Viewing PDFs on Evernote pages imported as webpages

Just wondering if anyone can give me some advice.
I have imported PDFs into Evernote. Then, I import those Evernote pages into Scrivener. However, when I open the archived note in Scrivener the text of the PDF is not visible, rather, it is like an icon in the page. The only way to view it is to click on “View in Evernote”, which takes me to my internet browser version of Evernote, and then I have to “download” the PDF by clicking on the PDF icon in the browser.
This seems counter intuitive and has many unnecessary steps.
Is there anyway I can view the PDF’s text in Scrivener if I import the Evernote note as a web page?

This doesn’t have to do with Scrivener so much as it does Evernote, which makes getting stuff out of Evernote almost as hard as getting stuff into Evernote is easy. :smiley: What you’ve done is copy a sharing link into Scrivener. Such links always open in web Evernote, which is Evernote’s default behavior. Doing anything else is more or less a pain.

Other ways I know to connect information in Evernote to Scrivener, in rough order from closest to your request to farthest from your request (with notes on dealing with PDFs):

  1. So far as I know, there is only one way for you to get a PDF that’s in Evernote into Scrivener so that it will open directly in Scrivener, and that is to download a copy of the PDF and import that copy into Scrivener, either directly or as a research file alias.

  2. To get a link that will open any Evernote note in the Evernote app,
    [*] In Evernote, use cmd-click to select your target note plus one other note (any note).

  3. Still in Evernote, click the “Create Table of Contents Note” button at the bottom of the multi-note display.

  4. Still in Evernote, open the new Table of Contents note, and copy your target note’s link. (This is a link using Evernote’s URL scheme which enables the link to open Evernote and display the note.)

  5. In Scrivener, add this link to your Project Bookmarks, to a document’s Bookmarks, or add it as a link within a text.

  6. After you’re done copying the link, you may delete the Table of Contents note if you like.
    ]To save your note to Scrivener as a web archive that will display a link to your PDF (which you can click to display the PDF in Preview):

  7. In Evernote, select your note, then select File > Export Note…

  8. In the standard save dialog that follows, save the My Notes folder to your desktop. Be sure to save it as HTML.

  9. Leave Evernote. Inside the My Notes folder on your Desktop, double click on the name of your note. This will open it in your browser.

  10. In your browser, copy the URL. Use that URL to import the web page as a webarchive into Scrivener. Now you’ll be able to see any part of the note that’s NOT the PDF directly in Scrivener, and open the PDF in Preview.

My preferred method is method B. above, because if I change anything in the Evernote note (add text outside the PDF, add a second PDF or an image, etc.) the link still opens in Evernote and the changed information is available. Either making a copy of the PDF or making a webarchive of the Evernote note is fine, but if I change the note in Evernote the changes aren’t reflected in Scrivener.

Hope this helps!

Thank you for the succinct explanation of why I rarely use Evernote.


Evernote searches my handwriting and is on almost all platforms. Show me a note database that accomplishes those two, and is easier to get stuff out of, and I’ll try it. :smiley: Honest.


Thank you for your kind and informative response.
Actually, I had known about a couple of the methods you mentioned.
My real problem is actually trying to organise hundreds of PDFs across 3 “systems” (Evernote, Scrivener, standard folders on HDD) etc. I’m doing my PhD, and I think I spend more time trying to organise my files than I do writing or reading.
I thought Evernote is really great for searching and annotating, and because I’ll be clipping web pages as well as using PDFs I might as well use that as the “source” for importing notes into Scrivener.
But I realise that not one system can do everything I need, so I think I might just import my PDFs as aliases into Scrivener.
I think one of the other reasons I wanted to start importing PDFs as Evernote webpages was because with all the PDF aliases in Scrivener, it takes a long time to save my project when I close Scrivener. I thought too many pdfs etc would be slowing it down, so Evernote webpages might be more “efficient” (time-wise).

I might give that second option a try. It seems helpful.

Anyway, thanks again for the advice.

My own “solution” is just to live with “Scrivener has the words, and Evernote has the research.” Split screens or dual monitors work well for me, but I don’t do academic work. Neither science fiction nor historical fantasy requires citations! If I did academic work, I’d be looking at Devonthink Pro a lot more seriously.

Hundreds of PDFs? DevonThink Pro has no real competitors. My biggest database is north of 5 million words, and DTP doesn’t even blink. I use it in parallel with Scrivener, and don’t bother with Scrivener’s Research features.


Yeah it’s crazy, but probably more than hundreds. Maybe thousands.
But my problem with my research is that it covers both Japanese and English texts, and I have different purposes for different sections.
For example, I’m enjoying some of the features on Scrivener, such as document notes. But one issue would be for the literature review, I can import a journal article PDF, and add keywords and meta-data, etc but then I dont get much space to write any additional notes. So instead of importing the PDF, I might create a new text document, and then link the PDF in the resources panel in inspector. This allows me to keep all the same sort of meta-data, but with a whole text page to add my own notes.

What do you use Devonthink for? I’ve just been looking at it now. I would assume that it would be the first place to put all of my downloaded files, pdfs and documents etc for my research needs, rather than putting them into folders on my computer’s directory. Is this “correct”?
If that is the case, then I may be able to use it. If not, then I dont know how much more use it can be to me than Evernote.

My research materials are mostly PDF files, interview notes, and occasional web pages.

PDF files and web pages go straight to DevonThink, where I categorize by topic. There’s a nice auto-classify feature that will suggest topics based on what I already have. I can also choose highlight a paragraph in an existing file and ask for “more like this.” I tend to revisit the same topics over and over, so having a database that’s independent of any single Scrivener project is useful, too.

Interview notes and notes from my reading go in Scrivener. DevonThink is completely capable of handling those, too, including metadata and links to tie notes to source materials, but I prefer Scrivener’s interface. I use a naming convention, rather than live links, to tie notes and source materials together, but that’s a personal preference. Both Scrivener and Devonthink can generate links to individual files in their respective databases. (Why not live links? Because typing “Smith2018” is faster, more human readable, and less prone to breakage if the relevant file is moved. YMMV.)

Both iOS Scrivener and DevonThink to Go will synchronize with their Mac counterparts, so I do a huge amount of reading with the two programs split-screened on my iPad. Paper in one pane, notes in the other. Life-changingly wonderful.

DevonTechnologies has excellent forums. There’s also a good collection of user stories here: