Multiple Footnotes possible? Also a bug with ePub footnotes

I’ve decided to rewrite this question as the last one was lengthy and no-one seemed willing to answer it.

Is it possible in S4W to have footnotes appear in multiple locations rather than just in one?

appears to only be read once and ALL footnotes are put there - this means I can't put footnotes at the end of chapters or anywhere else!?!?

This is a bit of a snag - in fact I’d say it’s utterly useless (footnotes at the end of a book aren’t footnotes at all)

p.s. in the latest S4W release, is still ignored for ePub creation, with footnotes always going at the end regardless of where that appears in the manuscript?

Bumped as I’ve re-written the question completely :slight_smile:

It’s not possible to group the notes per section in the ebook compile from Scrivener, no; do the formats support this? I’ve only ever seen notes listed at the end. They should be linked, however, for easily jumping to the note and returning to the original point in the book, and that is on the bug list. The “group footnotes at <$–Endnotes–> marker” option shouldn’t be there for epub or mobi compile, you’re correct; I’ll ensure that gets on the fix list as well.

certainly works for PDF - but EVERY note goes to the position of the first occurance of so it's of limited value (it allows you to put them on a page other than the last one - is about it)

Footnotes(*) are a very common thing for authors - but they’re something eBooks don’t handle well (as they don’t actually have fixed pages) - I can imagine they’ve going to be a pain-in-the-ass for preparing a manuscript for publishing too.

For now I’ll just do them manually I think - I want something very different in an eBook than the printed work so I need to be able to access/move/change them somehow tho - I’ll have ot think about this.

(*)I used them a lot - y’see :wink:

Yes, I was just saying the Endnotes marker is not applicable to the epub and mobi formats, so it shouldn’t be available there; it’s fine for PDFs and does what it is meant to do, namely, allow you to have more control over where the endnotes page is placed. This is still just a single group of endnotes, however, not end-of-section type. If possible we’d like to enable that later for PDFs, but Scrivener isn’t a layout manager and so this depends a lot on the tools available. For now I’d suggest something like compiling in RTF and opening in Word, where you have more control over the layout of footnotes/endnotes, then saving to PDF from there. In the case of ebooks, like I said, I’m not sure how common or even supported end-of-section notes are, and since really the notes should just be hyperlinked, placing them all at the end will least disrupt the text flow since you won’t have to click through a page of notes at the end of every chapter. If you have another custom method, however, you might do best just working the basic output from Scrivener and then using Sigil or such to tweak it how you want.

Yeah that endnotes marker is more for style guides that require them to be grouped up before the actual end of the document. Chicago Essay works that way, for example. That is not in any way applicable to e-books. Footnotes in e-books are as you note more a matter of hyperlinking than positioning. It shouldn’t matter where they are at all because the reader isn’t flipping pages rapidly, but rather navigating via hyperlinks. The notion of grouping them at the end of a section is more applicable to a paper work, where flipping past 20 pages is easier than 200. With an e-book, a hyperlink can span tens of thousands of words just as easily as five hundred.

I’ve been reading around the web and there’s a lot of discussion in terms of what to do with footnotes when it comes to eBooks - hyperlinking is the obvious solution but many people (myself included) hate it.

Obviously, they need to be actual foot-of-the-page-notes when you’re going to publish on paper but that’s not an option with Scrivener for any output format is it (end of book or marker only?)

The nicest solution I’ve seen for eBooks is - ironically - to simply include the footnote immediately after the paragraph in which the reference(s) appear. It might sound a bit odd but it actually works better than hyperlinking or putting footnotes at the end of a chapter/the whole book.

I’ve no idea how I could do that in Scrivener in any meaningful way right now - unless I just hard-code it which is an option - I need to tinker further I think

It’s that or I put my programmer hat back on and start custom compiling from MMD or Latex or - NO - STOP - I’m writing at the moment, one job at a time! :slight_smile:

Given the implication that Hyperlinks To Footnotes (and Back) are the way to go for eBooks, will it be possible to compile them directly in Scrivener at some point in the future? If so, any idea when?

True footnotes are available for the RTF and DOC formats. You can then save to PDF from your word processor to get end-of-page notes for PDF format–again, this is just a very complicated layout issue for PDFs, which Scrivener isn’t currently able to support. Sending the footnote tag for the RTF-based formats is easier, and the word processor then takes care of laying out the page.

Yes, this is intended and is on our bug list for fixing, so it should be available in the next update, but I don’t know time-wise when that’s going to be.

OK, I’ve dug further and I’m just getting more and more lost. Would it be possible to get an actual breakdown of what the differing types of comments, footnotes and annotations are meant to do and which formats they export to - because it seems to me to be a mess/potluck???

I’ve tried exporting to RTF and I cannot get ANY form of comment or footnote to appear in the output , despite the earlier comment that it should work.

