Synchronize annotations in RTF draft with Scrivener original

I’m forging ahead with my career thanks in part to Scrivener. Now I’ve hit this snag - editors provide feedback via annotations in the RTF draft. These annotations are “just” comment bubbles attached to highlighted text.

I suspect the following is too complicated to implement, but this is a wishlist and I’ve heard similar from more senior pros, so here’s what I’d love to have:

You are correct, that is a pretty complicated thing to implement—that is the main reason why we do not have any easy ways of taking in an edited manuscript back into Scrivener and parcel it all back out into the pieces it came from. If an editor constrains themselves purely to using RTF comments, it is much easier to conceive of a system whereby this could be done, but when designing such systems we have to consider the many ways that people will want to use the feature, and undeniably the problem of integrating more extensive copy edits from co-authors and such is something that a lot of people would want from such a feature—and once you get into content edits, the problem grows much more complex. For instance, you may have a section break between two paragraphs, but what if these paragraphs are shuffled in the RTF, or even removed entirely? How would Scrivener know how to integrate the edits back into your original draft outline? In short, it really couldn’t, and the only way around the problem is to use some kind of marker between sections—which has its own field of problems, for there is no standard for such a marker and thus anything we tried to implement would be as volatile as the paragraph shuffle problem itself.

We have some tentative plans for getting around this—particularly where editing is purely constrained to marking or highlighting or the addition of RTF contents. So do know that it is on our minds.

In the meanwhile, many of our authors find that at a certain point it is easier to abandon Scrivener as a writing platform once a project reaches the point where most of the work involves passing around proofs to multiple parties. It may be that in your case, it will be easiest for you if you just compile out a final draft from Scrivener and set the software aside until the next project comes up.

Others manage to convince their editors to use Scrivener and then they can just pass the project back and forth, or share it using a service like Dropbox. I hope you find something that works well for you.

Thanks for taking the time to answer. I appreciate this is a Blue Sky request!

One thing that is possible is to use MS Word to compare & merge the new output with the marked up document from the editor. This makes it look as if you made your changes directly into the Word file, but does not transfer any edits they made into Scrivener.

But yes, editors should damn well use Scrivener. :slight_smile: