link to a specific document from outside Scrivener


Some software (Evernote, theBrain) have links similar to urls automatically associated to each information token (they look like “evernote:///view/1688744/s15/1953–automatically-generated-ID”).

Is there something similar for scrivener ?

I found the “scrivener links”, but they are only recognized within scrivener.

what I am looking for is a link that I can put in any document or in another documentation software (like the ones mentioned above) to point a specific scrivener file. clicking on the link should open the corresponding project (if not already open) an display that specific document.

is this possible with scrivener ?

The only way to really do this with a program like Scrivener is using a full file path in the link itself, like scrivener://project=/C/Users%20and%20Documents/Administrator/My%20Documents/Scrivener%20Projects/My%20Great%20Novel.scriv/&item=823. That is fragile on two counts though. You wouldn’t ever be able to move or edit the name of that project in the future, nor would it be safe to roll back to an earlier backup version, as that could cause numbers to get out of whack (unlikely, but possible). In short, that idea typically works much better with software that is a database and doesn’t give you much control over where or how your files are really stored. I have seen it done with file based programs like Scrivener; it’s just not nearly as common because the experience cannot be controlled.

thanks for the input.

the context for me is that I like scrivener for the writing functionalities, but I want to keep my existing software for documentation collection, therefore, I need to be able to make precise connections between them

I don’t seem to figure out how to use a link like the example AmberV gave: navigator says scrivener is an unknown protocol and with a window shortcut, the item parameter is not taken into account (project opens with default document activated)

any complementary information on this possibility would be very welcome !

also, I am wondering if the reference problem with links in case of roll back to an earlier version also applies to “scrivener links” ?

for information, TheBrain is a software that uses both a database and a file system in a way that allows both direct access to the files in directories and a link for each token of information (with an automatically generated unique ID)

That was a hypothetical link, not a functional one. Scrivener does not respond to any URL protocols. I was demonstrating how such a link would have to work—with the full path to the file directly in the link as text, rather than abstracted by ID numbers like a database can do.

Scrivener was mainly designed from the standpoint of being a content generator, not an information repository. The line is a little blurry of course, as it can store research in the binder. The idea however is that the research would be stored in the project it pertains to and that is that. It wouldn’t, like a database, be functioning as an all-purpose warehouse for information made available outside of the context of that project, or even to other programs. That mission is a bit outside of Scrivener’s goal.

It, on the other hand, is quite good at linking to other informations repositories. The References table in the Inspector can hold any URI you please, including direct Evernote links and such. You can even accomplish this with hyperlinks in the text using the Edit/Link... menu command. And we have more ideas for the future as well, such as soft-linking to disk resources rather than full imports.

No, Scrivener keeps itself internally cohesive as you work. It uses internal ID numbers to track individual items, so if you roll back the system to an earlier point in time, the internal network of these ID numbers would roll back as well. The problem with an external static link is that if the project were rolled back to a point where ID 823 no longer exist, then this link would stop working. Now, Scrivener is free to use 823 for a new item if you create any in the future, to this rolled back version, so ultimately you could end up with the external static link pointing to something completely irrelevant.

This would not be a problem within Scrivener itself, and with Scrivener links.

That sounds somewhat similar to DEVONthink, a popular information archival tool on the Mac. Basically the resources are stored as files on the system, and you can link directly to them, but the overall mechanism for doing so is an overarching database that keeps track of where these files are. That’s what the unique ID is and that’s how a central routing system can consistently work where a purely file based system is subject to topological changes on the disk.