Simply and Clarify Creation of Scrivener Links

I love Scrivener and think that the links are a really powerful resource.

However I frequently have trouble creating them. First, the command to create a link is sometimes difficult to find. I suggest that it might be added to contextual menu that appears when you hit the control key. That way you click on a file in the binder, hit the control key and make a link. Second, my first place to look for a way to link documents is on the document menu. Of course nothing there. Third, when I select a file in the binder, and want to make a link I frequently find that the Scrivener Link menu under the Edit menu is entirely grayed out. Fourth, why is “copy documents as Scrivener Links” under the Copy Special menu and no the under the more prominent and transparently sensible Scrivener Link menu?

There may be a logic to all of this but as a user I find myself hunting around to do something I want to do quickly and instinctively.

Finally, many times when I try to make a link by moving a file from the binder onto either a document or its notes pane I find that suddenly the document selected in the main work area changes. I find that I always have to do this operation in dual screen mode. It may be that sometimes I forget to hit the option key but it is still disconcerting.

These are not complaints agains the program which I love and recommend, but suggestions for how to make it easier to use.


A few thoughts on this:

First, creating a link has to happen somewhere that you can place the link, which is why you can’t select items in the Binder and choose “Scrivener Link”–that command makes a link, and as part of making the link you choose what file you’re linking to. If you think about what you want to do when you’re selecting items in the Binder as as placing them as Scrivener Links on a clipboard to paste into another document or reference sheet, then using Copy Special makes sense. To simplify this, if you do it a lot, you could assign “Copy Documents as Scrivener Links” a keyboard shortcut via System Preferences.

Second, if you’re in a document and want to create a link, the shortcut cmd-L will pull up the dialogue to create a new link, letting you choose the document to link to (or to make a new document). Scrivener Link is also an option in the context menu here. Wiki-style links (just typing [[document to link to]]), if you turn that on in Preferences:Navigation, is super fast provided you know the document title you want to link to. If you don’t or you mistype it, the same “create a link” dialogue box pops up and lets you choose.

If you’re putting links in the document or project references, just dragging from the Binder and dropping there will do the trick, the same as opt-dragging into notes or the document. To do this without switching documents, click the mouse on the item in the Binder and begin dragging without lifting the mouse button. Hit the option key after you’ve started dragging. After you’ve done it a few times you get the hang of it. You can also use opt-cmd-L to lock the Editor so that it won’t switch even if you click around in the Binder, letting you drag away to your heart’s content.