Is there a way to export just the notes associated with a bunch of PDFs to a single file?

I have loaded a bunch of PDFs into Scriviner and used the notes panel to make some comments/ notes to self about what is important from that source. I’d love to figure out how to export all of those notes to a single file and I cannot figure out how to do it.
I’m on a Mac using Scrivener 3.3.6. Thank you!

Hi. Welcome to the forum.

One way would be to select the concerned documents, then go to File / Print settings.
Set it to print only notes.

Then print to PDF (not on paper), or whatever format you want it to be in, if a Mac allows it.

. . . . . . . .

Another way would be to select the concerned documents just the same, then set the compiler to compile the current selection, and fix a compile format to compile no text, no what you don’t want but the notes.
(In which case it may be in any format you want.)

Thank you. The print option is greyed out when I select all of the pdfs.
When I tried to compile, it said I had no text, so it wouldn’t compile for me. Hence, the bruise on my forehead where I keep banging it on my desk… :slight_smile:

Perhaps try adding a dummy document with a bit of gibberish in the editor to your selection?
Its text won’t compile, so no difference in the output. (If it works.)

Only text files can be compiled, so the best way I can think to get what you want is to use the Export command, then to re-import the note documents to view them as a single file in Scrivener (or merge the into one there if you really want).

  1. Shift- or Cmd-click in the binder to select all the PDFs you want the notes from
  2. Select File ▸ Export ▸ Files...
    • Set Rich Text as the export format (this will only affect the notes files)
    • Under the Metadata tab for supporting material, tick the box to include Notes
    • If you want the files to stay in binder order rather than alphabetical, click Options and also tick the box to number exported files
  3. Choose where you’d like to save the exported files and click Export. The Save As name will be the name of a container folder that will hold all the exported files.
  4. In Finder, navigate to where you just saved the exported files and open the folder.
  5. Select all the RTF notes files and drag them into your Scrivener project binder to import them. (Sorting by “Kind” in the Finder will group them for easy selection)
  6. While the imported files are still selected, Ctrl-click the selection and choose New Folder from Selection
  7. Unless you want it for backup, you can then use Finder to delete the folder of exported files, since you’ve already got the PDFs and now the notes as documents all stored in the project

Now your notes are all in their own documents in the binder and can be worked with as such. Viewing the whole folder in Scrivenings mode will let you see them together as a single file (you may want to enable View ▸ Text Editing ▸ Show Titles in Scrivenings). If you prefer, instead of grouping them in a folder, you could move each note document to be next to its original PDF. You can also use document bookmarks in the binder to associate each notes document with the PDF to which it refers, and you can then view and edit that document in the inspector while having the PDF open in the editor—so it would work very similarly to the way you made notes before, but now the notes would be actual files in the binder that could later be compiled together or otherwise worked with more flexibly. (Section 10.3 in the user manual covers bookmarks.)


Thank you SO MUCH. This is exactly what I needed and your directions were clear and easy to follow. I really appreciate the help.

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