Footnotes and Annotations

  1. What purpose do the toolbar footnote and annotation buttons serve?

I added the buttons to my toolbar thinking they would be intuitive for adding footnotes and annotations.
But when I highlight text and press either button, nothing happens in the inspector window.

To actually create an annotation or footnote, I must use key commands or drop down menus.

  1. How can footnotes be compiled at the end of a document/section instead of at end of entire manuscript which is where they’re ending up for me?

I set footnote in Compile window to - Group footnotes: before last page break
I have folders set up for Chapters, and last file in Chapter folders is ‘Notes’.
In Outliner, I have page breaks before each Chapter, but not before each section/file in Chapter folders.
When I compile for Word .doc after installing Java converters, footnotes appear at end of each Chapter like I want, BUT when I compile for PDF, all footnotes appear at end of entire manuscript.

What can I do to make footnotes in PDF appear at end of Chapters?

  1. How can I number footnotes by Chapter and not for entire manuscript?
    I want footnotes with small, 2 digit number. Scrivener is numbering footnotes for entire manuscript which could drive numbering up to 3 digits.
  1. Did you add the correct buttons? There are two ways of jotting down text notes in Scrivener: inline and linked notes. It sounds like you are unfamiliar with how inline notes react, and have added the icons for that feature to the toolbar instead. They work more like bold would. You mark a section of text as being a comment or footnote, right in the text, or toggle it on and off as you type. So it would kind of look like nothing happens in the Inspector—in fact the coloured range in the main text is the note at that point.

  2. In the “Footnotes/Comments” compile option pane, enable “Group footnotes” and select “before page breaks” as the mode of collection.

  3. These features are one and the same, to follow typical printing standards. Grouping changes how things are numbered.

Hi. I have a similar problem with the footnote numbering - I would to reset the numbering at the beginning of each document (which are my chapters). However, I am unable to find the options you speak of in the compile options pane.

So… when I go to compile and then click on the ‘footnotes/comments’ on the left, all I can see is options to remove/export footnotes, formatting, fonts, and there is a box for restarting footnotes for each page, but no box for ‘grouping’. Am I looking in the wrong place?

Surely there must be a way to have footnotes restart at the beginning of each document?

You have to select the right output format. Not every file format supports this feature, and indeed some have no concept of what a footnote is at all (like web pages). To do grouping, you need to use a format that does not otherwise have extensive support for footnote and endnotes already (which rules out all of the complex word processing formats, if you are using one of those, you would be better off doing your final formatting in the word processor anyway, these other options are for those that do not have that luxury). So PDF, Print (which is based upon PDF), RTFD, TXT, etc. You can just go down the list of formats and check the options available in this pane to see which are supported.

Since “document” really doesn’t have a built-in meaning, no. A single section of a book may be composed of one or 300 documents. Again, if you have complicated formatting requirements it’s best to work on the final output in a layout program. Scrivener has some options for convenience, but it’s not really designed for publishing and couldn’t provide every possible thing that one would need to do in a word processor (well, at least not without having a compile pane that had 500 pages of documentation all to itself. :slight_smile:)

All of the formats that allow you to group footnotes end up putting all the footnotes at the end of the chapter, rather than on the page that they are cited.

My formatting requirements are not complicated - not at all. Everything looks fine when I hit compile, but my footnotes run up to 400 which just looks silly. If I number by the page that looks silly too. Standard academic practice is to number by the chapter, but it seems Scrivener does not allow me to do that.

I’ve spent three years writing this PhD thesis, and throughout I have proclaimed loudly to my colleagues what a dream it is to use. But I have to say, the lack of flexibility in handling footnotes leaves me frustrated. I realise that Scrivener is not designed as a word processor, or to do final formatting. But re-numbering all of my footnotes in a word processor is going to be extremely time consuming and cumbersome. A simple button to say ‘footnote numbering restarts each document’ would solve a lot of problems, even if it’s not appropriate for the way all users use Scrivener. I feel like Scrivener has let me down at the final hurdle. After three years of hard work, that’s frustrating to say the least.

I think I might not be explaining myself clearly, there is no need to renumber your footnotes. That is precisely why we are free to leave this open-ended for the heavy-duty word processor formats. When you compile to RTF (or one of the formats converted from RTF, like DOCX with the improved converters), all Scrivener does is insert the footnote code right in that spot in the text, wrapped in the footnote code for doing so {\footnote kind of like this}. That’s it. What happens when you load that in program like Word is up to Word. By default it will show the text of it at the bottom of the page, linked to a number that is placed where the {\footnote code was inserted}, and number them sequentially from 1 to 400, but since the numbers are not encoded into the actual footnote itself (those are generated on the fly by Word), you have complete liberty to cut those into sections to keep the numbers manageable, if that is what your style guide calls for, &c.

Now, if you compile to a format that does have some of Scrivener’s convenience features, like RTFD, then yes you would have to laboriously go through and change all of those numbers by hand, because RTFD does not support footnotes. We have to fake it, printing the numbers in there—and since we are faking it, we can do some fancy stuffy like grouping them into page breaks. But as you can see, this comes at a cost because they are no longer actually footnotes at all, just numbers and text printed on the page. You have to like it just like it is, or suffer hours and hours of reformatting.

If you’re using RTF and Word (or similar), then you have complete post-processing control. That is why I called it a luxury. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply Amber. I can understand a little better how this is all working now.

Still, if it were possible to add a ‘footnote numbering restarts each document’ button in a future version of Scrivener, I think many academic users would find that very useful. Maybe that’s not technically possible, I have no idea, but it would be great if it were.

Scrivener should be the writing tool of choice for all academics. It’s so perfect for handling research and large scale projects. I fear footnote issues in general probably put many academics off, which is a real pity.

Oh there is no debate over whether or not it would be nice, it all comes down to technical difficulty, and how much gain or flexibility you get with the most feasible amount of coding from our end. I didn’t go into that aspect, but this seemingly simple request would in fact probably require many months of solid development as large chunks of what you see in Scrivener would have to be reinvented from scratch. We’re using a text engine provided by Apple, and we can patch a great deal on top of it, but this sort of patching is somewhat fragile and has its limitations. To get any deeper, we could no longer use Apple’s shoulders to stand on. That is in fact a problem that the Windows port ran into. They didn’t have anything like Apple’s text engine to work with, and had to do much of this from scratch. Consequently the “Scrivener” features are slower in coming, but most people don’t realise the main reason for that is that they spent nearly a year and a half building the absolute basics like bold and bullet lists.

I do agree that it takes a little adjusting to, in terms of perspective. We’ve grown used to these huge programs like Word, WordPerfect and OpenOffice that do just everything you can imagine when it comes to laying out text, so the concept of delegating work out to different pieces of software is foreign to many—and yes it is a pity that many would dismiss a tool merely because it does not go all the way to the proverbial ‘Z’, especially since the output can get to ‘Z’ in another program with minimal effort. But times are changing. I think more people are becoming aware of how constricting it is to go from A to Z in something that is really more designed to handle X Y and Z, and are looking for better options to take over the rest. That goes for all forms of writing, not just academic work, I’d say. It is an interesting time for writers and their relationship with the tools they use.

So that is where we are coming from. Give the author a powerful set of drafting tools with enough export power to be malleable once you are done, so that the finished work can be polished off with only the necessary hassle they would have to do anyway, wrangling endnotes into sections and so forth, in a program that is adept at doing so (but not so much all of the rest).

But all of that theory aside: congratulations on the achievement of getting your opus to this point, by the way!

I have written a bunch of research papers, reports and three large biographies in Scrivener. The final products have displayed footnotes in many different ways, but I haven’t worried about that at the time of writing. Mostly because I usually have no idea how I or the journal or more importantly, the publisher, eventually will want to organise footnotes for the printed layout of my work.

So I tend to view the way footnotes are presented as formatting that I simply don’t want to deal with during the writing phase of the project. I just add the footnotes as I go (I prefer the inline kind), focusing only on text and where in the actual text I want the reference to a footnote. Thus, I only start thinking about how the footnotes are organised (as endnotes, as footnotes, divided by sections, sorting, etc) after I have exported into .doc or RTF-format.

If you’re coming from the world of Word and its focus on WYSIWYG, this might seem an odd approach. However, once you get used to it, it comes very natural. To me, and I believe many others, Scrivener is a text production tool, not a text formatting tool. Let Word deal with that.

Thank you to ‘lwd’ and ‘AmberV’ for your discussion regarding footnote numbering in exported documents. I have only been exporting for review so far, but was beginning to wonder how to deal with numbering of footnotes in the 100s+. It sounds like it will be easy enough to do in Word.

I have done all of my writing before this year in Word, including a dissertation, journal papers, and my first book. I had started my second book in Word, then heard about Scrivener through a freelance journalist. This book, especially, is footnote-intensive, but it took almost no time to become accustomed to the conventions of Scrivener (the tutorials also very helpful). I can say enthusiastically that Scrivener is truly a dream; it solves every problem I had with composing a lengthy, research-intensive document in Word; so much more efficient for structuring, navigating, revising.

In olden times, 20-25 years ago, I used to write manuscripts by hand and then type into a word processor, because the interface was so clunky. Coming from Word to Scrivener is as dramatic a change as going from the old greenline, command-driven, non-windows word processor to Word. Scrivener supports the writing process. As ‘chefpogo’ observed, in the pre-publication phase the formatting doesn’t really matter. Maintain perspective and enjoy this great program for what it is!

Thanks for the testimonial, kmc!