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A way to annotate your text?


#1

Hi,

I just came across Atomic Scribbler and I must say it looks like such a fantastic program to organize my writing now that my word processor seems to be buckling under the weight of my files. However, I’m in the habit of annotating bits of the text that still need working or fleshing out, and I don’t seem to find a way to do this with Atomic Scribbler. It would be great if I could highlight a bit of text and make a short note on what could be improved upon (alternative phrasing, notes on the direction I want to take the text to etc.). Is there a way to do this or are you planning on adding this feature in the future?


#2

There is a round-about way to do this. At least, this is what I’ve figured out. Make your annotation notes in Microsoft OneNote, via the online version of MS Office suite. I am assuming this would work with other online notetaking apps. Then highlight the text you want to annotate, and right click and create a hyperlink for the online location of that annotation note.

It isn’t as easy as direct annotation, but it isn’t quite as awkward as it sounds, either.


#3

Now that you mentioned hyperlinks I did a little testing and realized I can use them in place of annotations. Creating a hyperlink allows you to set the screentip/hovertext, which both highlights the piece of text and lets one see the comment on mouseover. The link doesn’t actually have to lead anywhere, and the screentip allows for at least several sentences worth of text. For my use cases this works quite nicely as I won’t be needing formatting etc. in my annotations anyway. So, problem solved, looks like I’ll be ready to fully take the plunge and move my work over to scribbler.


#4

Yeah, but it would be nice to be able to link a note to a specific highlighted text! But then again I did offer support for keeping Atomic Scribbler “Lean and Mean!”


#5

As you’ve both worked out, there is no easy way to do this in an Atomic Scribbler project. From a programming perspective it could be implemented without too much difficulty. It wouldn’t be high on the priority list at this time however, and I’d need to get a better feel for what proportion of users might use it.

A feature that is on the list is to add to the current Bookmarks to allow for bookmarking to scenes and notes, though not within that scene or note.


#6

This thought just came to me, it may or may not have any value, I’ve never programmed for hyperlinks. what if there was a short text field attached to a hyperlink, say 140 chars, to see the char field, just R-click and select Edit? Or just “Display hyperlink”?


#7

That already exists Glen. If you open up the Hyperlink dialog there’s an option to add a ScreenTip, which is basically a tooltip that appears when you hover the mouse over the link.


#8

I do this a lot with Acrobat files. It’s the primary way I track corrections that come in from various sources. Each correction is a comment, whether to fix spelling or to add or delete whole paragraphs. Acrobat provides a checkbox for each comment, so I can indicate (to myself) that a comment has been dealt with. Something analogous would be helpful in AS. But maybe it’s just a small change to an existing feature. (I have to admit my current work in AS is largely writing, so I’m out of touch for the moment with features that would be useful mainly for editing, revising, etc.)


#9

I just want to chime in and say this is really the only feature I feel is lacking so far. Maybe I’m crazy, but being able to attach a comment to a piece of text seems pretty crucial? It’s kinda the main thing preventing me from using this on anything longer than short stories so far.

I often don’t flesh out everything on the first go, or know that something needs to be fixed but just want to move on and fix it later. I need a way to make that piece of text stand out and also attach a comment to it, preferably not just inline. The way libreoffice does it is perfect, and I believe word is similar. The text itself is highlighted and a line underneath leads to a comment box on the right in a custom comment column.

For the sake of simplicity, it could take over the right panel the way daily word count/notes does, assuming there’s a way to make that look good with a scroll bar in the way. When comments aren’t being shown the line should disappear, but the text should remain highlighted and the comment should be shown in a popup when hovering over.

Currently using the hyperlink solution, but it’s a bad solution, and I pine for an official implementation. The problem with the hyperlink is that you have to manually scan the text, rather than seeing a simple list of comments that you can tackle one at a time. It’s also just hard to look at compared to tactfully highlighted text.

The expanded bookmarking isn’t really a solution at all because, while it would allow you to keep all your comments on a scene in a separate folder which may make things less cluttered, it would only link to a scene rather than a particular excerpt of text in that scene, which is the main reason notes as they function now don’t really cut it.


#10

I completely agree. I would hope for the basic functionality of Acrobat “comments”, but with much more simplicity. The checkbox I mentioned has disappeared from the comment box, and now must be accessed through the dot-menu in the comment, an unwanted and unhelpful extra step. Very little is needed – essentially just what you’re requesting. And of course a scrolling right-hand pane that stays synced with highlighted “target text” in both directions.

Allen