Comments on pdf/webpage

I’m importing pdf’s and webpages into Scrivener and hoping to make notes on them as I’m researching for a paper. I can highlight text but the comment option is grayed out. Is there some way to add notes/comments to research pdf’s and webpages?

Possibly this is a stupid question, and if so, I apologize. I did look in the tutorial and search the forums before I posted, but then again…it happens. :slight_smile: Thanks.


Not directly, that would have been too complicated to add. There two routes you can take:

  1. The old fashioned way: Use the Inspector Note pane to mark down notes by page number or phrase (for HTML). Advantage: they are all right in front of you and easy to copy and paste or move elsewhere.
  2. Integrate with a full PDF editor. Skim, Preview, and of course Acrobat can be used to edit the PDF file externally. Click the application button in the footer bar to load the PDF out of the project and into an editor. Saved changes will appear when you refresh (note with Skim you want to save as flattened PDF, not using its annotation format). Advantage: the notes are placed contextually and can be viewed externally from Scrivener easily.

Okay, I’ve got Acrobat and I’m reading and commenting/highlighting the document in Acrobat. When I save the file and then import it to Scrivener, I can see my highlights and comments. If I go back to the doc in Acrobat and add more comments, how do I update that in Scrivener? It doesn’t seem to grab the latest changes. Do I need to re-import it or is there a better way?

Thanks, I really appreciate your help.


See Ioa’s (2) above. To elaborate on what he was saying: Once imported, click on the “Open in External Editor” icon in the footer bar below the PDF file to open the PDF file in an external editor such as Acrobat (hold the button down for a list of applications to open it in). Make the changes in Acrobat or wherever, then save and close the file, then click on the “Refresh” button in the footer bar in Scrivener. (When you import, a copy of the file is made in Scrivener, so editing the original file won’t affect the copy that’s in Scrivener.)

All the best,

Ohhhhh…I get it now! Thank you so so much!! This is going to make it so much easier to manage the gajillion pdf’s I have to read.


And if Acrobat is your system PDF default (what you get when you double-click on them in Finder) you can use the Ctrl-Cmd-O shortcut to open it in an external editor.