Do you write sticky notes for revision ideas? Or maybe you add words in caps or use TK to mark spots that need fixed or require additional research. No matter what type of note you want to leave for yourself, Scrivener has an option that makes it easy to mark up your text and find your comments easily when you’re ready to deal with them.
Annotations and comments allow you to leave notes at the exact spot that needs attention. Document and project notes give you a broader scope.
And, you can use any or all of them in combination.
These are great tools to use during National Novel Writing Month—or anytime—to keep you focused on writing rather than researching, or from thinking too long and hard on your words. Stuck? Make a note and move on.
Notes are also great when you want to tag a section of text.
BONUS: If you’re visually oriented, don’t miss the fully captioned instructional video at the bottom of the post. ;-)
Annotations are inline comments, meaning they are specially formatted text that’s embedded in your manuscript. I like to use annotations to mark places where I need more research, or when I can’t think of the perfect dialog or wording.
Annotations let you mark the problem at its source so you don’t forget about it and you can focus on writing.
To narrow the results when searching for annotations, you can add a word or set of characters at the beginning or end. For example, all the areas where I have gun questions, I added the word “gun” (brilliant, right?) somewhere in the annotation. When I’m ready to compile a list of questions for my gun expert, I can limit my search to annotations that contain the word “gun” and ignore the rest. (More on searching in a minute.)
I also use annotations to mark sections that might make good excerpts for marketing graphics.
– Easy to spot.
– Easy to search (and narrow by text or color).
– Can be excluded when compiling (on the Footnotes & Comments tab), which means you don’t have to remove them before sending a manuscript to your agent/editor/beta reader/online retailer.
– Can be included during compile, if desired. You choose the bracketing character (e.g. [annotation here]).
– Might be a little too “in your face” or distracting.
– Cannot view all of them at once.
– Can be searched by color, but changing colors isn’t simple.
Inserting an Annotation
Here’s how to insert an annotation.
1. Place your cursor where you want to insert the annotation.
2. Go to Format>Inline Annotation. Nothing appears to happen.
3. Start typing to see the specially formatted annotation text.
4. Go to Format>Inline Annotation to turn off annotation formatting and get back to writing.
TIP: If you find you use these frequently, memorize the keyboard shortcut to turn this mode on/off (Shift+Command+A on the Mac, Ctrl+Shift+A on Windows). [Read more…]