “nullify” it from showing up in searches.

Note also that colour can be meaningful in terms of retrieval. The Edit/Find/Find by Formatting… menu command can search for inline annotations, and can selectively only find those with a certain colour or text string (handy with the prefix system described above).

:arrow_right: There will be something coming along in the next major upgrade that would suit this way of working, at least for inline ranges of text. For sidebar comments and footnotes, nothing is changing along those lines.

Indeed it would be! Unfortunately the text editor component we are using does not have a mechanism for hiding and revealing text like that. We’ve even taken it to Apple to see if they could figure it out, and any method that could possibly achieve this end would cause corruption in the undo stack—which obviously cannot be sacrificed.

Thanks, Amber, for the informative reply.

It’s great that there may be a future feature to somehow tag inline comments, and to use these tags to select content for inclusion/exclusion at compile-time.

In my case, though, this won’t work unless comments can be toggled on/off when viewing the document — the main text will become too hard for me to read with all the comments displayed all the time.

On the other hand; your suggestion to use text-prefixes or text-color to tag external notes (footnotes) is great — but if these tags can’t be used to select/deselect content at compile time, I’m again stuck.

…This in mind, I wonder if you have any suggestions for how to best use available features to accomplish my aim:

I seek to create a document, with context-specific comments for collaborators — where the goal is to provide specific comments to specific collaborators, rather than sharing all notes with all collaborators?

Remember that a “document” in Scrivener can be as granular as you like, all the way down to a sentence or two.

So one alternative would be to put comments in separate (Binder) documents, immediately following (or hyperlinked to) the text to which they apply. Use keywords to tag each comment, and then use a Collection based on the keywords as the basis for the Compile command.


The best solution I can think of is to come back around to one of my earlier comments on how Scrivener’s meta-data features are exclusively outline item based. Being that this is an outliner and that one can then chop up text into much smaller chunks than they ordinarily would, the working text itself could be split up much smaller, allowing for comment nodes to be interspersed between them, as separate outline nodes. As separate nodes, we can now consider such things as keywords and colour labels, and through the various mechanisms of selection and Scrivenings editing sessions, create “views” of the text that include or exclude ranges of comment by type (commenter), as well as create rules in the compiler to exclude these forms of text from the constructed output.

I’ve attached a little tutorial project that demonstrates the concept, both from a usage and compile standpoint. It may not work for you as-is, but hopefully it gives you some ideas, or at least shows you some new tricks that could be used for other things entirely, if the idea as a whole doesn’t appeal to your group. :slight_smile: (83 KB)