Saving : high : Footnote and Annotation observations

The way footnotes and annotations export seems a bit fickle. Originally I tried it in Mellel, but I do not think it is specific to Mellel, as Pages and Neooffice do the same thing. They show the footnote like this:


And then at the very bottom of the document (as if it were an endnote):

[1] This is a footnote.

The annotation looks like:

[color=red][And this is an annotation.]

Not sure if that is what it is supposed to look like.

In Neooffice, I was able to see a real footnote (not text-based endnotes) if I used RTF, but not Word. The annotation never shows up in RTF, no matter what I open it in. I do not have MS Word, so I cannot test that one. And neither shows up in Pages using RTF, but I think I remember Pages has issues in that area (or maybe it was page breaks).

So in short: RTF does not convey the annotation properly to the third-party apps that I listed. Whether or not they understand footnotes/endnotes is their issue. Neooffice does it perfectly, so I know that part is out of your hands.

DOC seems to turn both annotations and footnotes into a text-only version. I thought perhaps it was just the Cocoa Word converter doing this, but I am positive that Neooffice has its own Word conversion engine.

All of these issues are actually just a lack of Scrivener documentaiton rather than bugs. Let me explain:

IN THEORY (ie. independent of Scrivener, Cocoa, Apple or anything - purely based on the file formats):

RTF and DOC formats both support comments, footnotes and endnotes.


HTML and WEBARCHIVE support hyperlink footnotes if you want to create them

However, things are not quite this simple. Although the Cocoa text system provides the export of text to all of these formats, the Cocao text system does not support footnotes or endnotes and thus has no way of exporting them. Thus I have had to implement all of this by myself.

The .doc format is private; .rtf is public. Given that MS Word can read RTF flawlessly, this was clearly the way to go. I therefore wrote the necessary code to modify the current RTF exporter so that it would support footnotes, endnotes and comments.

CAVEAT: Because of the intricacies of writing such code, annotations and footnote export to RTF is very limited with regard to formatting. You can only export text to RTF footnotes/endnotes, and then it only supports bold, italic or underline formatting. This should be fine for most cases.

So: you can export footnotes or endnotes to RTF in Scrivener.

However, I also had to allow you to export these footnotes and endnotes to other formats, too. Thus, I just set up a default format for this, which is what you encountered and posted. What you posted is how footnotes will appear in other formats. Ideally, at some point in the future I will improve HTML and webarchive export so that there are hyperlinks in there. But that is actually more complicated than it sounds, as I don’t want to have to write my own HTML exporter.

On top of that, I do realise that the exporter is a little misleading - in fact, the export as footnotes/endnotes options really only has any meaning for RTF export; I need to make that more clear.

And here is the other stinger: although RTF supports comments, to my knowledge, Microsoft Word is the only app that actually reads and displays RTF comments. Mellel, Nisus and others I have tried do not implement them. Thus, if you export to RTF, you will only be able to view your comments in Microsoft Word. This points to a slight oversight - there should be the option to export our annotations inline without them getting converted to RTF in RTF export, for those who want to export to RTF with annotations and footnotes intact but who do not have access to MS Word. This will actually be more work than it sounds because I foolishly integrated the footnotes and annotations code, but I will add it to the list.

I hope that clarifies things a little…

Okay, that makes more sense. I guess you never do actually say that the Word exporter does real footnotes, so that is my fault for missing that. My question is: Is there any real function to having a Word exporter in its current incarnation? From what you are saying, RTF has all the features Word needs to have a functional document, but the Word format is basically just a formatted, featureless export. The only good thing about that is that, right now, I can at least get a formatted document with Annotations. I just have to export to Word and then open in anything else and convert it to something else. So that process works as a bit of a work-around to the problem you brought up in that, if you do not own Word itself, you cannot get Annotations in an RTF file.

Hmm… I kind of did just add Word export for the sake of it… Maybe it should be excluded, really.