Copying in-line notes

I often copy text from in-line notes and paste it into the surrounding text or into another programme. If I use Edit>Paste, the copied text is pasted as an in-line note, and if I use Edit>Paste Plain Text or Paste and Match Style, the copied text is preceded by “[1] + 2 returns + [1] + copied text”. Is this latter result a bug, a feature, or just one of the unavoidable vagaries of computer life? (I had been hoping that it might have changed in v. 2.)


By the way, thanks for making v. 2 available to dinosaurs still running 10.4 on a dual-boot G4.

How are you selecting the note? I’ve never seen this result. If I use Paste and Match Style, the resulting text comes in precisely as-is, sans the formatting of course. No carriage returns around it or anything. But if you are triple-clicking to select the note paragraph, then use that will also copy and paste the carriage returns.

Also do note you can easily toggle note formatting off by selecting the note text and hitting Shift-Cmd-A. If you are just “enabling” text in-place, it might be easier to just do that.

This happens when selecting part of an in-line note by either double-clicking or dragging. Apart from the annoyance associated with simple copying and pasting, I also sometimes select part of a note and hit a keyboard shortcut to search Google, but because of the “[1]” and extra returns, the research results are less than optimal.

These are exported as footnotes, so I don’t really want to turn the note formatting off.

Thanks for your comments,


Ah, footnotes, that is where I got confused. That’s a good point. There is no way to paste the content of a footnote in such a way that it is no longer a note, without having to edit the plain-text footnote formatting that gets generated, or toggling it to normal text first, just to copy it (that shouldn’t be necessary). I only suggested that because I thought you were basically trying to take an inline annotation and turn it into ordinary text.

This is a good point. Really, if you copy text from inside a footnote or annotation, it should get added to the pasteboard as regular text, and only include the tags if it is copied with the text around it. I’ve added this to the list as a refinement for 2.0.1.


I see that this doesn’t seem to have been fixed yet in 2.0.3. Is there any chance of it being fixed at some stage?

Another quirk that I’ve noticed with in-line footnotes is that if one places the cursor at the start of a footnote (inside the footnote) and starts typing, the newly typed text ends up outside the footnote. The only way to add text at the start of a footnote seems to be to select the first character and then start typing. Is there a reason for this behaviour?


The format span is defined with the first character, so if your cursor is in front of that character, it’s not “inside” the formatting. This is the same with other formatting like bold and italic–if you switch to italics and start typing, then go back and place your cursor just before the first italic character and type again, your new text will not be in italics. You’ll see this in TextEdit and so forth; it’s how the OS text system works. I don’t know if there’s a way Keith could get around it or whether it’d really be desirable to do so–there are plenty of instances where you would want to continue typing at the end of your “regular” text without it being dumped into the following footnote or annotation, and since this would be a change from how formatting works across the system I don’t think it would be intuitive to all users.

Just hit cmd-shift-F before adding to the start of the footnote and you’ll be put into footnote mode, merging it with the footnote text already there.

Thanks for explaining that. It hadn’t occurred to me to press cmd-shift-F again to add to the start of a footnote.


Actually, this has been fixed. If you copy from inside an inline annotation or footnote and paste it into another application, you should no longer get the square brackets or footnote formatting (the one exception is plain text - I forgot to deal with footnotes for plain text pastes, but have fixed that for 2.0.5).

Pasting within Scrivener still maintains formatting, as it should - this change just affects copying and pasting to other apps.

All the best,