Do you ever wish you could scribble on your manuscript? Maybe you want to make notes about a particular paragraph you’re struggling with, or mark a place that requires further research.
You guessed it. Scrivener has a function for that. It’s called Annotations.
Add an Annotation
To activate the Annotation feature:
- Choose Format—>Inline Annotation.
- Type in your note or reminder. Make sure to set your spacing as if the annotation wasn’t there, otherwise it’ll be off when you print/export your manuscript.
- Click outside of annotation, or go to Format—>Inline Annotation to turn it off (or, even easier, use Shift+Cmd+A for Mac, Ctrl+Shift+A for Windows).
Change the Color
If the glaring red color is too distracting, you can change it.
All future annotations will be in the new color, but previously created annotations are not affected.
- Select the annotation text.
- From the Format bar, choose the desired text color (or go to Format—>Font—>Show Colors and select a color).
All current and future annotations will have the new color.
- Go to Tools—>Options—>Appearance.
- In the Colors section, click the expansion arrow next to Editor (or double-click Editor) and select Annotation Text in the list.
- Click the color box to the right and select the desired annotation color.
- Click OK to apply your changes and close the Options window.
Find Your Annotations
Here’s the most important part of all. After you’ve gone through your manuscript and you want to find the notes you made to yourself, there’s an easy search.
- Go to Edit—>Find—>Find by Formatting.
- When the box opens, choose Inline Annotations.
- To search for the next one, click Next.
- In the Containing Text: box, enter the search string you want to look for.
- Click Next. Scrivener will return the next annotation that meets your search criteria.
Dealing with Annotations During Compile
When you’re ready to export/print your manuscript, you have a couple of options. In Compile Manuscript, under the Text Options tab, you can choose to Remove Annotations or Export Annotations as RTF.
The first option strips them out of your MS. This is where the spacing becomes important. The second option embeds the annotations in your MS (much as they look on your screen), in red and flanked by square brackets.
For all you contest judges, I could see importing the electronic entry into Scrivener, making your comments through annotations, and then exporting it with the Export Annotations as RTF feature selected. This gives you the commenting ease of Word’s Track Changes function, but provides a contest-friendly RTF output.
What’s your favorite way to use annotations?
[Post updated 7/6/17]
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