Discontinuous text

I was working on a project and got to thinking that being able to use discontinuous text would really help. The project requires two nearly similar versions and I want to keep the body of the original text and make some modifications to it in another panel using copy and paste of text extracted discontinuously and hoped that this feature might come up sometime in the far distant future - or sooner.

I want to keep the original text using copy and paste of text extracted discontinuously.

A bit like the sample above where the underlined ‘non-contiguous’ or ‘discontinuous’ text then becomes the continuous italicised text pasted into the second document.

Anyway, here’s hoping.

Is that like being able to select more than one block of text at a time?

Hi Rayz,

Yes, it means that you can run over a block of text and highlite just the bits that you want to copy. Then you repeat the process and select another bit of text and so on. When you have all the bits you want selected you then paste the discontinuous bits into a document and they all appear as a single stream of continuous text.

Word processors can do it (well Nisus and Word can).

Nisus calls it non-contiguous text. There is a reference to it here:

nisus.com/NisusWriter/Suppor … Contig.php

Nisus also allows non-contiguopus text in vertical as well as horizontal formats, so you can non-contiguously select bits of tables.

There is a Word example here, just to the left of the text (in pale blue):


Other references to it are here:

developer.apple.com/documentatio … ion_4.html

lists.macromates.com/pipermail/t … 04163.html


You can already do this - it is built into the OS X text system. Just hold down the command key when selecting text after the first selection. It doesn’t do exactly as you wish, because Apple’s implementation would do this with the pasted text:

I want to keep
the original text
using copy and paste of text extracted discontinuously.

ie. It gets pasted with newlines between each text selection. So you will need to do a tiny bit of clean up after you have pasted, but this is Apple’s decision, not mine. :slight_smile:


Brilliant Keith, thanks.

Just tried it in Scrivener and with the Command key still held down at the end of the non-contiguous selections just pushing down on the ‘C’ key copies it.


Not only can many word processors do it – pretty much any Mac application using the text widgets can do it, too! That means, yes, Scrivener already does it. Simply hold down the Cmd key while selecting, just as you would if selecting items from a list.

Edit – Yay for cross posting!