Real footnotes?

Is there a technical reason why “real” bottom-of-the-page footnotes cannot be part of Scrivener? They provide a useful option for the writer’s own annotations and if searchable can also serve as markers.

I’ll take a stab at it. I’d say there are two primary reasons: The first is that the rich text engine that Scrivener uses does not come with such a facility. This is evidenced by the lack of simulated footnotes in every single Cocoa application that uses the rich text area widget. So making these would require coding an implementation from scratch, which may or may not be compatible with all of the various export formats Scrivener supports. The second reason is more conceptual, being a text stream based editor rather than a page based editor means there is no bottom of a page to put the footnotes. So you could have end notes, but personally I’d rather have my comments somewhere remotely near the cause of the comment.

Which brings me to a question I have for you: Why not just use the annotation feature for annotations? Unlike footnotes, they can be searched for, either indiscriminately, or filtered by containing a specific text phrase. Additionally, they can be coloured, allowing their appearance to represent meta-data – unlike footnotes. Also importantly, in export they can be separated from footnotes automatically. You can use footnotes for real footnotes, and choose to not export annotations into your draft result.

See also … =footnotes .