How to mark "for later"..

Just curious how people deal with the following:
When writing (I’m a journalist) I often just get everything down as fast as possible. This results in many incomplete sentences and dates, names, concepts, meanings etc that I need to double check later. Before I would just put a series of x’s behind whatever I was unsure of, leaving patches of “xxxxx” on my page. In Scrivener I’ve been using the highlighter to mark these inadequate words/sentences. However, I find it kind of irritating to have to click the highlight symbol, drag over the word, then click the highlight symbol again. Kind of disturbs the flow. Any ideas? Does Scrivener have a magic “mark this”-button?


To answer my own question, I have found a better way to do this: the keyboard shortcut shift-cmd-H. This solves the problem of having to click and drag in order to highlight.

Any other tips/suggestions?

Highlight and use Format->Comment. It creates a clear highlight, but also a note in the margins that can say whatever it is that you need it to (check for accuracy, research subject, check spelling of this name, etc…). When you delete the note later, the highlight goes away. Or you can just set your compile up to strip out the comments (File->Compile Footnotes & Comments->Remove Inspector Comments), which will eliminate the highlights as well.

Hey, Robert.
That looks like a better solution. I found the keyboard shortcut: Shift-cmd-*

Great! I’m glad that helps. Since you seem to also want to avoid click & drag, here are a few key combos that work in a number of applications:

OPT plus the left or right arrow key moves the cursor one word at a time.
SHIFT plus left or right arrow keys selects one character at a time.
OPT-SHIFT plus left or right arrow key selects one word at a time.

Up and down arrow keys select by line (just OPT) or entire paragraphs at a time (OPT-SHIFT).

I use both comments and the XXXX technique.
Comments for larger notes as a reminder of things to look up or as a prompt about what I was thinking when I wrote. e.g. Mention that article about the dog with the waggly tail in the window, link it to the sinking of the Titanic - see notes from May 3*.

I use “XXXX” (usually for an unknown citation date), or anything inside doubled angular brackets (i.e. << >>) for things I want to be able to search for later. This means that on the days when I can’t think well enough to write, I can search for “XXXX” and find the appropriate references, or “<<” to find whatever is enclosed that needs to be replaced.

[size=85]*No, this is not a real note from one of my Scrivener projects. I wish it was as it’s a lot more interesting than most of the notes I leave for myself.[/size]

then I think you are doing it wrong. Most of the notes I leave require significant forensics for decoding. Makes for very interesting discoveries…

I find it easier and faster to use the toolbar icon, not only for Comment but for for other incidentals like Footnote (regular or inline), QuickRef, and Notes.

I like the keyboard, but don’t want the trouble of remembering all the key combinations. (The older my brain gets — and me with it — the more it looks for a clearly marked path.)


I would never advocate learning “all the keyboard shortcuts”, unless your name is Ioa. But learning a few that you will be using frequently is handy. :laughing: (get it? keyboard shortcuts… handy… because hands and keyboards… :confused: never mind)

I think that this comes down to how I process the toolbar icons though. For some reason, searching for the right icon pushes stuff out of my short-term memory, so that the content of the comment gets lost while I’m searching for the “make a comment” button. CMD-* (aka CMD-SHIFT-8) seems to take a different route through my brain, and so doesn’t dislodge the text I’m composing in my head.

I worked differently, back when my requirements were more diverse. Now all I need is drag-n-drop (started to write “droop,” which might have been more accurate), familiar menu-bar items, and half a dozen icons: Binder, Collections, Compile; Comment, Footnote, Inspector. Well, eight, if you count View Mode and Search. I work in plain text with minimum formatting.

But that, clearly, will not work for many writers.

[Used to be 8 (or 10). After writing that first comment, I went back and discovered I’d already dropped a couple.]


Isn’t that just old age?

Regarding keyboard shortcuts - this can be useful on the Mac.

Nope. I was born this deficient.

In all seriousness, I think it’s just how I’ve (accidentally) trained my brain. I avoid up-front memorization like the zombie-plague, reserving that kind of effort for information I’ve consistently and frequently needed to look up over time. Instead, I rely on some kind of semi-visual map that doesn’t engage as much of my verbal brain parts*. This ‘visual’ stuff falls far, far short of the “mind palace” that Sherlock fans may be familiar with. That just seems like so much effort to file away stuff I probably won’t find a use for anyway.

I have the internet for that. In a post-apocalyptic world, I’ll be screwed if I need to know pi to more than 4 or 5 decimal places. But then again, how much of pi do you need to know for destroying zombies?

*No, I’m not an authority on brain science or thinky-studies… how could you tell?


I accomplish this with a simple in-line annotation (shift-cmd-A in my setup). Zero mousing and clicking.

Instead of doing any selecting of the text, I just hit shift-cmd-A, type a trailing annotation note to myself after the relevant word/phrase/passage, then hit shift-cmd-A again and continue on.

By default, in-line annotations show up in red text with a red border line – so you can’t miss these things. And this gets you down to no mousing or clicking at all.


OMG… I finally got it! :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Maybe if I had I used a shortcut I’d have got it a lot earlier! :mrgreen:


I accomplish this with a simple in-line annotation (shift-cmd-A in my setup). Zero mousing and clicking.

Hey, Greg.
That’s also a great one! One less step. Will definitely try to use this for the fast and the furious sessions - and try use the other marking-tips when I’m slightly more stumped etc.
Thank you.