Hidden placeholders associated with elements

Before I begin please know that I have done a bit of searching for an answer to my problem but I haven’t had any luck. It’s possible that I’m missing something obvious. All I know is that I once knew the solution to my problem but I have forgotten it since last year.

At some point in the past, I figured out how to automatically insert text that included placeholders. This was for a comic book script. For example, this is what I would type in the text editor panel:

When I compile and print, the result is this:

“4 PANELS” is a script element I called Page Number.
“FOX / FULL”, “BOB / CLOSEUP”, and “CONNIE / CLOSEUP” are all script elements I called Panel.
“BOB” and “CONNIE” are both script elements I called Character.
And, of course, the dialogues are both script elements I called Dialogue.

I somehow managed to add incremented placeholder text to the beginnings of the Page number, Panel, and Character elements. But that was last year and I can’t remember how I did it. I am absolutely befuddled. I clearly remember tackling the problem of automatically inserting these bits of text. But I don’t remember how. I’ve poked around in the script element settings, the compile settings, and the project settings. I can’t figure out where or how I implemented this automation.

Does anything I’ve described seem familiar to anyone? Can someone point me in the right direction? As usual, it’s probably something simple that I missed. Thanks in advance.

I guess not.

Not my area, but is what you are describing something beyond working in Scriptwriting mode set to (one of the) Comic Book script formats?


I think it’s probably done by using a placeholder in the definition of the Script Element.

To see what’s going on, format a scene with the ‘Comic Book (Antony Johnston)’ format, then go to Format > Scriptwriting > Script Settings. Finally, choose Page Number and the Tab/Return tab.

There’ll you see that the field ‘Insert:’ has <$N> entered, which is a placeholder for an arabic number. If you go to the Element Panel Name, you’ll see that the corresponding entry is <$sn>, which is the placeholder for a sub-item number on in a hierarchical list, the number resetting each time its parent changes (eg a new page number, I presume).

I don’t know enough about Comic Book scripts to know whether this is exactly what you want, but you should be able to adapt it for your needs (e.g. add a similar placeholder for the Character elements.)

There are more details about how this all works in the Manual as S19.7.

I hope this at least gives you something to go on…

After scouring the Scriptwriting settings, I was starting to believe that that was the case. I just couldn’t figure out how i did it. But I doubted that I was clever enough to work something out in the Compile settings. Thanks for the suggestion!

That was exactly where I was looking. But in the Tab/Return tab, Allow Tabs is checked, the rest of that tab was greyed out, and the Insert field is blank.

But when you pointed me in that direction, I looked around the Scriptwriting settings again. In the Paragraph tab there is an Options… button. That brings up more options for paragraphs including a section titled Compile Settings and a “Add prefix when compiling” field. Lo and behold, I had written in that field, "PANEL <$N:PL> / ". That’s the forgotten setting I was looking for!

I set it up like that so that I wouldn’t need to muck around with any placeholder code at all. It just automatically inserts the right placeholders at the beginning of the Panel element.

But I configured the settings for that element a half a year ago and I forgot how I did it.

Mystery solved! Thanks!

Glad you found the answer!