WYSIWYG but no footnotes?

Scrivener Experts,

I switched from Ulysses to Scrivener because I really need to write WYSIWYG. (I’m writing primarily for myself and I remember things by where they are on the page).

Anyway, since I use footnotes in my writing, and since those don’t appear in the editor, Scrivener isn’t really WYSIWYG. The footnotes are inserted at the compile stage and that changes all the page breaks.

Is there anyway to get footnotes into the editor as I write to get an actual WYSIWYG?


Hi Ray,

Scrivener is a rich text editor, but it’s not a WYSIWYG editor at all. You can write in any format and have Compile produce text that looks completely different (you can choose different fonts and layouts for Compile), and even if you compile using the same format, given that multiple texts are stitched together, they won’t necessarily fall in the same place on the page. So to answer your question, no, there is no way to have footnotes in the editor, and no plans to add this, sorry.

All the best,

Thanks Keith,

I completely understand the focus on writing and not format, but I need a WYSIWYG editor. I’m in a Master’s program where I write book summaries for myself. I remember things by where they are on the page, and I was hoping to be able to quickly select different documents in Scrivener and study that way.

Looks like I’m back to word processors, and I’ll (regrettably) have to leave the cool writing programs to others.


1: What about breaking your text up into smaller blocks — which is what Scrivener is designed for — and put your “footnotes” in a separate subdocument where you want them to appear, setting them indented or using different fonts or attributes, to distinguish them from main text? Then you can use Scrivenings view to see them in context. Having finally compiled, if you used different fonts/attributes, it would be easy to turn them into regular footnotes in your word processor.

2: What about using inline footnotes rather than inspector footnotes?

HTH :slight_smile:

Mr X

I don’t think that would work because they want the footnotes to occupy as much physical space as they do in Word or wherever. Even with them inline and taking up physical space in the height of the text column, I think it would be extremely difficult to have the assurance that the word ‘ablate’ will be 8.78cm from the top of the sheet of paper on page 298 in a mammoth whole-Draft Scrivenings session using Page View and scrolling to 298.

I would be delighted with two additions to footnotes:

  1. Auto-numbered reference marks.

  2. The ability to “Select All” and apply formatting changes to all footnotes in the sidebar.

It’s not unusual for me to have dozens of footnotes in each file of my project. The differences in the way the way the main text window and the footnotes sidebar behave sometimes slow me down.

The Format -> Options -> Show Compiled Footnote Numbers… command will show footnote numbers once you have compiled the project.

Until you run Compile, Scrivener can’t show the numbers because it doesn’t know what they will be. Footnote numbering depends on the documents included in the output file, on the settings in the Compile -> Footnotes and Comments pane, and so on.

You can select more than one footnote using the Shift-Click method, as with most selectable lists in OS X.


Thanks Keith et al. I’m thinking I may stick with Scrivener after all. If I use the Page View, it is semi-WYSISYG because the line returns are the same when I compile, even if the page breaks are not (due to footnotes). At the least, rich text is much better than markdown for my purposes.