insert link to external files in text

Is there a way to insert a link (similar to the scrivener link) to a file that is saved on my computer directly in the text in Scrivener?

I have tried the references in the inspector, but that only links the file to the entire document. I have too many files to import them all into Scrivener, because I fear the programme would run too slowly with several GB of PDFs imported into the project. I also tried copying the file path in Windows Explorer and pasting it in Scrivener, but I haven’t been able to open the file from it.

I’m using the most recent version of Scrivener and Windows 7.

If you right-click on the file name in Explorer and select Copy, then return to Scrivener’s editor and Paste, it’ll create a text link to that file, with prefix file:/// . At least in Windows 8.

You’ll be able to alter the text without destroying the link.


I just verified that it works in Windows 7 as well. Thanks, Jerome.

That is one ugly link though. Is there any way to put a file-specific button image on top of it? Like: Bank Account Passwords :laughing:

Even better would be a generic button image with a short text message on top of that.

Any ideas?


Try this:
In Explorer, copy the full path and filename.
In your document in Scrivener, do Edit > Link, and then select File.
Paste the path and filename into the box after file:///.
Click OK.

This should insert a link into the Scrivener document that says “file:///” followed by your file’s path and filename. Click on that and the file should open in its native program.

I’d refine DavidR’s approach slightly. Selecting Copy from Explorer puts a link on the HTML clipboard, but no corresponding path on the Text clipboard. Thus you’ll get the same formatted link when pasting this item into the HTML editor KompoZer as you get when you paste it into Scrivener’s editor. But you’ll get a null if you try to paste it into Notepad or into Scrivener’s link destination box, either of which uses the Text clipboard.

So your best bet is to copy the linked path into Scrivener’s editor first. Then set up your image separately, inserting it and sizing it (Edit Image). Now select and Cut the linked path from the editor. This does put the properly formed path onto the Text clipboard. Then select the image and any desired text, click Edit Link on the main menu, and Paste the destination, with the No Prefix option selected.

Good Luck – Jerome