Back in the early 1990s I dreamt of a program that is pretty much what Scrivener is. I’ve never been a patient programmer, though, so I’m happy to find someone who have made it come almost true
There is just a couple of wishes I have, and due to my unfamiliarity with Scrivener I might be asking for things that is already there.
First complements on the cmd+L for linking, and for its “create a new document” feature. I will retry my arrow keys to see if I can switch to “Link to existing document” without using the mouse. This is truly a timesaver, and it makes non-linear writing exactly what camel case in wikis tries to do, but fails at.
I would like to ask for a corresponding feature. Imagine I write a text and then press alt+shift+left arrow to mark the three previous words, and then another key to open the existing document with its title.
In other words, I could then quickly reference my character sketch, without creating a link to it. If focus remained in the document I opened my reference from, even better.
If you like that approach in theory (sans the BunchedUpTitleNameProblem), then you might appreciate an option in the Corrections preference tab: “Automatically detect [[Scrivener Links]]”. With that turned on, you can just type “[[” then the name of the document you want to link to, and “]]”. If said document exists, it will immediately link to it. If the name doesn’t match anything, it will ask where you want to create the document (same as Cmd-L).
Two tricks to make that even better, one subjective: first, Ctrl-Esc. Or Edit/Complete Document Title. Now all you have to do is type in “[[Fir” hit Ctrl-Esc, and you’ll get, “[[First Bit of Name” then just finish it off with “]]”. The subjective tip, I myself prefer new links to do nothing when I make them, but you might want them to do something other than the default. You can set up what happens when you create a new link in the Navigation preferences tab. It’s the last option at the bottom, “Open newly created Scrivener Links in:”. If you set that to None, then the link is created and you can go on typing undisturbed—again that’s a more WikiLike approach, where you lay out the map without actually forking your attention and following up on each thing you refer to.
You can kind of do that. Just copy the text, hit Ctrl-Cmd-G, paste, and there you go. You can tab down, to the search result list and hit the spacebar to open the item in a QuickReference panel. This interface is a bit like Notational Velocity, if you’ve ever used that. It lacks the “if it doesn’t exist, create it” philosophy, but otherwise it’s a quick-filter/quick-access way of accessing the contents of your outline tree without disturbing the workspace you’ve got going with the binder. It’s also a great way to quickly jot down a note since you can type directly into the synopsis card. Just narrow the search result down, use the Up/Down arrow keys if necessary to select the item you wish to add a note to, hit Enter, and off you go. Hit Esc a couple of times to back out and close the window—you’re back where you were.
I get what you’re saying, but I’d rather have a link so I can easily use it again in the future if need be. At any rate, I think Ctrl-Cmd-G (that’s Edit/Find/Find Synopsis... by the way) is a great way to do what you want to do here. I use this feature almost constantly, myself. I need to look up the content for something very quickly, or add a note, and I don’t want to click around in the binder and lose my place. It’s an efficient way to do it. With a character name it would be even easier since you could skip the copy/paste bit and just type the name in. Side benefit, you get a QuickReference window out of it; so you might just want to leave it open for a while out of the way.
Or, looping back to the first tip, you can set your Navigation preference to open the link in a QuickReference window. Now when you select the name you wish to inspect, you get a future-use link out of it and a QR panel to look at.