Invisible text

As a journalist, I regularly edit (my own) articles to cut them down to a certain length. A feature that would allow me to make passages ‘invisible’, that is not part of the final text but still within the document on the original spot, would be a great help. It is possible to do that now with the comments&footnotes feature, but I find that a little bit awkward.

In-line annotations? Aggressive use of the Snapshot feature? That’s what works for me.

Yes, I would have thought snapshots would be perfect for this. Just hit cmd-5 to store the current version of your text and then hack away - you can refer to the original version, or even compare the two, using the inspector.

There is no way to make arbitrary passages invisible using the OS X text system, unfortunately.


Or if you go the inline-annotation route, you can always change the color from the bright red to something extremely light and nearly invisible. (You could make it entirely invisible but that seems inadvisable since you’d be liable to accidentally delete it when working with the other text; but very light yellow or gray should work well.) Just make sure for your word-count check that you use the Project Statistics field to discount annotations, rather than going by the footer word count which will still include them.

Using Snapshots is an option, sure.
However having ‘invisible text’ - paragraphs, sentences or even words - inside the document at their original places, allows one to trim or lengthen the text, without ‘losing’ the original. If you use snapshots for this, you will end up with two or more versions, which can be confusing.
Ideally my scenario is this: you trim your text down to the right length using an invisible function, and then export it.


So wouldn’t inline annotations be ideal, then, since you can choose to not include them at compile but they would stay at the appropriate spot in the text while you were working in the editor? Just select the text and turn it “invisible” by making it a white/nearly-white annotation.

What you’d need is a text processor like “Papyrus Office”: There you have a function to “mumify” parts of the text (of whatever length - words, sentences, chapters …). You just mark the part you want to make disappear and choose “Mumify” from the context menu – gone. All that rests is a small red flag (only visible when “Show Invisibles” is on), and should you desire to restore the part, you simply click on that flag, use the appropriate function from the context menu and you get the text back. Very handy for refining texts.

Maybe you’d like to have a look. What you are describing – editing your text and cutting it down to a given length - is rather part of the “post processing”, for which Scrivener isn’t designed for anyway. Scrivener is for first drafts.

As I say, it’s not possible to make arbitrary ranges of text invisible using the OS X text system. I’ve tried, and I even got help from one of the top Apple text engine engineers - using an Apple developer tech support ticket - and he couldn’t do it, either.


I understand it is not possible, I’ll live with it. Thank you AndreasE for the Papyrus tip, I’ll check it out.

Pages offers an option called strikethrough which literally shows a line through the text. I tried to copy/paste an example but it doesn’t carry over. The option is in the main Pages Header bar, just click the arrow next to the ‘a’ (second button from left). I used it for editing before I switched to Scrivener, it would be nice to have that option here (or something similar), it leaves the text visible but the line through it makes it obvious a change has been made without the need to do comments or annotations or change text colors. It’s essentially an addition to the usual Bold, Italics, Underline options.
Just a thought.


There is a strikethrough option in Scrivener; you’ll find it in Format>Font>Strikethrough or by hitting shift-cmd-_.