footnotes and bibliography programs?

I started using scrivener about 2 weeks ago and need some basic information. I am writng a history of my ancestors which I will eventually have published ( self of course) for my children and grandchildren etc.So this is a historical piece and I will need footnotes and a bibliography so future generations can delve in more deeply if they wish. I haven’t written anything since college in the seventies
What I have done so far is research on one line of the family. Anything I found online I dragged into the research section of scrivener. I figured out how to label and use notes, keywords etc.Now before I forget I want to write my draft of this particular family line. That is where I run into footnote and bibliography questions. I emailed scrivener support about this and Keith got right back to me with a lot of help. Nice to know there is great support for this product. He explained how to use footnotes in scrivener and suggested I try one of the 3 popular bibliography programs, Sente, Bookends and Endnote. I wonder which one is best for a 58 year old hobby writer such as myself? On my mac I have Word 2004 as well as Pages 09. I have Office 2007 on my PC in xp. I also wonder if, for my use, I should skip these programs and just do the bibliography myself.I have just ordered the new Kate Turabian manuel for writers of research papers to refresh myself on footnotes and bibliographies

Any suggestions?

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You may stick with the tools you’re using, but I would recommend switching to a Mac program that’s designed to record family history.

The most highly rated one is Reunion 9 by Leister:

Footnotes and bibliography are a cinch. You may also import GED files written by others. Store web links, research notes, anything you want. You may add persons to the family tree, discover links between them, and analyze the data for patterns (such as average length of life, which can be scary).

You may also publish a web site version of your data and update it as needed. Download a copy and try it in demo mode (limit 50 people) until you purchase.

I’ve used Reunion for years and highly recommend it.

thank you. Actually I have everything about the family going back to the 13th century in paper charts done by my father in the eighties. Recently my sister and I put all this data into Also I am a DAR member and so I am quite familiar with family ancestry programs.

I want to go beyond the charts and data. While trying to find exact proof of relation for the DAR I came across many of these important people in books. There are wonderful stories. Who knew that one ancestor founded New Haven and there is today still a athletic field named after him at Yale? Or that a famous battle with the Brits was fought on a bridge named after the family? OR that there is a tiny town in NY named after one of these people in the same family? And that is just one line and a few people. I recently found out I have southern blood too and that my family owned a plantation with slaves. Being a Northerner all my life I was shocked. There is a ton of stuff I need to write about for this side of the family. Like one fellow who was a doctor was killed in his buggy going to see a patient when a tree fell on him. I plan on going to see and take picture of all the sites I can find, including gravestones and old houses. So I want to put all this rich information into a book.

I plan to write the book in scrivener, then send with pictures etc in RTF file to some word processor and there have my footnotes and bibliography included. I will include ancestry charts in the back of the book simply for reference. I plan to do a chapter on each family name that was a patriot in the Revolutionary war( I have 5),plus other lines that are offshoots of these patriots I will start with the emigrant ancestor for that line and work up to my father. Then I have to do a chapter on my mother’s side even though they don’t go as far back

So this why I wanted to know which bibliography program would work for my needs. Thanks again

You should search the forum for BookEnds and EndNote.
I prefer EndNote, for reasons often explained in previous posts.

PS: I admire your excitement about the family history.
But you may find that not everyone in the family cares.
Sad but true, alas. :frowning:

Thanks, druid. Since I last posted I spent the better part of yesterday reading about Bookends, Sente and Endnote etc. I also looked at each of these programs online last night while watching the Olympics. I have come to the conclusion that I should try the free versions of Bookends and Sente and see which is best for me. Endnote seems too expensive for my use right now.

I don’t now whether I missed it on the scrivener site but it should be made clear that nonfiction writers will generally need to have a separate reference program as well as a word processor. As a complete newbie to this whole thing( as are other people I read about in the forums) it just isn’t clear regarding all the steps involved. A tutorial or video on this subject would be most helpful and would save everyone new to this a whole lot of time reading these forums etc. This would then save a lot of repetitive queries like mine from occurring.

As for my family not wanting to read about the history, I say these things change as they get older. When my father told me about our background I barely noticed. I was too busy working and raising a family. But now I am into it.

Anyway, this is really about me keeping my mind active. I am also learning a new language right now. Stretching myself mentally is as important as eating well and exercising. One reason I go to a Apple One to One session every week is just to be around the young and technologically talented.

Well back to figuring this all out!

You need separate reference programs for most word processors, including Pages, Nisus, Mellel etc - there’s no claim anywhere that Scrivener tries to handle references or bibliographies, and it is made fairly clear that Scrivener is aimed at writing first drafts. It wouldn’t make much sense listing what Scrivener is not on the product page, as I’m sure you will understand, and we have to make the main site cover the main features that are going to be useful for a wide range of writers. Whilst a tutorial or video would definitely be nice, there are only two of us at L&L and our resources are stretched, and we don’t know much about bibliography or reference programs ourselves, as I told you in my e-mail to you, which is why I suggested you ask here in the first place. As I said then, we do hope to get some time to learn about some of them and create a video tutorial at some point, but unfortunately we just do not have the manpower to hold everybody by the hand through every possible writing workflow, as Scrivener users work on a rich diversity of writing projects and it really must be up to the user to find the combination of programs and workflow that works for him or her.

I’m a sensitive soul, so I have to say that I find it slightly hurtful that after I spent an hour writing you an extensive e-mail answering your questions in considerable detail, with images t’boot, that you now post here criticising us for not laying out the site in a way that makes your particular required workflow obvious, when I did explain why there is no tutorial on citation software as yet. :slight_smile:

I hope other users are able to give you the information that you want - unfortunately just because I programmed Scrivener, that doesn’t make me an expert on all the other software you might need to use in a long writing project in conjunction with Scrivener.

All the best,

Wait a second. You think Scrivener should provide a video tutorial on NON-Scrivener tools that you MIGHT need for your specific project. Do you have any idea how ridiculous a request that is?

I’m currently working on three different non-fiction projects: a major research study, a short technical article, and collateral for a corporate marketing campaign. Each uses a slightly different group of tools and a somewhat different workflow, and that’s within the context of my own particular way of working. (Which, incidentally, is constantly evolving.) A different writer would probably take a different approach. Yet another writer might be working on a completely different group of projects. (Like a family history, for instance.) The idea that any single tutorial could address all these needs is just a fantasy.


I do agree that some video tutorials on using Endnote, Bookends and Sente with Scrivener would be nice - that is, how you can use Scrivener with bibliography software. We would just need to learn those apps first, that’s all! :slight_smile: If anyone has experience of using one of these programs with Scrivener, I’d be happy to bung a free Scrivener 2.0 update in return for a walkthrough on using Scrivener with these programs. That is, a step-by-step list of instructions covering:

• The point in Scrivener where you need to switch to the citation manager.
• Finding and storing a reference in the reference manager that will be needed.
• Switching back to Scrivener and inserting the citation (presumably in a footnote?).
• How the bibliography is built up and stored in the citation manager (does it keep track of citations inserted?).
• Exporting via Compile Draft (presumably to RTF?) and then processing the document to have all the temporary citations replaced with full ones, and having the bibliography generated, then opening the document in a third-party word processor to check on it?

In other words, if someone sends me the instructions David or I will need to create the video tutorial, I’ll bung a free update in return. Or hell, if you’re using the Scrivener trial and already know how to do this, I’ll bung you a free licence. And that’s a free licence for each citation manager covered.

Can’t say fairer than that!

All the best,

First of all I want to say how sorry I am, Kevin. I never meant to be hurtful in any way at all. In fact I was clear that you sent so many helpful tips in our email. And I forwarded your email to my son( who gave me the program for Christmas)right away and said how great support was. Also I didn’t really now how small your outfit is. I didn’t now ANYTHING about writing programs before all this since as I stated I am not a writer and haven’t written anything besides stuff for work in over 40 years. I have a lot of catching up to do.

