Footnotes, and thanks!

I really love Scrivener. I’m using it to write a long-ish (35 page) academic paper, and it’s great how I can keep all of my non-book sources, notes, and drafts all in the same place, and re-arrange my draft without fear of accidentally deleting something permanently.

The only thing I’ve really struggled with in Scrivener is footnotes. I’m using inspector footnotes with EndNote X4 as my citation management software, and Word for Mac 2004 as my word processor. I can get it to work, but there are a couple issues which I haven’t been able to resolve to my satisfaction. I suspect that some of these are not actually a Scrivener issue, but since I’m not a developer, I’ll bring them up here, just in case they are.

The first issue is anchoring footnotes to specific words - if you later want to re-write a sentence and change the last word, but maintain the same footnote, it’s far too easy to accidentally delete the footnote. If you leave only the final period, it’s hard to click into it and find the associated footnote again. Also, I made the mistake of letting a friend edit my paper in Scrivener itself. I took snapshots of all the sections, thinking I was safe, but as far as I can see, there’s no way to see edits (or, more importantly, deletions) made to the footnotes when comparing snapshot versions, although when I revert to the original snapshot the footnotes are restored.

Another issue is that when I compile to RTF with my references in inspector footnotes, they don’t show up when I open the file in TextEdit, and when I try to format the references using EndNote, it does not recognize them. When I open the file using Word they are there, and I can use the CWYW functions in Word to format the footnotes, but I’d rather be able to go straight from an RTF file, since CWYW is incredibly slow and buggy. I’ve seen how other people deal with this issue (Micheal Axelsen has a good tutorial at http://michealaxelsen.com/blog/?p=809 ), but their solutions only seem to work if your final desire is parenthetical inline references, rather than actual footnotes.

I know that Scrivener was originally intended for fiction writing, and academic stuff is an add-on, but I think it’s really amazing for longer-form academic work, and I think many more people would be able to use it if the integration of footnotes/citations were a bit smoother.

Again, thanks a lot for a great piece of software, I’ve really enjoyed using it, and I look forward to exploring more of the features I didn’t quite get to this time.

TextEdit doesn’t support footnotes, so you will never see them there if that is where you open the RTF file. You need to open it in another application (e.g. Nisus Writer Pro, Word, etc.).

I use the asterisk as a footnote marker, which works better. Go to the menu Project > Text Preferences and select it there (or change it to something else).

I gave up on Endnote, and Word, long ago. Bookends or Sente are probably better on the Mac (though I’ll admit that I haven’t seen the latest version of Endnote), and either Nisus or Mellel are popular choices for the word processing. Sente is getting an update soon. It seems to have a lot of supporters these days. I’d say forget about all that CWYW rubbish! Use curly braces for your temporary citations, and you should be OK. I’ve just finished a shortish (240 pages) :wink: thesis using Scrivener and Bookends which has about 180 references. No real problems formatting everything. I used Nisus for final tidying up.

Cheers, Martin.

PS – make sure you are using the latest version of Scrivener – there has recently been an improvement in footnote handling.

I thought that might be the case. Just thought it might help y’all understand the issue if that’s not the normal way it behaves.

Brilliant! This is just what I needed. I did poke around quite a while to see if there was a way to change that behavior - is there a way to make this show up in the “Help” search?

Fair enough. I’d avoid CWYW if I could figure out how to. I am using the curly braces for temporary citations, within the footnotes. The problem is, when I export to RTF, EndNote does not register the footnotes at all. If I simply put curly braces in the text, then I get a citation in the middle of the text, not a footnote, which works for some styles, but not for my discipline. I can’t seem to figure out how to export from Scrivener with the footnotes intact and have EndNote recognize them. I guess I’ll have to just figure out a different set-up for my next project.

Thanks! And, again, great program.

That must be a problem with Endnote rather than Scrivener. You probably ought to tinker with the settings. If you have CWYW turned on it might prevent scanning for curly braces or something. I no longer use Endnote, so I’m afraid I’m not up to speed with its features and functioning. I think you used to be able to scan an RTF file straight from the disc (not while it is open in a word processor). You might try that.

Cheers, Martin.

Thanks to Martin for pointing you in the right direction on all of this. I’m not sure why Endnote is having problems with the RTF file. I suppose you could open it in Word and save from Word as a .doc or .docx for Endnote to process, but that shouldn’t be necessary - hopefully a fellow Endnote user will be able to steer you right.

I do have it on my list to look properly at the Endnote API to see if Cite-While-You-Write might be possible in Scrivener in the future.

Regarding footnotes and snapshot compare, yes, you’re right that this is a limitation at the moment because Compare is only capable of comparing plain text and footnotes are part of the formatting. Using a marker such as an asterisk as Martin has pointed out should work better for you for everything else, though (also remember that you can, as of 2.2, drag footnotes from the inspector onto another word in the text to move them).

All the best,
Keith

Glad I could be of some help. Have you ever used CWYW, Keith? I ask because I would have thought it would be tricky to incorporate into Scrivener because (at least in the version I used a few years ago) it builds a bibliography at the end of the document while you are writing. I hated it, because it slowed everything down no end, since it was checking every 15 seconds to see if you’d put in a reference, and then inserting an entry into the bibliography if you had – which it had to format according to the style you were using (APA, Harvard, or whatever) and sort it all into the right order. No doubt some people will swear by it, because you always have a bibliography ready formatted at any time, but I wasn’t keen. Then again, it interferes with the word count, because you have all this guff being added to the end of the file all the time. There are probably ways you can prevent the bibliography from being counted, but it’s an added complication. Anyway, I didn’t like it! – doesn’t mean that others will feel the same …

Cheers, Martin.