Internet Research

I write nonfiction and I’m considering purchasing Scrivener. However, Internet research is a big part of my writing and from what I’ve read Scrivener doesn’t handle this easily. I’ve read that people use Ever Note, but that involves converting files and importing. Does anyone have any other suggestions for easier Internet clipping? Thanks so much.

Hello Cyber,
I use the firefox browser and just copy and paste text or photos directly to Scrivener’s scratchpad and then it is one click to send those to the research folder in Scrivener. This provides me with easy labelling and the ability to sort stuff into Scrivener collections. Just one method as there are many.

I’m not experienced enough with Scrivener to give you a solid answer, so let me offer these two takes:

  1. Try Scrivener out for free. Scrivener is robust and flexible enough that it is difficult to really get a feel for what it offers and how it does so, without hands on. The various videos provided or available elsewhere give some preliminary sense, but its best to invest the time hands on. The time is justified, given how intensively you will presumably be using whatever tool you settle on. I tried several other packages (free evaluations) before trying and settling on Scrivener. I’ve never looked back. Not sure if I have this quite right, but I believe Scrivener deliberately allows such dragging/importing into any folders in the binder (typically Research) EXCEPT the Draft (or Manuscript, depending on version) folder. I suspect that this is both for technical reasons (viewing/compiling of project) and perhaps to help avoid/discourage unintended plagiarism, etc.
    “Download Scrivener and try it for yourself. The trial runs for 30 days of actual use: if you use it every day it lasts 30 days; if you use it only two days a week, it lasts fifteen weeks. Once the trial expires, you can export all of your work or buy a licence to continue using Scrivener”

  2. Here’s a few quotes from the manual (hope that’s OK) that may give a feel for what it offers (but you ultimately need to try it out for yourself). I’ll note that I’ve run into an issue with not being able to drag material in from some Windows web browsers (IE, Safari, Chrome) but can drag material fine from FireFox and Opera (could from Chrome at one time). My guess is that that is due to some strangeness on my PC rather than an issue with Scrivener.

“The software should be capable of storing and displaying common research documents,
because writers do not just use text—they also refer to images, web pages,
recorded interviews and other media.”

“11.1.2 Web Page
This lets you enter the URL of a web page that you would like to import into Scrivener.
The web page will be archived on import, meaning you will no longer need to be connected
to the Internet to view it. Web pages cannot be imported into the Draft (which
only supports text), so you must ensure that a non-Draft item in the binder is selected
for this item to be available, or change your options to import web pages as rich text
files. When such conversion is performed, Scrivener will store the page’s original URL
in References (subsection 18.3.2).
Functional Web Pages: Many web pages these days are “functional” in that you can
do things inside the web page after you load it. A good example of this is Gmail,
GoogleDocs, or even a simple search form. These sorts of pages, if they require a
login, will not import correctly. You will need to use copy and paste, or somehow
export the material from the web site to your drive in order to archive them.
You may also drag and drop URLs from many browsers location bar, into the Binder
itself, just as though you were importing a file from your hard drive.”

“Original URL in Browser When used from an archived web page that you have
imported, this command will take you back to the original URL using your
default web browser (thus leaving Scrivener).”

“Default URL import type: When importing web pages directly off of the Internet, using
FileImportWeb Page…, the specified import method will be used by default.
You can however override the default from within the import dialogue box on a
per-import basis:
§ Dynamic Web (Embedded Browser): this is a non-archival method. It will
display the web page in an embedded browser, loading it from the Internet
whenever you click on it. Useful for storing references to pages where changes
are frequent and salient, or to operate as a built-in web browser.
§ HTML (Text Only): imports the full original web site layout, only sans the
images. This is the best format to use if you are interested only in the text, as
it will save resources. This will archive the content locally so that even if the
original web page disappears, you will always have access to it.
§ Image (Browser Quality): imports a snapshot of the full web page as a graphic.
§ PDF Document: will convert the web page to a PDF files, which should retain
much of its original layout and graphics.
§ Plain text: no formatting of any kind will be retained, and the layout will
be linearised into paragraphs. This is the best format to use when you just
want to strip the article out of the page clutter for your research. Web pages
are typically encoded in UTF-8, which is also safe to use for older web pages
encoded in simple ASCII. It is very rare that the Windows system encoding
will be used on a web site, since web sites must remain viewable on many
different types of computers and devices.”

Thank you for your help. I have a handle on it now. All is well.