Minimizing footnote color and/or link?

Greetings –

First off, Scrivener 2.0 is simply terrific. I’m halfway through a book that I started with 1.5 and am really excited to finish it with 2.0.

I have one suggestion about how the new (and awesome) footnotes appear in the editor. I’m academic, so, for better or worse, I use lots and lots of footnotes in my writing. At the moment, the current way in which footnotes are displayed in the editor is a bit distracting, as my eye keeps focusing on the boxed word and link, not the entire text. The only workaround that I could come up with involved changing the color of footnote box to match the color of the paper, but this still leaves the frame of the box around the word with the note and the line for the link. It also means that the color of the paper in full-screen mode must match the color the paper in normal mode. Thus, I wanted to suggest that an option be added so that the color of the footnote box match the color of the paper (effectively disappearing) and that the color of the link be lightened. I’m not a coder and have no idea if this is feasible.

Thanks again for such great software!

Taylor Fravel

The main problem with this suggestion is that it would cause a conflict of semantics with comments. Comments cannot have a background shade, just a text colour application, but they can be set to black. So the thing that has always set apart a black comment from a footnote is the shaded background. If you want to create a visual merge for yourself, that’s fine, but allowing the application to create those conditions would not be the best move I think.

I’d suggest giving it a little time with its default look. A lot of times, new things look bolder than they actually are—just because they are new.

Hi Ioa,

Many thanks. I’m not quite sure if I understand the issue about semantics that you raise, but I would happily sacrifice the option for having a black comment if I could hide or minimize a footnote if such an option were available. Perhaps I will get used to the boxes and links, but as I have multiple footnotes in each paragraph, I do find them to be distracting at the moment when I’m trying just to focus on the text that I’m writing.



What I mean by that is: the grey shaded background is a form of communication, it has semantics, it says, “I’m a footnote and not a comment”. The problem with wiping out that distinction, even with a preference is not for you—obviously you are fine with it—but the massive amount of increased confusion it would cause for many others. Things need to be communicated well, or there will be a high potential for confusion that is ongoing.

Linked footnotes are a way of minimising them, they can’t really get much more minimised. Most have been happy with inline footnotes all this time, especially after they gave themselves a chance to get used to working that way. The new ability to put the text off to the side is “minimising” the footnote content out of the way. As for how visual they are, well you have to strike a balance here, when designing interface like this, and on the extremes it might not look as good or take more time to adjust to, but for most people, an obvious indicator is going to be preferable in a non-WYSIWYG authoring environment. A tool like Scrivener intends to get away from the squinting at pages and pages of typeset text, looking for “78” in tiny little superscript numbers. It’s got to look that way in a word processor because in a wp you are stuck writing in the same format you’ll be exporting with. With Scrivener you can employ better visual methods that make important details like footnotes and such pop out. You can write in a nice big easy to read font, but print in whatever your submission format requires. That’s the idea.

All of that said: this is new territory. Like I said we have to find a balance between increasing the usefulness of the authoring environment (as opposed to the typesetting environment), and if that balance is in fact skewed too far toward visibility and distracting for most people, then it can be re-examined. So far out of the hundreds that tested it, and the many more who have so far bought and started using it, the issue has been quiet. Not a lot of negative feedback on the visual quality of the links.

You’re thoughts have been duly noted. I think you are on an extreme end of it though, and it is difficult to make a good decision based on an extreme, you can end up skewing things toward vague and difficult to find if you optimise for ultra-heavy footnote usage. Hope that makes more sense.


Thanks for the explanation!