Tags and chapters?

I am writing a book that’s based mainly around other people’s anecdotes. Each chapter will cover a particular topic with an introduction/explanation by me, followed by any number of anecdotes gleaned from interviews I have conducted with many different participants.
I am looking for a way to go through each interview and allocate sections of text - anecdotes - to specific chapters (eg by tagging) and have the chapter automatically constructed, rather than having to manually copy/paste anecdotes from interview files into chapter files. Is this possible in Scrivener?
I would also like to tag each anecdote with the participant’s name or initials (although I haven’t yet decided whether the anecdotes will be anonymous - it would be useful to maybe have a view of all the quotes attributed to each participant). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

There are a few ways of doing this. I assume you want to keep each anecdote organized in a place outside of the main manuscript? If so, then take a look at the <$include> tag. You can read about it in the manual, but in essence you can tell scrivener to include the text of a linked document at the spot where you place the $include tag.

This means that you’ll need to have each anecdote/quote in a separate file, since the include tag grabs all of the source document’s text.

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Thanks Robert. I’ve learned something new - and your suggestion would kind work - but it’s a question of scale. I have a list of up to 100 contributors which may generate up to a thousand or more anecdotes.

I am rather hoping to be able to transcribe the interview(s) of, say, Jane Smith into one file, then go through the file and highlight one section (anecdote) of text and tag it as ‘Jane Smith’ ‘Chapter 1’, another as ‘Jane Smith’ ‘Chapter 2’ etc etc. I would then repeat this across all the interviews.

This would give me the option to see all the ‘Jane Smith’ anecdotes in one view and all the ‘Chapter 1’ anecdotes in another - while maintaining an important link back to the original interview file (in case I need to edit/tidy up the anecdotes’).

I think I may be going beyond the Scrivener remit, unfortunately.

This can absolutely be done with Keywords and Collections, if you break down your “files” into small enough pieces of text.


If you start with a top-level Jane Smith document (or folder) with or without text, and then split the anecdotes into sub-documents, then when you click on the parent document, you can make Scrivener default to Scrivenings mode, stitching those separate files into one view. You get the best of both worlds.

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I would actually duplicate the Jane Smith interview file, and then split and tag the duplicate. That keeps the original transcript intact. I assemble smaller projects in this way quite often, and it’s always a good idea to go back and fact check yourself against the original.

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Thanks all - much appreciated. It would seem there are several options available, but they all involve dividing the original text into many individual files - which adds quite a considerable overhead in terms of initial set up (copy/paste) and ongoing maintenance (amendments or ‘tidying up’) - rather than tagging sections of text in the original file.
Perhaps one for Wish List and, in the meantime, I’ll see if there’s a hybrid option using a certain ‘Word’ processor.
PS as a new user I am unable to tag three people in a post.

You can accomplish the split via either the Import and Split command or the Documents → Split command. In my experience, it adds much less overhead than attempting to invent your own tag system.

I can’t speak for Keith, but when this request has come up before the answer has been that duplicating the tools that Scrivener already provides is not a high priority for limited developer time.

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How are the anecdotes marked in the original text?

If there is some distinguishing marker before all anecdotes, then it could be a simple matter of reimporting the documents and using the File > Import > Import and Split features which will (obviously!) spill the document into a number of smaller ones.

Even if that’s not possible, then you certainly don’t need to do a lot of copying and pasting. Instead, you’d go through each document, put your cursor at the relevant spot in front of an anecdote and choose Documents > Split > At selection, which will (again, obviously!) split the document into two at that point. If you select some text and choose Documents > Split > with selection as title, then you’ll give a title to the new document.


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