Inspector comment templates

I’ve adopted a method of marking up my first draft so that I don’t get caught up in editing before I’ve reviewed the whole thing from many angles. As I go, I’m marking passages as lacking in one of a handful of categories, including Character, Setting, Story and another marker for “Boring, but gets the job done”. All of them are problems I need to address when I start my demolish & rebuild campaign.

I’d like to use inspector comments, color coded and pre-loaded with the prefix of my choice ("Character: ", or "Boring: " for instance), but currently, that requires I keep a color pallet open and type my prefix in by hand. Oh, woe is me!

So, my proposal is to create something akin to the document templates plus the Revision Colors feature, which, if I name each template properly, can be assigned a keyboard shortcut (in Mac os, at least). Alternately a drop-down button (like the New Document toolbar button) that lets me pick one item and have it create a comment attached to my current selection.

This would allow me to quickly mark passages with my preferred color & textual prefix for later perusal. The colors would make it easy to concentrate on just one kind of note, while the text prefix will keep me from letting the purpose of green notes mutate over time as I forget what I had originally meant for green to mean.

If you use a text expander, you can do something similar now by using an expansion for the prefix and giving it a highlight colour, so e.g. you create a new comment of the default colour and type ;bng and it immediately gives you the "Boring: " prefix highlighted in a drab gray, with the rest of your comment text also getting that highlight. It’s not the same as colouring the comment itself, I know, but it does have the advantage of the colour being maintained if you use sync with external folder, export, or compile.

Interesting. I hadn’t really needed text expander for anything before, but this might just be the ticket. It’d still be neat to be able to press a key combo that created an inspector comment, set it’s color, and then added the boilerplate text, all in one stroke, but that’s a good compromise if this request isn’t something Keith is interested in implementing.

I was just going to post a suggestion to be able to name the comment types as well as assign them a color. I use 4 different comment types: Orange, Red, Green & Purple. It would be a lot more meaningful if I could see them as “Needs work”, “FUBAR”, “Lyrics” and “Reader Feeback”, instead. To be able to invoke them with unique keystrokes so I didn’t need to change the color/category by hand would be a wonderful bonus!

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Based on MM’s suggestion, and "Type it For Me"s current discounted price of $5, I bought that and implemented the rich-text short-cuts. I found that it must trigger a CMD-V paste somehow, because I had swapped “Paste” and “Paste and match style” keyboard shortcuts in Scrivener, and it failed to copy the color & font settings until I got rid of the custom shortcuts.

It’s a decent compromise, so long as you make your comments background grey or something else visually neutral.

Note if you do get TiFM, the App Store sandboxing effectively means that the software will not be able to get new features, so I purchased directly from them.

In the next update, you’ll be able to use formatting presets for this. Just select text with an existing comment (the comment will only be included in the preset if the formatting of the text you select is the same throughout) and make a character formatting preset out of it. Then, when you apply it to other text, the comment will come along.

If in understand your description, this sounds perfect!

Thank you. :smiley:

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Now you just need to free up some shortcuts. :wink:

Keith: This solution works perfectly. Thank you! It took me a bit to figure out how to create a character preset, after having first made some paragraph presets, but once I paid closer attention to all of the preset creation settings, everything comes out exactly as I had hoped it would.

The only remaining puzzle piece for me is how to have “default” inspector comment, with it’s own color instead of the last one used to create a comment plus my name and the date filled in automatically. Is there a placeholder/template tag that I can save into a preset that will expand when I apply a preset? No big loss if there isn’t (I can always just add the date if it becomes important to me, and adding my initials to the preset comment works okay too).

As for finding free keyboard shortcuts, I discovered CheatSheet on the app store. Just hold down the CMD key for a few seconds, and it will pop up with the current application’s list of shortcuts.

Thanks again for adding this in. It’s going to be very handy.

I’ve got one other niggle: when I apply the preset, and it creates a new comment, the focus doesn’t shift to the newly created note. Is that as designed just an oversight, or is there some trick to the creating of the preset that will get me what I want? I don’t use presets (except for this purpose), but it seems that no matter how a new comment is created, the inspector should switch to the comments/footnotes pane and put the focus in the new note.

I’m afraid that’s down it being a preset, rather than you actually creating the comment using the comment-creation interface, sorry.
All the best,
Keith

I know this is a bit of an old thread, but I REALLY like the original poster’s idea. I find myself regularly needing to use comment templates, and none of the current solutions are really suited to my needs. I try to record various pieces of information in different comment types (e.g. Daily Writing comments are yellow and supply the date on which and location at which I wrote a block of text whereas Plot Commentary comments are orange and simply input the date along with content regarding the text).

I’d really love it if this could be expanded so that users could define “character” comments so they could quickly create comments pertaining to specific characters.

Additionally, I think it would be great if there could be “comment tabs” or “groups” that users could create and switch between in the Inspector. If he wants to see all comments, he clicks on that comment tab. If he wants to only see editorial remarks, he clicks on the tab, which shows all comments that used the Edit template. If he wants to see plot-related comments, he clicks on the Plot tab, which he currently has configured so it shows all Plot comments, Plot Commentary comments, and Idea comments.

The reason I wish this were an option is that I regularly use comments to track key changes I’ve made as well as notate when I start and stop writing for a day. Having the option to “hide” these comments from view but quickly switch over and see them would REALLY clear up my comments pane and also add all kinds of functionality to this already great software.

This kind of template feature already exists to varying degrees in other writing apps that I’ve used, and they really save a ton of time. I really hope there are others out there who want to see this made into a reality!

Thank you again for this wonderful app. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store.