Creating links for imported text

I’ve been using Scrivener for a few days now and it’s everything I was hoping for in helping me organize my ideas in writing fiction. As a long-time writer, I have a lot of material in MS-Word (PC, v2010) format that I would be looking at bringing into Scrivener.

I read through the FAQ and manual and enabled the auto-correct “[[ ]]” wiki links option… I thought I’d be sneaky and did a global search-replace to find all instances of “glorp” -> “[[glorp]]” and while the text changed, they weren’t converted to links. Not a huge surprise, but it would have been nice.

Is there any automated way to convert hundreds of occurrences of a character name to be links without doing them one at a time? For a name that’s not common, is there any way to have it auto-convert it to a link as I type without having to type the square brackets all the time? I realize you wouldn’t want it to autocorrect a name like “Grace” just in case you were using the word in its natural state, but what about a name like “glorp” since it’s otherwise not in the dictionary anyway?

Sorry for all the questions, but I do have one more small one… Once you make an underlined (not in the dictionary) word into a Scrivener Link, you lose the ability to right-click the word and have the word “Learned” for the dictionary. Is that on purpose or just an oversight?

As far as I know, there’s not a way to speedily do a search/replace to convert certain text to links. Scrivener checks for making the link as soon as you type the closing square bracket, so replacing the text after the fact, or even using substitutions (which don’t kick in until you’ve typed the following space), won’t work. The fastest way I can think to do this is to create a link for the first instance, then select and copy that linked text and choose Edit>Find>Use Selection for Find. Load all your documents into a Scrivenings session, then use Find Next (Cmd-G) to jump to each instance. The search term will be selected, so you’ll just need to paste over it with the linked version (Cmd-V), then skip to the next instance, paste, etc. until you reach the end.

The thing to watch out here for is that you’ll be pasting all the formatting, not just the link, so if you’re using different fonts and sizes, different text alignments, etc. that might sometimes make things look a little off. You can use Documents>Convert>Formatting to Default Text Style to bring everything into sync with your default editor settings (with various options) or else just manually fix the places where it’s really off. If most of your stuff is all formatted the same anyway when you import it, this won’t be much of an issue.

That will give me a good start. Thanks so much for the suggestion! I’ll try and get used to typing with the square brackets, but it’s a new habit I’ll need to remind myself of.

As far as formatting… it’s just text. I could probably do all my typing in TextPad for what it’s worth, but I like Scrivener much better for the tagging and layout capabilities.

Thanks again!