Viewing annotations

Is there some way of viewing just the annotations in a document, please? I know I can Find them one at a time, but I wondered whether it was possible to see them all at once, without their accompanying text, so that I can copy them en masse and paste them (in a single operation) into a blank document.

As far as I know, there is no good way to do this at the moment. This ability has been proposed, however. I never finished a complete analysis of the idea, but in the back of my head, I always felt that some form of pseudo-page, smart search kind of thing that collects footnotes and annotations by type, and maybe even by annotation label, would be a good way of going about it.

I don’t need anything fancy - just the ability to select out the annotation text, in whatever way is technically feasible (Find window, new document, smart folder, temporarily hiding the “real” text while I Cmd-C… anything at all, really) :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

There’s a work-around for this if you have (or get) NisusWriter Pro beta (or use something like TextWrangler if you don’t have any square brackets outside of annotations).

Export your draft with annotations.

Open in Nisus.

Find an annotation, select a piece of it and select Edit/Copy/Copy Character Attributes.

Select Find, make the find attribute sensitive, and turn on PowerFind Pro.



in the Find box, select the text and choose Edit/Paste/Paste Character Attributes.

Click the Find All button.

Copy the resulting selections and paste into a new document. If you want them broken by lines do the following:

Select Find again and modify the find text to this:


Enter this in the Replace field.


Click Replace All.

Finally enter in the Find field


and delete the \r from the replace field. Click Replace All.

A list of all your annotations is the result.

You could do this as a macro to make it faster but I haven’t the time right now.


You can, of course, just use Find > Find Annotations to go through all of the annotations in your project. :slight_smile:
All the best,

Indeed I can, as I said in my original post, but I can’t get Find Annotations to return more than one annotation at a time, stepping through them individually, and it is proving to be a real pain cutting and pasting each of those separately. I have l-o-t-s of annotations in the project I am working with at the moment, and these will be the basis of a completely different project if I can ever get them all out. Actually, I’m regretting using annotations for this purpose now, but I got so carried away with excitement and pleasure at the beautiful ghost fading and marvellous ease of annotation, and it was such an elegant and lovely way of doing this work that I didn’t think about how I was going to extract all these things… I have spent two days enthusiastically typing in annotations… oops!

Thanks for that, dafu. I might give it a try, although I don’t use Nisus or TextWrangler, so I’ll have to experiment with other stuff. Looks complicated, though… :slight_smile:

EDITED TO ADD: I absolutely love the annotations implementation in the latest beta, by the way. It is intuitive, elegant, and perfectly fits the way I think about text as I am working with it. I love the ghost feature, which means I can read or ignore annotations as I see fit, depending on what I am doing at the time. If I could only extract multiple annotations in some way, the world would be my oyster…

Well, download the Nisus beta (it’s free), follow those instructions, and you’ll have your annotations 15 minutes after you’ve installed the beta.



I’m guessing on this, but could you copy the file, set the annotations to black (or some readable color) with ghosting off, then set the rest of the text to white (or some other pale color) and skim them that way?

Not an ideal solution, but it’s all I could think of within Scrivener.

Either that or remember to copy each annotation to Notes as you create it or as a last thing before shutting down for the day.

Sorry I can’t come up with something more snazzy. Brain is still in the 18th century. :confused:

Dave’s method is the best way, but you could also try the following in Nisus:

  1. Export draft of the documents you want to include
  2. Open the exported file in Nisus
  3. Put your cursor in one of the annotations (red text)
  4. At the bottom of the Nisus Window, click on the underlined letter “a” and continue to hold down the mouse button. Choose select all.
  5. Type cmd-c to copy the text
  6. Open a new document and paste the copied text

At this point, all the annotations will be run together. I did a find and replace that searched for the ending brackets ] and replaced them with an ending backet plus a return.

This only took about two minutes from start to finish and it should let you see if it will give you the result you’re looking for.


Thank you, everyone, for your help. I tried your suggestions with mixed results, complicated by a lot of square-bracketing in my annotations; Nisus Writer Pro Beta seems to have some nice features. However, for me, a long-term solution would need to work with Mellel or (if desperate) Microsoft Word. I can’t afford to buy yet another word processor just to handle annotations! :slight_smile:

The good news is that I have eventually managed to extract my annotations intact… by copying the project then hacking the underlying RTFD file to change them to footnotes (using Replace All). Then I exported with footnotes as endnotes, opened in Word, went towards the back of the document, and bingo! Pages and pages of my former annotations, all in a block, separated by line breaks, and easy to cut and paste in a single operation. The only change I need to make to the text is to remove the leading space at the start of each paragraph, which is simpler to do globally than anything requiring negotiation of my square brackets.

Given the export problems, I had sort of resigned myself to not using annotations for this type of work in the future, which would be a shame, because the mark-up process worked like a dream! But now that I’ve discovered that Word can handle endnotes from Scrivener, I’ll probably use footnotes instead of annotations. That way, I get my intuitive workflow and the pretty ghost fading (although not in red, sadly). I just need to work out how to distinguish between fake and real footnotes (which, fortunately, I didn’t have in this particular piece of work)…

Thanks, everyone. :slight_smile:

sorry if i have missed something, but i don’t understand why you weren’t able to just export your project in word doc format, and selecting the option to export footnotes as endnotes (from within the scriv export settings), and then there you will have them all together at the end of your word document. i tried it and it worked for me… oops, just realized you were working in annotations, not footnotes.

Is there no other simple way to convert annotations to footnotes?