I also am new to these forums. Never wrote in one.I noticed after I joined that most of my questions were already answered and so I was redundant . Sorry again. After I wrote my questions I spent hours going over all the old replies-something I should have done first but really didn’t know how to . I have a lot to learn about these forums still. Frankly , I was a bit stung by the comments above.Not sure I like these places. I find this is like email. Some things are taken the wrong way. If I had been speaking about my problems, one would have heard I meant no offense and never meant to be mean or critical in any way. I was totally misunderstood

You are right that you can’t put what Scrivener is not on your website.I was jut a bit cranky after spending what I thought was rather a long time to get up to speed about the intricacies of draft programs (like Scrivener), word processors and bibliography programs.Who would have thought that to write a piece today you need 3 programs? Not me. I just meant that for complete new morons like myself if there was a bit more information, not necessarily an elaborate video, but maybe a few words suggesting where to go for more info…I don’t know. I think there are others who would benefit from knowing a little bit more, that’s all.

And the other person is also right that you can’t know about all the different projects out there and write instructions for each one. I never meant that at all. But there is a difference between fiction and non fiction that could be mentioned- and come to think of it maybe it is. I haven’t gone back to the scrivener site since all of this happened and haven’t read the site for every detail. Again my fault.

What happened is I got a program for a gift, I thought I would try a project, I started to gather info and was having a great time. Then I thought I would start to actually write something and hit a brick wall. I found out there was more than just typing involved as soon as I got to my first paragraph and needed to add a footnote.Nothing is simple

Anyway in the last few days- after hours online comparing bib programs and watching their videos( I still only have one paragraph of my draft written after a week now) I have downloaded the free trial of Sente. I have had to figure out this program and right away noticed that a lot of the information I was finding online for my project doesn’t download as PDF which Sente seems to be geared to. The reference data will be added to the program of course but so far I can’t figure out how to write notes about what I find in Sente if there is no PDF.But I did learn to tag the references at least. Today I will go back to their guides and try to figure it all out.( probably there is a forum out there too for Sente users). I do like the way the references pop into their program and how it is easy to search the web through their program. Also I am going to try the free version of Bookends today and see if the learning curve is easier for this program and compare it to Sente for my uses

Again sorry to all. No offense meant in any way. I appreciate the help


No need to apologise for anything - I said I was a sensitive soul. :slight_smile: (But who’s Kevin? Why do people always call me Kevin? Am I that unmemorable, or is it just that people prefer my brother, who, thanks to a my parents’ fondness for alliteration, is called Kevin?)

The problem with forums - like e-mail - is that abstracted from any tone of voice or facial cues, the words in these conversations are too open to misinterpretation, and I think everyone comes across as harsher than they would ever mean to in real life. I hate smileys ( :slight_smile: ) but I have taken to using them in the forums just because I have too often offended people when such was never my intention.

Don’t worry about asking questions that have been asked before, either - people are usually happy to answer again, or will at least provide a link or the right search terms to use to help you find the answer.

What we do hope to do in the future is to have a series of case studies with different Scrivener users, explaining how they use Scrivener and what other programs they use with it. The necessity for other programs really depends on what you use Scrivener for, though. Most novelists wouldn’t need to use any other programs but Scrivener, as they could draft the work and then get Scrivener to print a basic manuscript for submission. Students may also be able to use Scrivener for all their work in some disciplines, but it depends on their own way of working. For instance, when I wrote my dissertation and essays for my MA, I used Word and just entered all of the bibliographic information by hand. You could do that in Scrivener. But these days there are a whole slew of programs that have been designed to make that process easier, to handle your bibliography and citations for you - Endnote, Sente etc. These do very specific things and can be used in conjunction with any number of word processors. So, if you want to make handling a bibliography and citations easier, then you can use one of these programs with Scrivener - you don’t need to, but it makes your job easier. The same thing applies to using a word processor. You can get Scrivener to format and print a basic manuscript, but if you need to wrap text around pictures and end-of-page footnotes and so on, then it’s better to use a dedicated word processor after the draft has been written in Scrivener.

The main thing is that there are already a good number of great word processors that allow you to organise your text on the page, to wrap text around images, to micro-manage the arrangement of your footnotes and so on. I wrote Scrivener to do something that these programs couldn’t do for me. I wanted a program that focused on the drafting stage, on sorting out the structure and laying out a long text without having to go between a dozen Word files and reference files, and trying to keep an overview on notecards or whatever. So Scrivener concentrates on that side of things, and leaves the user free to take the final product to a dedicated word processor layout program for laying out the text for final presentation if the user has those needs (not all users will need to do that). Partly this is philosophy, in that I wanted Scrivener to have a very clear purpose, but partly too it is down to practicality, and the fact that a one-man development team such as myself cannot possibly implement all of the word processing features that a program such as Word has.

The main thing is that you are embarking on a project that is going to involve a lot of different aspects, and so maybe you will need more than one program to manage it all.

I hope that makes sense. Please don’t give up on the forums just yet - it’s just a misunderstanding and I would hate you to go away thinking you can’t get help here, because that would be the last thing I would want.

I do understand your frustration in trying to learn new applications at the same time as wanting to get on with a project that you desperately want to move forward with.

Thanks and all the best,

Kevin. :slight_smile:

I can’t help feeling that we often fail to realise that using computer programs, or sets of programs, is a skill that needs to be learned. I don’t think many of us would buy a set of chisels, a saw, and a plane and expect to be able to build a cabinet without some time spent learning how to use the tools. A computer and its programs is also a set of tools, and it takes time to learn how to use them. There is a lot written on these forums about “workflows” – this, I find, is the most challenging thing about using computers – working out which programs to use in combination with each other, and how to pass information between them. My “workflow” seems to be a living thing that changes alarmingly frequently. It’s a constant learning process about what works and what doesn’t, and how to improve things. I doubt that I’ll ever really work it out.



I keep wondering to myself, why would you want this?


From what I’ve seen, there’s a huge individual variation about how people use their reference managers. For example, some people actually love and use Endnote’s “Cite While You Write” and others don’t do much more than the barest possible and wait to insert their citations in the end. The variation can be just personal style to disciplinary convention: if I write in humanities, I want to see certain footnotes as I go along; in social science, I don’t want that bibliography gobbling up trees until the bitter end where the endnotes are supposed to be. (And I hate CWYW).

And often, people don’t realize how wide the variation in use is because the outcome (neat, formatted bibliography) is the same regardless of the idiosyncrasies of method. Then there’s the idiosyncrasies of developers. I used to rail against Endnote, but found Endnote X3 version for macs worked much better than earlier, and the support and learning resources are superb (e.g., free live webinars). That discovery came about when support (including a pre-paid upgrade) for one of the Mac-only bibliography tools turned from great to non-existent.

The upshot is that you will probably get tons of requests for videos and tutorials for “my” way of using this other software. Of course, if you’re anticipating a dull life once Scrivener 2.0 is out, then go for it!! :smiley:

It may seem counterintuitive, but I’m wondering if having a rating system on this forum for posts and comments might help avoid some of the misunderstandings and bruised egos that can arise here - as well as providing some valuable feedback for Kevin :wink: et al.
In my (admittedly limited) experience, a good rating system can provide real feedback that is quick and impersonal. It tends to put people on their best behaviour and gives them pause before they write. If they’re unsure how readers will react, they’ll find out soon enough and be able to fix their bad habits if they choose to do so.
Obviously on huge mainstream sites ratings can cause problems – reducing posts to mass appeal and the lowest common denominator. But for a small, intelligent and mature community like this one the effects can be very positive and raise the level of discourse.
One good example is LessWrong a community blog of academics writing about rationality and cognitive bias. Sounds nightmarish I know and it can be pretty opaque and jargon-ridden for the uninitiated but the comments are civilized and often fascinating. One finds oneself yearning to write better and more often just to get one’s “karma” score up.
Obviously some people would object to seeing their posts scored -however impersonally. But if we consider ourselves writers we shouldn’t be afraid of a little democratic feedback and a good system can minimize the potential pitfalls. Yes we’d have to humbly accept that we’ll never catch up with AmberV, and the more …ermm…surreal amongst us (you know who you are :slight_smile: ) - might have to learn to love negative numbers. But taken in the right spirit the results might be fun and useful.
Most importantly, we all could get a quick view of which issues are most important to users and which answers are most useful. And who knows? Maybe our writing would improve, a goal I assume everyone here can share.
Just saying…

Hmm, the problem with that is that I’d end up with the lowest ratings. :slight_smile:

