Highlighting in PDFs or web-archives?


is there a way to do highlights in webarchives or PDFs? I want to read a text and highlight some interesting text passages.

I don’t know about webarchives (is there any way to annotate webarchives in OS X?) but you can’t edit PDFs in Scrivener, you will need to use Preview (or another PDF viewer of your choice). The simplest way is to click the the stylised “A” icon at the bottom right corner of the editor (or press Ctrl-Cmd-O, or select Open → in external editor from the Documents menu) and make your edits in Preview: Scrivener will subsequently display them all.

If you use GoodReader on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad,then not only will all the edits, highlights, notes, etc be displayed within the PDF, but a summary of all your annotations will appear in the Document Notes field within Scrivener.

What I do is open PDFs within SKIM. It’s a great opensource PDF viewing, annotating, etc., program for Mac.
At this stage Scrivener does not (as far as I can tell) support setting what external editor you’d like to use for various file types. It uses the system default ones, and then provides only the option to “Open in external editor”. I’d like to see that changed, but that’s how it is for now.

So to open your important PDFs with something other than Preview you’d have to make a system-wide change for which application opens PDFs.

As “nom” pointed out, once you’ve saved the annotated PDF all the annotations will show in Scrivener.

This has actually been supported since 2.0. Just hold down the “A” in the footer bar to select which editor you wish to open the file in:

Once you’ve made your edits in the external editor and saved them, hit the refresh button (the curved arrow) next to it to reload the document and see the changes in Scrivener’s editor.

All the best,

Beautiful Keith. You are the bearer of good news. I’d not even noticed that little icon in the status bar.
Thank you.

Is there any chance you’ll be adding a way to set which app to open a file type in, over-riding the system preference? It would be great to just double click PDFs (etc.) and have them open in my prefered app. I’ve not wanted to change my system pref for PDFs because if I am just quickly viewing a PDF (which is most of the time when opening PDFs from online or from Finder) I find it more convenient to use Preview. But from within Scriv I would be happy to always use skim (for instance).

Again, thanks for this news. I like how Scrivener gets better and better even in between new releases!!


Hmm, the trouble is mainly in how that would be set up - I wouldn’t want some complicated preferences for this. It would somehow need to be part of the current menu that opens up when you hold down the button, and even then you would want some way of overriding which application individual files open in, so that you could still open one file in a different editor to other files. There needs to be some way of setting a default editor for a file type, though, I agree. Leave it with me and I’ll have a think.


Doesn’t the Finder do this pretty well? If I recall correctly, CMD-I opens a dialogue that lets you set an individual file’s associated program, and then there’s a nearby option to change the default for all files of that type.
(I’m always sitting at the wrong computer architecture when I respond to these… apologies if this exists only in my mind)

Yes, but there’s no panel in Scrivener for this, it’s all done through a menu.

Hi Keith, I realise this discussion we had was a few years ago, but did you ever come up with a way to set the default editor for a file type? I am looking through Scrivener, and don’t see it. But perhaps I’ve overlooked it.