File linking

Hi there.

Now while the built in Apple text system is a bit…well…pants, it looks as if other bits you paste into documents, from places like Nisus Writer Pro, show up fine.

I wondered if it were possible to link external pastes back to the application that created them. If you double-click on the item then it gets launched in its creator then copied back when you’re done.

It seems that a few Mac applications use a framework at that implements this functionality for them. Perhaps it’s worth looking at since it might be a nice workaround for the poor table support in Apple’s text system: create the table out in Nisus, and then just link it in.

Linkback gets brought up from time to time, but the main problem, as far as I can see, is that it hasn’t been updated since, I believe, 2007 - i.e. pre-Leopard. I’d be wary of using a framework that isn’t being updated, as cool as it seems. That said, some big programs do seem to use it, and it is developed by Nisus, which is a good sign. But I’ve never been able to get it working in any of the apps listed. Could you explain how I could see it in action for myself, say by using Nisus Writer Pro and OmniOutliner for example?
Thanks and all the best,

I could be wrong, but those two are probably just LinkBack clients, which means that Rayz’ “workaround” wouldn’t work with Nisus Writer. You need a LinkBack server application (e.g. OmniGraffle, LaTeXit…) to copy data from. The best way to see this in action is to download the source for LinkBack, which includes two prebuilt applications: Sketch and a LinkBack enabled version of Textedit.

Sorry Keith, seems I spoke to soon. I’ve not managed to get it going with Nisus and a few other apps I’ve downloaded (thought it would work through a simple copy/paste, but the app only came to the front when it was running and the document was blank), and as you say it might be best to avoid something that hasn’t seen an update for so long.

Seemed like a good idea at the time though … :confused:

Just got it to work with EazyDraw and Nisus.

Just create the picture in EazyDraw and then copy/paste it into a Nisus document (I didn’t even have to give it a filename first).

Double-click on the figure in Nisus and it relaunches it in EazyDraw. Make a change to the picture, then close EazyDraw and it asks me if I want to publish before closing.

Say ‘yes’ and the picture is updated in Nisus.

As the other chap said though, Nisus is a client, not a server app so my plan for a table workaround won’t work with Nisus.

A lot more effort than it’s worth I think.

That’s what I thought… It’s a great idea but would have to be implemented by a lot of apps for it to be worth the effort of implementing (I know, I know, it will never take off if everyone has that attitude - but it’s already two years without an update…). Personally, I just wish QuickLook was opened up to developers so it could be incorporated into arbitrary views, but in all of Apple’s wisdom, it ain’t to be… Sigh.

All the best,

Forgive me if I’m asking something too astray from what this thread is focusing on but I have a similar question.

I was wondering if I had a link to a specific part of a program outside of Scrivener, if there was a way to create a link in Scrivener to that location in that program.

Specifically what I mean is that I work Tech Support for a bible software company and some of our users use Scrivener. We have a feature where we can actually create and copy to the clipboard a link (URL, wiki, html, rl) that references a specific location in a specific book within the program. When clicked by that same user or another (if they have the software and same book) the very location in that book will open even if the book or program is not open.

Would this be a situation that would been an updated version of the previously mentioned “LinkBack”?

Thank you.


For that, you should just be able to use Edit > Add Link… This brings up a panel that allows you to enter a URL. You would enter the URL that you have copied to the clipboard (you’ll probably want to change the option to “No prefix”, too).

All the best,

Hi Keith (sorry I wrote Kevin first :frowning: ),
I had tried with just “Web” at first but that just launched my default browser and displayed nothing. Just before posting my original question I tried what you suggested and it just makes that high ding sound that Macs do when you try to do something invalid.

Here is what our URL looks like


As you can see, there is no http: or anything like that. It is because it is supposed to interact with a program that is on the machine locally (where applicable). This is why I suspected the LinkBack framework that was previously mentioned in this thread would have to be implemented (or something akin to it).


As I say, if you select “No prefix” then it won’t add “http” or anything. However, that doesn’t look like a URL to me, and if it’s not a valid URL - file or otherwise - then it won’t work. Linkback would’t work either, though, that’s something different entirely. Where can you use these links?

All the best,

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. This sort of thing works on Windows between a program called “Logos Bible Software”. It is a library software aimed at christians in school or at church that has immense searching/information collating capabilities and has a note feature as well. I work tech support there and some users were wondering if there was a word processor that we could link out of to one of the books because there is an ability to link to a specific section of a book. That is more or less what prompted my question. Recently I’ve discovered the sort of thing works on the Mac by using Devonthink.