Drop Link

I am assuming it is possible to drop a document on Scrivener and have a clickable link for that document? I can do this with a folder - it allows me to choose an alias. But, as I get more organized working on a project, I want to drag in the documents I am working with external to Scrivener and so far, I can’t.

Yes, I can go to the menu bar and create a link (wont work on the context menu) but that means first I have to use a finder script to create the link, then use the menu bar to past it in and then … I just tried it and the active link isn’t working so … There must be a way to drag and drop an external document link in Scrivener, but how? I tried using option and command and normal drag but, no luck so far. Is there a hidden preference I have not switched on yet or is this just not possible?

There is no feature in Scrivener that would work the way you describe, so maybe there some other third-party utility that you are using that gives you a choice between types of files/folders to open in other applications?

That aside, Scrivener itself does not have the capacity to display the contents of a folder on your disk from within the Binder, as an alias, so if some other utility is giving you that option, I doubt it will do much—when I try manually dragging a folder alias into a binder, I get garbage text.

You must be referring to the File/Import/Research Files as Alias… menu command, but with that command the whole point of it is to create the alias for you. If you do go into Finder and create your own alias, then you don’t need the menu command, you can drop it straight into your project binder directly.

What I meant was that I can already drop a folder on Scrivener and it asks if I want an alias made. In this instance I do and that gives me the name of the dragged folder and an active link to that folder opened.

Shown here:

Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 2.41.13 PM.png

I wanted to see this behavior with a dragged file. It would be convenient to drag a file to a scrivener document and have the file name land that is set to the link to open the dragged file.

What I have now remembered to do is a little cumbersome compared to my suggestion, but not as bad as I was thinking.

I can select some text and use Edit Add Link …

Then all I have to do is select “File” and drag in a file to the blank name box.

Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 2.42.06 PM.png

I see the source of the confusion now! That dialogue box doesn’t really make much sense to me in this context (and I get the same exact result for both the oddly named “Alias” button as well as the “Copy” button). One can have a hyperlink in a text file, like you get with the File/Add Link… command, and yes it can point to files on your computer—but an alias is a specific Mac technology for making a reference to a file in another location. I was confused because Scrivener does support aliases, but in the binder, as links to whole files, not inside a text file.

So dragging folders aside, which seem to be the only entity that triggers this alert, you shouldn’t have any issues creating a link to a file in a text editor by dragging it in. Images will embed themselves into the text file when you drop them though, so you will want to hold down Option while dropping them, to override that behaviour—same goes for when dropping Binder items to cross-reference inside the project. Hold Option to link to the item instead of dumping its contents into the editor.

Also note you can store links in the sidebar for a file as well, rather than in the text editor. The References inspector pane is an area where any kind of URL can go, and as well you can store links to other binder items. So maybe that’ll be easier than trying to use the text editor to store a lot of links. You can drag stuff into the References pane.

Oddly enough, images will not drop as anything but images - option key or not. It was this testing behavior using screenshots on my desktop that made me think this was how it always worked.

Text files on the other hand, option key or not, do drag in as a link. It’s just a little confusing right now but I think … that is what I as asking about in the first place.

I will consider the binder at another time. One of the ways that Scrivener has become important to me is in it’s ability to not only achieve a project like a book but also some complex bit of technical document creation with lots of research and revisions and submissions.

The way my brain works I really need to see things visually laid out. If not I lose track very quickly. Therefore it remains useful to parse links (dropped links) in line with outlines I make for myself to get the work done.

Yeah, that is a little odd, it should be working the way I described. For comparison purposes, I tested with OS X 10.10.5, using Scrivener 2.8, with PNG, PDF and JPG image formats.

There appears to be a cross purpose, possibly it is something that I have going with a key I use for macros. It works now, until it doesn’t. Apple was supposed to have replaced the motherboard on this iMac recently … time to take it back again. Getting grumpy with this iMac. Time to build another hackintosh.