Workflow ideas

Maybe I’m still stuck in an older, pre-scrivener mode of working, who knows :slight_smile:

So I’m editing right now, and in an attempt to respect the one-pass rules in spirit (scribble, but don’t touch the file until you’re done scribbling) I’m making my changes in the file but marking them as “added” or “removed”. Much like Word’s track changes feature, only with scrivener annotations.

(Note to KB: No, I’m not asking for a track changes feature :smiley: )

I’ve been using cmd-shift-A a lot lately, along with cmd-shift-C and a pair of crayons, but I’m still finding that takes too much mousing when I’m switching back and forth between my two different coloured annotations a lot.

Any thoughts on a good workflow to use when you’re marking up changes to a file but not actually making those changes yet?

Maybe this is too simple for your purposes: when I’m not sure if I want to delete something (a word, an expression, a whole paragraph) I simply use Strikethrough from the Font-Menu. For me it’s a lot faster to do than an annotation, but you can see it at a glance in your text. Annotations are for a different purpose in my writing.

But you can’t do a search for ‘Strikethrough’ words!

Precisely! Nor can you say why you struck it out. Which, though not always necessary, is sometimes quite nice to your future sleep-deprived editor-self. And, a pack of struck-out sections cannot be removed from a document with a couple of keystrokes, while a pack of annot-removed text can (Cmd-A; Cmd-Opt-Shift-C; Cmd-V).

Anyway, Janra I completely agree with you. While I appreciate the flexibility of a free-colour choice system, Apple just did not make that palette very keyboard friendly. Even with swatches it is a bit of a nuisance to switch annotation colours. The question I go back and forth on is: Should there be a free-colour choice option no matter if some convenience UI is settled upon? What if colour and labelling were one day joined, would the ability to choose a reserved colour, manually, be distracting?

There are many other questions more basic than that. I would hate to see it turn into a five fixed-choice thing like highlights. But what sort of interface should be assigned? I am a proponent of the transparent interface whenever possible. Example: If labels become a formalised component of annotations, colour would work like this: You start typing in the label (auto-complete enabled field). If it is a label you have never used before, you get a default red annotation. Now, if you were to change the colour of that annotation, whenever you used that label in the future, it would automatically be set to the colour you chose. Adjusting the colour of an established label would adjust them all.

That addresses the colour as intent work-flow, but what about those who use colour as status? If having a text label is enough information for the eye, why not use it as a way of depicting whether or not you have actually addressed the annotation (assuming it needs addressing, of course)? I currently use a one-character prefix in front of my labels to denote status. Just a simple thing like ‘!’ for important, and ‘=’ for addressed, and so on. This comes in handy when searching because I can then isolate by status. But, if colour were easier to choose, I would much rather use it for status. Should the future colour system accommodate one philosophy, or stay flexible? One could assert that “!SCI” (important science concern) and “SCI” are two different labels, but then if the concept of functional annotation streams does come to fruition – that would be an undesirable basis for selection. You would want all SCI annotations to be in one stream, regardless of whether or not you have addressed the annotation. Even if streams were divorced from labels, and could actually be assigned multiple labels (something that would be desirable), it would quickly become a nightmare if you had a lot of states in your work-flow.

Anyway, my point is this: There are a lot of complexities to be considered if you take the long view on this; and 99% of this is all my own personal hopes for where the annotation system goes. Keith has still not made his opinion known on the matter, perhaps he is waiting to see how it goes in his own writing, before dedicating time to the concept of even expanding the current system at all. If some expansion is entertained, whatever convenience system is applied prior to that full expansion must be compatible, so that version 1.0 projects can be seamlessly upgraded to 2.0 projects. It is already going to be complicated enough merging the current total-flexibility, system-less annotations to some formalised system in the future. I am concerned that the current method, which is really the only realistic method he could have chosen thanks to the weak text system, will make future expansion+compatibility with the current method, next to impossible.

I realise I haven’t even bothered to advise upon your original question, and gone off on a big tirade. I suppose the subtext of it all is that I have not found a good work-flow yet. If anything, with extensive use my work-flow has simplified by necessity of convenience. When I first started using Scrivener betas, I was using a lot of colour, but as time has gone on I find myself using it less and less, and relying more on text labels. It would be fair to say that the main reason I use colour now is to split adjacent annotations with a 1% saturation shift.

In a related vein, since I find myself wanting a third level of metadata after Label and Status, I’ve been toying with the idea of making a functional distinction between the color and name of a label. Where for instance all sources would be yellow, but I could have separate yellow labels for articles, quotes, and media. Similarly all ToDos would be Red but some would be labelled as projects, others as single tasks. Or Blue drafts broken down into Acts Scenes And Beats. You get the idea.
Am i --as is often the case --just complicating things? Please realize that I am not starting from scratch here but trying to find my way through a jungle of literally thousands of notes of various kinds.
Any thoughts?




Amber, your tirades are highly informative as always :slight_smile:

I may try your text code idea. At the moment I’ve only done add and remove annotations, but I may put in other types as well. I would certainly like to minimize the mousing as much as possible! If nothing else it would make me read over what was in the annotation a little more closely than “oh, it’s green, it’s something I added; make that annotation regular text.” If I did that, I may as well not bother with the annotation step.

The MS Word track changes thing is one of those features that seems like a good idea at the time, but I’ve never really liked it much. Which is a little odd, because it’s one of their less obnoxiously obtrusive features. The markups are easy to spot and identify, you use it simply by making changes to the document, and you can skip between changes easily. Maybe I dislike it because I’ve mainly seen it used for business writing and I find that kind of writing terribly ugly…