Importing text marked by (( )) or {{ }} as inline comments

When syncing a folder, Scrivener has the feature to transform text bracketed by (( )) or {{ }} into inspector annotations. I’d love to have this as an option for text import too, both in the MacOS and iOS versions.

Use cases

  • Writing text in markdown editors and importing them to Scrivener, with annotations
  • Convert handwriting to text on the iPad (via Nebo, for example) and being able to include annotations

Current workaround
Place the file in a synced folder and sync it with the desktop version, which is 1) a bit cumbersome, and 2) does not work on iPhone.

Technically it must be quite simple to implement, especially as the option already exists for folder sync.

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Yeah, this is something I think could be useful as well, as there have been times where I’ve wanted to encode notation into text that is meant to end up in Scrivener at some point, and the only way to do it is to set up a sync folder solely for that purpose. Other than the waste of time in setting it up and turning it off, it has a big downside in that Import and Split is usually how I like to import my .md files so the headings turn into native outline.

Another thing that would be nice is limited support for CriticMarkup on import, which is a slightly more standard (if not popularly used) method of making notes and revision markings.

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Or a two-way sync for basic formatting (italics). I know, this “just one thing” is already rattling a can of worms.

Thx, due t this post I found the external folder sync feature with the (( )) syntax. I am using Freewirte for drafting and need to add comments while typing on it and later import it into Scrivener.

I just tried it, and it worked half way: the comments appear with a special format in the text editor, but I don’t see them on the right side bar. Am I missing something?

P.S.: I am a Scrivener newbie :wink:


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Welcome to the forum …

Just curious, why involve Freewrite? Use Scrivener to draft, comment, etc. That’s what it is designed for.


Thx for the welcome :blush:

I am using a Freewrite Traveler. It’s not a software but a device with a E-Ink Display. I am right now in North Africa sitting outside. Sure I also have my notebook with me but it’s difficult to read outside. The Freewrite syncs plain text files with Dropbox which is why I am trying to figure out my workflow.

I think I answered my question myself: I now understand that inline comments are not shown in the right column. Bit it’s ok and it might do the job :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


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Yeah, feel free to use whatever writing device is most comfortable at the moment. That is in large part what the external folder sync feature is for, so you don’t have to be constantly parked at a computer. :slight_smile: I love those Freewrites by the way, and am encouraged to hear they work well with this. Maybe some day…

As for your preference for sidebar comments, what you can do after syncing is use the Edit ▸ Transformations ▸ Convert inline annotations to inspector comments.

There is an important caveat though: once you do that they will no longer be available in the txt files, and could very easily end up accidentally deleted if the text around them is revised. That is why it uses inline annotation format as it is much more compatible with the notion of marking text in a file, right in the original context.

So my advice would be to stick with inlines for now, and save converting to comments when you’re done with the initial drafting. Who knows, you might end up liking inlines more than you think, too. I find them very comfortable to work with since I spend so much time in plain-text files where using markers to add notes is all you can do.


Thx Amber for the fast and very detailed answer :pray:

The Freeerite is perfect for drafting but nothing else, it’s basically impossible to edit on it. This is why it’s always one way, I archive the text fies afterwards. So I may try the conversion of the comments as you pointed out. It maybe you are right and I stick with inline… I will experiment a bit.

Have a nice day,


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Thanks for sharing your workflow. I’d often wondered whether there was anyone out there partnering a Freewrite device with Scrivener, and if so, how well they worked together. Using the Freewrite for drafting with a one-way push to Scrivener makes perfect sense.

Best of luck with figuring out a writing process with these tools. In a few months’ time, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how well the process worked for you. :grin:


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