Actually, my problem with ratings systems is that whenever I see them on a site, I too often see someone who has been down-voted simply because someone disagrees with him or her. I don’t think it encourages real discourse - it would be like having a conversation with someone and them suddenly sticking some shiny stars on your label depending on how interested you’ve kept them. Actually, come to think of it, I used to do exactly that to people…*

All the best,

  • But I was a primary school teacher, so it was allowed. :slight_smile:

I admire the spirit of this suggestion, but I disagree with the goal of providing “real feedback that is quick and impersonal.” We are a group of writers, whether published or not, and we express ourselves in ways that are thoughtful and personal, as we should. Sometimes we miss that mark, but mostly the L/L forum is frank and direct, even though we all use pseudonyms.

A rating system becomes an easy way of not stating what you think and why. And it might make us avoid reading posts that get low ratings. In brief, I like the social egalitarianism of the present system. Ratings tend to create pop hierarchies, which are as injurious to real culture as are lists of best-sellers, Top Ten Picks, and 4-star hotels. Can you imagine any good thought or criticism coming out of a system that “tends to put people on their best behaviour and gives them pause before they write?”

False modesty, Keith. You know very well you’d be high up in the imperium and that aye-sayers would come to your defence. Also, I think LessWrong gets around the problem by imposing some strict limits on how many downvotes any (crabby) individual can make.
Anyways, I wasn’t really expecting anyone to take the idea seriously - just wishful thinking and an intuition that over time such a system might actually help some of the writers here - if only by giving them some quick feedback that may be lacking in their everyday writing lives.

Well, Druid, maybe not their best behaviour, but maybe “better” and a little pause is not a bad thing. Oddly enough, at one time I would have heartily agreed with you - lord preserve us from the tyranny of “top ten” lists. But it increasingly seems to me that LessWrong’s system actually works and I’m becoming a bit of a convert. And viewing the posts on their site in order of “popularity” is definitely presented a secondary option.
Then again, it isn’t a writer’s forum and I may very well have just drunk their Kool-Aid - since it’s aimed at rationalists it’s very possible that the voting patterns are a bit less arbitrary than they might be here.

But this is a writer’s forum, by definition, as Scrivener was conceived and built as a writer’s toolbox.

Writers, also by definition, are readers, and trained readers at that, if they would become trained writers. And if trained readers can’t figure out whose opinions on a forum have value in a specific subject area (don’t ask me anything about programming), whose are merely entertaining, and whose are utter blather without the poll-based support of group-think, then they probably aren’t going to become writers–who, again by definition, work essentially alone, outside the collaborationist world of academia and corporations. (Even though, of course, many writers must supplement their meager incomes by working in academia and corporations.)

I see these polls as having essentially the same value as Amazon reviews, where Pride and Prejudice sux because it’s torture to read and the characters are shallow and totally uninteresting and there is totally no story; a nightmare that never ends. Big thumbs down.

The best ratings systems I’ve seen revolve around positive feedback only. This discourages the tendency that Keith points out, where people end up using the rating system to express unvoiced opinion on the content, rather than the form. Visit any site like Amazon that have up/down thumb rating systems, and you’ll see that anyone expressing a contrary opinion to the mainstream, no matter how eloquently written and defended, will have a much lower than average rating.

The best I’ve seen are systems like MetaFilter, where the only options available are “Yes I like this” and then some abuse flags, like we already have. A tangent system to this is generalised “kudos”. If someone benefits from a message they can give kudos to the author, not the post. This just gives the author some stars or something by their avatar and lets people know that in general, that person is a trusted responder.

All of that said, I’m not sure if it is appropriate or necessary here. In a place like Amazon where there is anonymity in the sheer volume of possible respondents, it makes more sense to highlight the individuals which have clearly devoted thought and effort in their reviews, and have been recognised by others for that. While this is a larger than average indie software board, it’s still a pretty small community, and more importantly it has been a high quality community thus far. We don’t really have a problem with trolls or people giving bad advice just for kicks, and when it does happen there is usually a flood of responses pointing out flaws—response which generally drive the troll away or make it more clear than any star system ever could, that the post isn’t to be trusted.