Sb3:minor: footnote/annotation inconsistencies

A couple of things have been bugging me for a while when working with footnotes and annotations, and I don’t see that these have been mentioned:

  1. If I copy (or cut) some text and try to paste it inside a footnote or annotation, it does not get pasted inside. I often decide that something written in the main text would serve better inside a footnote that already exists and the current paste method is annoying.

  2. If I put the cursor after the first character in a footnote or annotation, then use arrow key to place the cursor before the first letter, I expect to still be within the annotation/footnote but I am not. Thus there is no simple (intuitive) way to type new text at the beginning of an existing footnote/annotation, without choosing the menu item or keyboard shortcut. Note that just the opposite (and correct, or at least expected—by me) behaviour occurs at the end of a footnote/annotation).

Need I add to the chorus of praise for beta3 and Scrivener in general? The ability to export useful drafts, including comments and footnotes to Word and NisusWE is truly amazing (btw no problems detected with Nisus exports, Keith).

This has been a great and active forum too and I regret that I have been too busy writing (:smiley: Scrivening, of course) to participate much in the past couple of months.

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your praise - I’m glad you like Scrivener.

This one - or something like it - has been mentioned several times and is actually in the FAQ in the Tips & Tricks forum. Basically, this is just how rich text pastes work - when you paste, the pasted text maintains its own format (including not being an annotation). However, there is the very useful alternative method of pasting in the Edit menu, which also occurs in TextEdit - Paste and Match Style (alt-shfit-cmd-V, also as in TextEdit). If you use this method of pasting, the pasted text takes on the attributes of the text it is pasted into - so, in your case, this would be how to paste text into an annotation.

I think AmberV mentioned something like this a while ago, but basically, I have no control over this. Cocoa text views use something called “typing attributes” to determine how the text you type will look, and these are taken from the cursor’s place in the text - generally, they are taken from the preceding text. You can test this in TextEdit. Have some normal text and some bold text after it. Place your cursor at the beginning of the bold text. When you start typing, the text will not be bold. Actually, there is, technically, a way of controlling this, but I try to stick to the custom Apple behaviour for consistency.

In general, just remember that annotations and footnotes are nothing more than text attributes whilst in Scrivener, no different from bold or italic, really. It’s only on export that they have meaning.

One tip for using annotations, though, is to have some whitespace at the beginning of it. Then you can just type into the whitespace if you want to add something to the beginning. This is a good tip in general. Whitespace is trimmed from around the annotation when exported to RTF comment format, though the whitespace around the annotation is left untouched (so you must make sure that the text around the annotation is set out exactly as it should be if the annotation wasn’t there).

Hope that helps,

thanks for the—as always—speedy and helpful response. As you must be aware, the forum is so large and unwieldy right now that it’s not easy to find if something has already been covered. I did do a search before I posted those questions but nothing obvious popped up, though now that you mention it I do recall now reading something about the paste special issue when it was first posted.

Now, I wonder if it would be possible, or even reasonable, to have that space put automatically at the beginning of an annotation or footnote. The footnote one may annoy some people but I can’t see that a space at the start of an annotation would be anything less than useful.

I don’t think it would be very reasonable, given that an annotation is just an attribute and it really is up to the user how to use it… So, sorry, you’ll just have to exercise those thumbs on the spacebar. :slight_smile: