'Escaping' formatting

If I have a file either dragged in or created that I then format/is already formatted, how do I get out of the formatting if I want to write under the document?
For example, I created a table in Project >New Text. Then I wanted to write underneath it but I couldn’t ‘escape’ from the table and had to open a new file to write in. The same when I dragged a PDF document into the Research Folder… it’s a Will in PDF format. I want to write the transcription at the top or the bottom but again, I can’t get out of the formatting to write. I do not want to take the formatting out of the original document.

Probably the easiest way to deal with this is to select everything in the document (CMD-A), cut (CMD-X), add a few empty lines, move the cursor up to the top of the mostly empty document, and paste (CMD-V).

A less risky way is to create a new document after the one you’re having trouble with, add those empty lines, and then merge the two documents by selecting both in the binder and going to Documents->Merge.

… but that only applies to the table question, right? Pdf:s are imported as pdf:s and Scrivener can’t annotate them by adding regular text to them, right?

That’s correct. Scrivener has no ability to edit PDF files.


The first route does sound risky! But thank you. But with PDFs I can’t add empty lines anywhere anyway. I can’t move the cursor to top or bottom to insert a line.
I did try selecting beneath a table and cutting so the formatting disappeared. That didn’t seem to work though I didn’t use the keyboard shortcuts to do it.
I can’t believe it isn’t possible to just move the cursor below the formatted document and write.

It does work for PDFs too.

  • FIRST add some blank lines into the relevant place
  • THEN move the cursor up somewhere among those blank lines and drag/import the PDF there
  • With the PDF in place, move the cursor down to the point below the blank lines and start typing.

With a PDF, there isn’t anything “below the formatted document.” The PDF is a complete, self-contained entity. Your best bet is to put the transcription in either a separate document or the Document Notes area.


OK thanks. Does that apply to tables that I have created as well? I can’t get out of those either.

No, it’s not the same for tables because they’re just ordinary documents, unlike PDFs, but Apple’s table editor facilities are notoriously poor and it’s a bit of a faff. Sometimes you can go into the last cell and just press the right arrow and that will work, sometimes it won’t (depending on whether there are any invisible returns or not).

If the right-arrow trick doesn’t work, then try the following:

Click in the last cell in the table then bring up the Tables dialogue box. Add another row to the table by increasing the row number by one.

Press the down arrow so the cursor is in the newly created row and type any old rubbish. “Apple’s table editor is a blight on its reputation” is satisfying, but a single character will do just as well, just so long as there’s something in the last row.

Keeping the cursor in the last row, use the dialogue box to decrease the number of rows back to the original. Your new line of text should stop being part of the table and just become normal text. Add a couple of returns, just to give yourself some space then go back and delete the temporary rubbish you typed.

Someone will be along shortly to tell you that there’s a much easier way (I hope so!) but I found this way works if nothing else will.

It’s worth pointing out that I tested my PDF solution (creating blank lines first) and it does work.

I’m guessing that you are treating the PDF as an image, i.e. pasting it into a text document?


In my test - yes. If I actually wanted to annotate the PDF with text I’d use Preview first, but if I wanted to carry on typing beneath it in Scrivener, I’d use the “blank lines” method before dragging the PDF into place.