Link Specific Text from One Document to Another?

I’m not aware of any tutorials on that. Were you needing any additional information on an aspect of the approach?

Hi AmberV,

Thank you for responding. First, my apologies for asking the question. As a non-literal, kinesthetic style person, I found the Scrivener tutorials to be very helpful. My memory works best when I first observe something in practice, then repeat the practice. This is the fastest way for me to pick up new techniques and remember them.

For someone who is attempting to write, the irony is not lost on me that reading happens to be the least efficient way for me to absorb new information.

Thank you for status update.


Oh that’s perfectly understandable, it’s why we have tutorials in a few different formats. Some learn well by reading, others are better when hearing something explained, so there are videos—I don’t think it has anything to do with whether one is a writer. So it’s not necessary to apologise for asking follow-up questions!

As for a practical example, did you try the sample project that I attached to the original post? Here it is again:

The explanation for it is in the post rather than in the project, but hopefully seeing it implemented helps.

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Hey, Amber. I tried to follow your comment above and took a look at the project you’re provided but I think I didn’t understood what you meant or it’s not what I’m looking for.

I need to make a link from a text in document A to a specific text in another document, or sometimes to a specific text inside document A itself (like you would have on Wikipedia’s content section, when linking to an id of an element such as <a href="#Section">). Breaking a text into smaller chunks wouldn’t work for my case.

(Tried to insert a gif/link to demonstrate, doesn’t let me.)

I can do this in Google Docs inserting a bookmark and then a link to that bookmark or headings, is this possible in Scrivener?

(Tried to insert a gif/link to demonstrate, doesn’t let me.)


If you’re looking for precisely that feature in my post that you won’t find it. What the post goes in to is how you can use a couple of different features in Scrivener to achieve the effect of an anchor link, without having the anchor link. I’d suggest starting with the numbered checklist below the original file link, which describes how to use the example in the project. This is followed by the subsection, Creating Direct Links, which describes in step-by-step fashion how the example got to be that way.

In a nutshell I would say: take a step back from the technology of inserting a bookmark in a word processor and then scrolling elsewhere and inserting a reference to that bookmark, and consider how that basic idea can be achieved with a slightly different toolset.

As for linking to headings, since Scrivener’s model is based on outlining the heading structure instead of typing it into a text document, it already links directly to any notable heading. That’s what the very first section, Keeping Things Small is all about.

Bear in mind that with a detailed enough outline, which is something Scrivener can do quite well, actually scrolling at all can be a rare requirement—and if you don’t need to scroll, if your link takes you to a chunk of text that is topically focussed enough to already be looking at what you’re looking for, then you often don’t even need a clause-level “bookmark”. That is why I covered that consideration first, before going into additional methods.

Sure it would. “Breaking text into smaller chunks” is exactly what Wikipedia does: their “Edit” button will only give you access to the text of the specific section that you’re editing. The standard Wikipedia structure of an introduction, links to subsections, and then the subsections themselves is exactly replicable in Scrivener.

IMO, people who are used to other tools are often far too conservative in their approach to project structure in Scrivener.

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If I have a long paragraph, and I need a link to a word in the middle of the paragraph, should I split the paragraph into two separate files? Would it be possible to ‘stitch’ a paragraph that was cut in the middle of a sentence later in compilation?

Even then, it seems like a tedious process. Even though I could use Scrivenings for a group/folder, having to manage hundreds or thousands of individual texts that might be 3 words long just so I can link to them from another file seems inconvenient.

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You referred to linking to headings, which is what that aspect of my response was relevant to. There were two different topics that I had summarised from the longer post above, for you to look into, since it sounded like you were looking for direction.

The other topic involves putting a “bookmark” anywhere at all—in the middle of a word if you want.

Can you elaborate on this part?

Which part of that are you wondering about?

This one, while writing I have many thoughts that I write elsewhere, can I just type these in a kind of todo format?

Oh, by that I simply mean that if you type in the word “TODO” (or whatever you want, there is no “format” it’s up to you) into your document anywhere, and explain what you want to do, then you can search for that word to build a list of all documents that have that marking in it. It’s a very simple concept, nothing complicated—the same concept you’d be thinking of if you want to find all of the documents that contain the name of a flower you’re writing about.

Like I said, I put double-slashes after such special markers so that I don’t end up finding things where the word “todo” is simply used by itself for other reasons. I’ll never be writing about “TODO//” though, so that is unique.

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Got it, thanks a ton

For longer docs, creating internal links, enabling you to quickly move around WITHIN a single text file (not between documents) would help enormously with speed and efficiency.

There are no plans to add anything of that nature, mainly because it conflicts with how the software is designed to be used (your sections are probably way too long if you need navigational aids within them). But for all of the details, as well as a number of ways you can effectively use the existing tools to refer to specific pieces of text, read above.

I appreciate Amber’s quick reply. But as a factual matter, I have found over many years of working that it can often be very fast and efficient to have a set of links at the top of a document that allow me to quickly move to separate parts of it – even if it’s not a very long document.

More broadly, I don’t understand why a design philosophy that supports one particular way of organizing information needs to be seen as an obstacle to this fairly minor request. The field of brain science is making it increasingly clear that there are important variations in how people best absorb and use information. I would hope that a system as strong as Scrivener would seek to accommodate this diversity, at least in fairly minor ways that don’t require a design overhaul.

Finally, not a substantive point, but I see that this request – which I submitted to the Scriver Wish List folder – was closed and moved to a different thread called “Link Specific Text from One Document to Another?” This seems to defeat the purpose of my request, which was to ask for something different than (and in addition to) linking between documents. I would have imagined that a forum called Wish List would want to most accurately relay wishes, to see if they trigger similar requests from other users.


It is the same request. Any link to a destination within a document will require the same functionality, whether the link originates in the same document or a different one. (Especially when you consider that splitting the document should not break the link.)

To emphasise one of the techniques described above:

  1. Select the text you wish to have in your “jump” list.
  2. Use the Insert ▸ Comment menu command.
  3. Annotate the purpose of the link as desired in the sidebar.
  4. Repeat for each.

Consider giving these a special colour so they stand out, or a text prefix denoting their purpose, and collapsing them down to one line with the arrow button in the sidebar.

If that’s mainly what you want, a jump list within a document, then this already exists. The further tips above will only help make those targets accessible outside of that one document, too.

And yes, to reiterate what Katherine stated above, this was merged because the technology you are asking for is identical to what would be used to link from document X to document B at index position 782. Where the link comes from is irrelevant, and if we added what you wanted only, it would solve nothing for the overall larger feature request since 99% of those asking for this are asking for a link mechanic that does not have any limitations on where it can be placed.

The field of brain science is making it increasingly clear that there are important variations in how people best absorb and use information.

If you’re suggesting that having the link in a detached sidebar that can be activated from anywhere in the document is significantly different, in a cognitive sense, than a link at the top of a document you have to first scroll to to use, then I don’t know what to tell you. :slight_smile:

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I appreciate these replies – and your patience with what I mistakenly thought was a lack of a simple workaround.

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I have many long documents that are research materials for my book. I would like to find a way to bookmark a section within the document so that I can get back to it easily when I resume my writing session. I read through the Bookmarks section in the manual, but I only see ways of bookmarking an entire document, rather than a specific location. Did I miss something?