I’m starting to think I made a mistake using Scrivener - I’d hoped that as-well-as organising my ideas it would provide a decent platform to create and format documents for both print and e-publishing but the output options are patchy, a stack of things don’t work and there’s near zero documentation for it. Right now I’d have been better-off in a word processor…

Footnotes are important, almost every book has them - where they’ve not easily implemented (epub for example) the export window should indicate this but we need more options and we need documentation on this stuff.

I’m sorry if have been mislead about the purpose of this program, but in fact the focus of it is on the organisation and writing. It was never intended to be a desktop publishing tool like InDesign, or even a hybrid like a word processor. Given that, your last sentiment is correct in my opinion. Once the principle writing is complete and the work is ready to go on to the next phase, you’ll need to be using a system that is designed to accommodate that phase.

So the important thing is to make sure that stuff exports in a clean fashion that can be turned into the final product. Toward that end, the footnote feature should be working for you. It might not format them perfectly, but you should be seeing them if you open the RTF in Word, OpenOffice or something else that can read RTF footnotes. That might be the problem, if you load the RTF in something like WordPad, which doesn’t support footnotes at all, then they will be discarded by that program. If you are opening it in Word, then check your Comments/Footnotes compile option pane and make sure all of the checkboxes are set up in a logical fashion (the defaults are sensible, so generally that won’t be a problem).

I’ve tried the RTF in an (old - I’ll admit) version of Open Office, WordPad (you said that didn’t work and it didn’t), in iBooks and a couple of PC-based eBook readers and they all failed to show any footnotes

At this point I need to get 2 versions of the book ready for some feedback/proof readers - a “printable” version (which will be sent to people to print-off themselves so has to work with whatever they use) with conventional footnotes of some sort and an eBook which can be read on a range of devices and which also has footnotes which are either hyperlinked or at the chapter (and not the book) ending (becuase there are a lot and it will be horrible putitng them all at the end!)

I think that’s going to be tricky but I’ll keep tinkering…

Yeah, e-book readers probably aren’t the best thing to test an RTF file in, if they can even open them at all. Are you doing something in particular to open RTF files in e-book readers? Is the file being converted by another piece of software first? I’m fairly positive that iBooks cannot open them. It can open PDF files though, but I don’t have a cable with me to test at the moment. I did try tapping on an .rtf attachment in an e-mail and that does not offer to let me open it in iBooks.

OpenOffice should be working. Just to be clear are we talking about literal RTF, Rich Text Format, the specific entry in the “Compile For” drop-down menu at the bottom of the compile window, that is labeled in full as, “Rich Text Format (.rtf - Word compatible)”? The ODT converter is simpler and does not support end-of-page notes.

I’m not sure what to suggest for e-books at the moment. I would think however that having them all in one location would be preferable for the proofers. Either way, if you place them at the end of the current section or at the end of the document, one is going to need to use the ToC to get there, so what does it matter if you are jumping to one location or another?

An idea is to use the [b]Format/Convert/[/b] sub-menu to convert them to annotations, which can then be exported inline with a marker around it. This way the footnote would fall in the paragraph itself like this.[Here is an example. After the proofing phases, these could all be converted back to footnotes with the same menu.]

Obviously neither solution is terribly good for publication, but for proofreading these could work.

Whatever the case, we already have a good collection of additional features planned to make e-book export better for non-fiction and academic texts, not to mention fixing the hyperlink problem. At the moment it does admittedly work better for fiction or anything else not requiring an annotation layer.

Just by way of an update to this, I’ve been getting-on MUCH better with Scrivener as a writing tool, in fact I think I’d struggle to go back to my old system (a mix of SimpleNote and Google Docs) now.

Footnotes remain a pain but I’ve simply started to embed them myself, in-line at the end of each paragraph. That works for all forms of output and it deters me from writing long and involved footnotes.

If I ever did start to write them in Terry Pratchett or ‘Infinite Jest’ levels of detail, I’d probably need a better solution - but I suspect it doesn’t exist.

I was reading a Kindle book recently and realised that when I hit a ‘hyperlink’ footnote, it took me to the end of the book with NO WAY BACK WHATSOEVER - we can’t be doing that.

Perhaps I just need to change how I write to make it work in all the forms of media I want to write for!

Thanks for the help - keep making a great product!

Glad to hear you’ve been having better success. If you’ve upgraded to 1.5.7, you should find that footnotes and endnotes are working much more smoothly, including cross-linked endnotes in ebooks (so you can click the marker in the main text to view the endnote and click it in the endnote to jump back to that point in the main text). Definitely to go all-out Terry Pratchett you’re going to need some extra work post-Scrivener, though. :slight_smile:

One thing to note is that nearly all e-readers have a “back” button for this very reason. They are hyperlink driven, and so like a web browser, having the ability to get back to where you were without link’s target location knowing about where you were when you clicked it is essential. So it’s generally not the end of the world to omit a layer of redundant links pointing back to where you came from.