Competing comments and footnotes - expected behaviour?

I love the comments and footnotes feature as “marginalia” in the inspector. I wonder though if the following is expected behaviour of this nifty feature:

  • Write text in editor
  • add footnote for the last word (last word takes the bg-colour of footnotes)
  • fill in footnote in inspector
  • continue on in editor and add space after last word (=footnote-anchor)
  • create inspector comment with no anchor chosen (last word – the footnote anchor – turns to bg-colour of comment)
    – >new comment in inspector appears and the previous footnote is overwritten and gone.

I wonder whether there could be another standard behaviour (possibilities: a prompt to create a new comment anchor when the footnote anchor is about to be overwritten; simple add a comment-anchor to the existing footnote-anchor; warn me about the footnote about to be overwritten etc.)
This cost me a few hard-won footnotes with lots of bibliography – which I had to fish out of time machine afterwards…Thanks for considering,


I’m afraid this is expected behaviour, yes. Comments will get added to the last word, so if there was a footnote there it will overwrite it. You really need to apply the comment to the text you want it applied to, and it cannot be applied to the same text as a footnote. If you do this by accident, though, you can just hit Undo and you’ll get your footnote back, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem in practice.

All the best,

Thanks for responding.

Fair enough. The Undo is great – if I actually notice that I’ve accidentally zapped one of my bibliographical pretties. The last times I only did a good deal later…too late for Undo. I’ll learn to live with it.

If you go to Project > Text Preferences… and tick the checkbox to use the footnote marker, you could get around this by switching the order you make your notes. By using the footnote marker, you can apply a footnote to no text, i.e. with nothing selected you can create a footnote and Scrivener will add a marker (asterisk by default) to the text and apply the footnote to that. So you could write your sentence, create the comment first, which will get applied to the final word, and then create a footnote, which will add a linked asterisk following the final word, leaving the comment untouched. You need to make the comment first, though, as otherwise the same problem will happen as originally, with the comment sticking to the asterisk and overriding the footnote.

Thanks for your suggestion MM. Experimenting with (*) for my footnotes now. This seems preferable for the moment – for the reasons you suggest. Also, I notice that this pleasantly minimizes the visual impact of the footnotes in my text – and perhaps encourages more of a bad habit. :smiling_imp: