Update Scrivener links without having to compile?

Hi folks,

I’ve done a good trawl of the forum and can’t find what I’m after, so I suspect the answer will be no, but here goes anyway:

Is it possible to have Scrivener update all the Scrivener links in a project without having to compile it? I ask because I’ve renamed a great deal of my scrivenings, and now the internal cross-referencing doesn’t make sense when it is read.

For example, I had six sections named “methods” in the binder hierarchy, and changed them to read “Exp. 1 Method”. “Exp. 2 Method”… etc. This makes it easier to make sense of the text when reading, and stops the TOC (copy and paste method) from confusing page numbers of similarly-named binder items when exporting to RTF. E.g:

"blah blah (see Section [methods])

which should now read

"blah blah (see Section [Exp. 1 Method].

I really want the links to be updated rather than having to update each one individually in the project, as there are so many xrefs, and I want to proof-read before compile. Am I being too fussy?

Best,
Sarah :slight_smile:

There is no way to do that, sorry to say. That would be a very difficult thing to design, because of course Scrivener is only aware of what you have, and what you have is current some arbitrary text linking to a document that is not named by that arbitrary text. It doesn’t know that ‘arbitrary text’ is in fact an old name for the thing it links to. You know that because you have a brain, it can only ‘know’ what it has in front of it. IF the only use case for Scrivener Links was verbatim title links, then perhaps this wouldn’t be a problem. You could run a command and sync everything back up—or maybe it would just always be that way to begin with and update automatically—but it’s not at all. There are, for instance, the <$p> codes that can be linked, and outside of Compile functional links, there are the myriads of author-use-only links that head from random selections of text off to research documents or background notes.

So, the only way to to really do this is scorched earth, and scorched earth would potentially be very damaging; wiping out sentences, words, and so on to replace them with Binder titles which may very well be something you don’t want the reader to see.

Easiest way to make Scrivener links:
Select the title in the TOC, then press Control
Use the drop-down menu, Scrivener Link
You’ll find that the project “remembers” your old links.
(If they are down in Research or Trash)
In that case, skip the Suggestions and use the Draft outline to find the section.
Test the link by clicking on it to see the section it brings up.

Hi Ioa, thought that might be the case. Good to know why though, so thanks for the explanation. My vain hope was that it would work like some website building software, and would be able to update links. But of course, if I’d thought it through I’d have realised the link could be updated, but not the underlying ‘arbitrary’ text. Ho hum.

Hi Druid, that’s useful, thank you. Looks like Scrivener also makes ‘suggestions’ of scrivenings to link to in the context menu, which seem to be based on the text selected: so when I’m selecting ‘Method’ it offers me all my sections that have that word in. It doesn’t solve my issue that it’s the underlying text that needs changing though (the links have remained intact).

Looks like it’s a manual trawl through for me. These days I measure task time in cups of coffee. This looks like a three-cup task, which isn’t really too bad, all things considered :slight_smile:

Thank you both for taking time to respond!
Best,
Sarah

The link should stick, even if you change the name of the target. The text has nothing to do with the link itself (which is part of the problem in updating it). Internally, a link is just two numbers specifying the start and end position by counting characters into the file from the top, and a pointer to the ID number of the document—which never changes.

Three cups of coffee is ordinarily a pleasurable experience, so on that note, have fun! :slight_smile: