Help! Plain asterisks I've placed in main text contain an added backslash \ after compiling

For certain footnotes that I want to be referenced immediately after the text instead of at the end notes area (I’m compiling in epub format), I’ve been manually placing one, two, sometimes three asterisks in a row at the end of my Inspector Footnotes. (I usually do this for footnotes I need to reference in bullet lists but don’t want my actual footnotes to copy the format of the bulleted lists.) But when I compile, Scrivener, for some reason, adds a backslash ( \ ) next to some of them. I’m not sure why this happens or how to fix it.

When I search for it in the Scrivener manual, nothing comes up. The only reference I found to this is when searching within the Scrivener project for actual asterisks by selecting RegEx and searching for \ * (pg. 261).

Here are some screenshots below for further clarification of the issue.

Single asterisk…
Screen Shot 2022-06-05 at 9.26.03 PM

Triple asterisk…
Screen Shot 2022-06-05 at 9.26.09 PM

My manually placed asterisks at the end of the text as a simple reference to the asterisks within the text (seen above). Notice that the double asterisk isn’t affected for some reason…
Screen Shot 2022-06-05 at 9.26.15 PM

I saw a section in the Scrivener manual about Inline Footnotes where you can place brackets [ ] around the footnote’s first reference then place them again where you want the footnote to appear anywhere in the draft, but since you have to place the entire text of the footnote you want to reference—and some of my footnotes contain multiple paragraphs—that my mess up my sections. (See section 18.2.2, pgs. 457 and 458 in the 3.2.0 version of the manual.)

I’d rather use an easy fix for this, if possible. Any help is appreciated.

Part of this (maybe all of it) is a known bug, where if you start a line with an asterisk it isn’t being properly escaped internally, and gets converted to a bullet list item.

As for the backslash escapes, I was able to reproduce some of these issues but not all of them. It may well be the solution is universal and doesn’t need specifics though, as what we should be doing better is making sure all asterisks in the editor are \* escaped internally, so that they all print as intended. The problem now is that not all of them are, and that is getting in the way of other asterisks being inserted where you use italics and bold.

I saw a section in the Scrivener manual about Inline Footnotes where you can place brackets…

That’s more of an input alternative for your own benefit rather than a way of printing footnotes differently in the output. It’s a largely obsolete method at this point—it was originally designed when inline footnotes were the only way to add footnotes, so it made a way to put footnote content in another area rather than right in the sentences themselves. Now, I don’t think there is much of a benefit in using them when you have linked footnotes in the sidebar. It’s still supported for backwards compatibility though.

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Makes sense (a little, lol). Any ideas as to some alternatives? My main issue, as I said in the OP, is that bulleted footnotes—or footnotes in any other format besides Normal text (headlines, quotes, etc.)—take on the original formatting of the text they’re attached to. It would be nice to have a way to standardize footnote formatting so this wouldn’t happen.

Do you think I could use a different symbol altogether, like those found when holding Option plus a different character on a Mac (ex: Opt+letters: åßç√©˙∆, Opt+numbers: ¡™£¢∞§, etc.), or will this make an even bigger mess when compiling?

I may just end up having to find a clever way to attach the footnotes to a sentence/paragraph of Normal text referencing previously asterisked footnotes.

Different symbols would do the trick! The problem is that the ebook generator uses Markdown internally, which you may know uses asterisks to mark emphasised text, as well as bullet lines when they are used at the beginning of a line. So it tries to avoid accidentally marking text by escaping them, putting a backslash in front of them. The problem is that it isn’t doing so consistently. So anything other than an asterisk would probably work well here.

Regarding the bug with footnote formatting copying the paragraph styling it is attached to, have you double-checked to make sure you’re using the latest version of Scrivener? We have fixed bugs relating to that in the past, and I don’t see any pending ones on the list right now. Maybe there are still some additional issues we haven’t seen ourselves yet.

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I’ve definitely got the latest version, 3.2.3. It seems it’s always been a problem with most of my footnotes. If I can remember, I’ll post some screenshots here when I work on my project again.

A post was split to a new topic: Footnote formatting in ebooks acquired from paragraph