Directly making notes while writing manuscript

I hope I am posting in the correct place.

Doesn’t Scrivener have a feature where, while you are writing your manuscript, and you think of something, you can type a period (and another key) and type that particular thought as a note immediately (without leaving the manuscript)? These notes are smaller in font size than the manuscript font.

I looked through the tutorials and the manual but cannot locate the feature so I can use it. I’m pretty sure I used this in Scrivener. I don’t want to use the sidebar for quick thoughts - I find this too distracting.

I’d appreciate if anyone can help. Thank you.


Cmd-Shift-A (in the Mac version) toggles inline annotations on or off. I use annotations all the time for things like “check quote” or “blah blah look up how this thingy actually works.”


PS I split your post off to a new thread to avoid confusion with the original Timeline topic.

And of course in Scrivener there are the Document Notes and Project Notes.

Personally, when getting a random idea while working on other things, I just write it down on a piece of paper, and then put it in the right place at the end of the day. Works perfectly for me.

But if you don’t like making notes on pieces of paper, you might consider a nifty little program like Noteaway. It’s free and very easy to use. I find it very convenient.

What about the Scratch Pad (‘Window > Show Scratch Pad’)? Never used it myself, but that’s where I’d put random thoughts I needed to be able to refer to later. You could set up a shortcut to that if there isn’t one already.

Mr X

Thanks everybody.

Katherine, that works for Windows too. I really needed that. When I am writing, I don’t like to go to another window. I do use the document sidebar for setting up what I am about to work on. During writing, those thoughts are fleeting and right at that moment, is when I want to insert that necessary thought before it is gone.

As for Noteaway, it works only for Mac users. My friends appreciated that tip!

I have tried Scratchpad and find it a little distracting.

Thanks again for all the help. I can continue writing!

As did I - an app for which the word “nifty” was invented. Thanks, Timotheus.

Just cruising around, setting up stuff in my new computer, and decided to check out the forum when I set up Scrivener. I didn’t know about this feature in Scrivener, but am sure glad I came across it. I will be using it a lot, because that’s how I think as I write. For decades using Word, I have used XXX to alert the onset of one of these little brainstorms. Then I know right where they are and could just do a search for XXX (I never use Roman Numerals, so no conflict). My coworkers thought I was nuts because Word of course has the comment bubbles. They drive me nuts. Now will find out what the Win version of Command/whatever is so I can use Scrivener instant notes! Thanks already!

Neshobe, aka Annie

On Windows, Ctrl-Shift-A will allow you to immediately start typing an inline annotation. You could also use Ctrl-F4 to create a comment that will show in the Comments & Footnotes tab of the Inspector pane. This would allow you to have the immediacy of the comment (along with it remembering its place in the text) but keep the editor text free of extraneous blurbs. I’m pretty sure you can’t hide inline annotations, so if you want an uncluttered workspace with quick access to your comments, the second method might be the way to go. It’s all about what you prefer to see while you’re writing and editing.