Hiding annotations in Scrivener 2.0?

When you make annotations in your text using Scrivener 2.0 (either comments or footnotes), they leave colored bubbles around the text you’re annotating—just like you’d want and expect.

However, it seems like there should be a way to temporarily turn these display bubbles off so that you can read through the text without distraction, and I can’t figure out how.

I don’t see any commands for doing this in any of the menus, and there’s nothing about this in the manual, since these sections are largely missing, marked “material not finished.”

How do I hide/unhide the annotation bubbles?

This has always been the limitation with this feature. It was a part of the original design proposal for them to be collapsible, but it turned out to just not be technically possible. Even Apple’s text engine coders had a look at the problem and said it couldn’t be easily done at this level of the text system. So they were left static, and most of us grew accustomed to having them that way, learning to glance right over them if necessary, even appreciating that they couldn’t be hidden.

A few really disliked it though, so the linked comment/footnote feature was developed. That’s really your collapsed annotation, now.

I should have been more specific in that I was talking about linked annotations.

I’ve selected some text in my document that I want to make a comment about, and while the comment text itself shows in the Inspector, the text-link has the colored bubble around it. I like being specific in the linked text, so when I come back later and read the comment, I know exactly what I was commenting about. This is a cool feature.

But it sounds like the work-around for the limitation you’ve described would simply be to selected less text in the comment link so that there’s a smaller bubble. I guess it’s just a trade-off between reference specificity and bubble distraction.

And the upside is that I finally got to use the words “specificity” and “bubble” together in the same sentence.

I don’t know if I would go so far as to call it a work-around; more up to user taste. Some will have no problem with the bubble on several paragraphs; it won’t phase them in the least; others might not like that so keeping the bubble down to a word at the beginning of the section that needs annotation might do them better. It’s meant to be a flexible feature.

That is an incredibly good point.

I’d also like to be able to “hide” annotation links at times b/c I have so many and don’t always want to se them. Although it sounds like this isn’t technically possible.

One way to make the links less distracting is to set their color to white (or whatever color you use for the background of your draft documents). You will still see the text underlined and the borders of the link, but at least the background color is the same.

Actually I’m not sure about that. When I was commenting on the technical impossibility of hiding notes, I was referring to actual annotations in the text stream, not linked comments. Inline annotations have that problem because hiding text like that with a single command messes up undo and causes other problems. Linked notes on the other hand use a different mechanism and don’t add any text to the base text, it might be possible to set what is basically a formatting attribute to be “invisible” temporarily as a toggle. I’m not sure if that would be wise, but it might be less difficult to pull off. Keith would have to comment on that part. As for interface design and so on, I’m not sure if it would be a smart thing to remove all indication of the present of a note from the text. That could be a case where accidental data loss is being mitigated by the presence of indicators; remove those and you have more people accidentally losing data.

Speaking of which… clicking on highlighted text brings up it’s sidebar text; it would be nice if this was a toggle so clicking a second time would close the comments window.

How would it know what “clicking on it a second time” means, though? To a human brain that makes perfect sense, but to a computer there isn’t a way to distinguish between that action and several other valid uses for either a second click, or first clicks on “second links” in the same document.

Just curious… is there any more word on this?

I’d like to be able to hide the colored bubbles around linked annotations/footnotes too. I love being able to make notes at will and have them appear in the inspector, but sometimes I just want to read through my work without being immediately reminded of all the things I’ve told myself to do. The rainbow of colored note bubbles kind of yanks me out of “immerse yourself in story” reading mode…

…hmm… should I have posted this in the request thread? Oops… To make it more appropriate to this forum: If I wanted to make the color bubbles less noticeable, I could try changing the colors of the notes. I’ve noticed that the color of the note in the inspector is gradated, and that the color bubble associated with it is from the saturated end of the gradation. Is there a way to change that?

There’s no word to be had on this - there are no plans to change this, sorry.

You can change the color of the comment (to white, for instance) and thus change the color of the bubble, though I don’t think there’s a way to pick a part of the gradation–you’d just have to select the color for your notes based on what you want the bubble color to be (the color you pick is the darkest end). White is white, though, and I find it easy to ignore when reading through a doc.

To change multiple comments, load all the documents in a Scrivenings session, show the comments in the inspector and select all, then right click on a comment to bring up the context menu and use “show colors” to assign your own. This will affect all comments but won’t change the footnotes, if you have any, so you can easily differentiate.

If all you’re doing is reading through, and not making new edits, you could also just make a clean copy of the documents (either copy/paste without comments or duplicate the documents and then strip the comments from them–or compile the whole thing and then read it outside of Scrivener or import the compiled file) or take a snapshot of the documents and then wipe the comments to create a clean version.