Make quick summary of text based on highlight


I’m new to the forum and this is my first post. However I have been using Scrivener for Mac for over a year with great pleasure. I’m a journalist and I’m currently writing an article with a lot of interviews sorted in different text documents. I use the highlight feature (cmd+shift+H) to highlight important passages in the interviews to get an overview of what’s most important, but what would be really nice is to be able to make a new document based on only the highlighted text from a single interview, sort of a quick summary. As of now I’m doing this manually, but is it possible to do this automatically? Or should I use some other feature instead to get the same result?

Thanks in advance!

Welcome to the forum!

There isn’t anything like this for highlights, however you could get very close to what you are looking for with the inline annotation feature. This will draw a bubble around the selected text and colour it (if Stern Teacher Red is too much for you, you can change that by just bringing up the colour panel with [b]Shift-Cmd-C[/b], Scrivener will go on using the last colour you used until you change it again).

The side-effect of this is that you’ll be able to use the [b]File/Export/Comments & Annotations[/b] menu command to create an RTF file with all of the text marked as being an annotation throughout the project. You can optionally choose to split this file up with section headings.

Now, once you are done with that phase you may want to clear all of the formatting. You can do this just as you would with any type of formatting, like bold, by selecting the whole text and toggling it twice.

Another approach, if you would rather keep them around while you work, is to switch annotation export on in the Footnotes & Comments compile option pane, leaving them as inline, with no enclosing markers. If this approach sounds appealing, you will want to use Black as your inline annotation colour—there is no way to suppress annotation colouring in output to formats that support text colour, so leaving them black with no enclosing markers will effectively render the fact that these lines were ever marked, invisible to the reader.

Another option might be the “Append Selection to Document” tool, available from the Edit menu or by right-clicking on selected text. That would allow you to compile your highlights into a single document as you create them, at which point they have a completely separate existence from the original.

Of course, there’s no reason why the highlights have to be in a single document. Each could be an item in a folder, allowing you to shuffle them around as needed while you create your article, while still keeping your original source materials intact. Naturally keeping track of attributions is up to you; I’d recommend using Scrivener’s Keyword features to tag each extract with source information.


Many thanks! I will try all of your methods and see which one works best for me!