Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Comments, Footnotes and Inline Annotations

Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Comments, Footnotes and Inline annotations

Similar but not the same. Using Comments, Footnotes and Inline annotations in Scrivener for different purposes.

Comments, Footnotes and Inline Annotations should all have different purposes when you are writing a thesis. A previous post discussed how to use Project Notes and Document Notes to keep your thought organised as you write your thesis. I recommended using Project Notes and Document for distinct different purposes so that you have a logical organised manner to your thesis writing. The same theory applies to using Comments, Footnotes and Inline Annotations.
Here is a quick brainstorm of the different needs of thesis writers for comments, footnotes and inline annotations
  • Share comments with Supervisors
  • Original language of translated quotes inserted into thesis
  • Additional clarifying information to be inserted into final thesis
  • References & citations
  • Reflections to self on your interpretation in a certain section / participant
This list is not exhaustive. I suggest that you pause here and consider your own writing to date – what do you normally use comments or footnotes for?
This is how I use comments, footnotes and inline annotations – but it won’t neccesarily be the same for you. Importantly though I suggest doing a similar table and deciding early on in your thesis writing your own personal system on how you will keep track of these different types of  “side-writing” to your main thesis body.
Action
Comments
Footnotes
Inline Annotation
Thoughts to share with Supervisor
x
x
original language translated quotes inserted into thesis (not for final copy)
x
x
additional clarifying information to be inserted into final thesis
x
x
references & citations
x
x
x
Reflections to self on your interpretation in a certain section / participant
x
x
Bits of writing you’d like to flag to come back / musing on your interpretation
x
x
You’ll notice that I do not use any of these options for References and Citations. I think that this is poor practice and will lead to headaches later on when you are trying to find that actually citation. I suggest instead that you read this blog post on linking your bibliographic software with Scrivener and inserting citation directly from your reference list.
There are different types of footnotes that you can choose from – inline footnotes and side-bar (Inspector) Footnotes. This is an aesthetic choice and depends whether you like your main text uncluttered as you write or if you prefer to be able to see your footnotes as you write.
Plus if you are part way through your thesis and you discover that the system you set up for yourself just isn’t working- I’ll be blogging on Part 2: Converting between Footnotes, Comments and Annotations.
Happy Thesis Writing!
Remember Scrivener has a free 30-day trial period. You can download Scrivener with an Education Discount via this link (Note: purchasing via this link gives me a commission about equal to the cost of a cappuccino)
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Scrivener for Thesis Writing:Compose Mode with Floating Inspector or Quick Reference

Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Compose Mode and Inspector

Compose Mode is for distraction free writing but sometimes you need to access your notes or other material.

Compose mode is used to write without distraction from the (very) busy Scrivener interface.  It is easy enough to enter compose mode
1.Click on the section that you wish to work on (write/edit)
2. Click Compose from the top bar (blue coloured icon).
3. Scrivener will open a simple document with black background.
Tip: If you are using two screens you’ll find the the ‘Compose Screen’ opens on your ‘other’ screen to which your main Scrivener project is open in. 
Whilst Compose Mode is made for being ‘distraction free’ – sometimes you do need some information that is available in your main project. There are two ways to do this.
Method 1: Accessing Inspector from Compose Mode
  1. If you have a comment in your text- click on the highlighted yellow section and a floating Inspector Pane will open up
  2. You can choose to move to another section of the Inspector via the drop-down menu
  3. If you don’t have a comment- you can access the floating Inspector by the Menu Bar -> View-> Inspect-> choose your option

 

 

Method 2: Accessing Quick Ref from Compose Mode with two screens
  1. Enter into compose mode on your main section
  2. On your other screen, click on the section you wish to appear in Quick Ref and then click the “Quick Ref”  button
  3. Drag the Quick Ref pane over on top of your Compose Mode screen.
  4. Note: Quick Ref will only include a single document, it can’t show a ‘grouped document” (i.e. folder with sub-files)

Here is screenshot to illustrate what Compose mode with the Inspector box open looks like

Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Compose Mode

Compose Mode: you can navigate to different sections of the Inspector whilst in compose mode. You can also shift the Inspector box via drag and drop

 

 

Happy Thesis Writing!

 

 

 

Remember Scrivener has a free 30-day trial period. You can download Scrivener with an Education Discount via this link (Note: purchasing via this link gives me a commission about equal to the cost of a cappuccino)

 

 

 

 

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Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Customise Your Icons

 

Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Customise your icons

from Flaticon.com

Did you know it’s possible to customise the icons in Scrivener? I’ve customised mine to represent the country flags of the two places that I did my fieldwork (Brazil and Timor-Leste). This makes it visually easy to move back and forth across the different sections I’m writing and know where I am.

My customisation has undergone some different stages as I’ve adjusted the thesis organisation and figured out what visually works for me.

Round 1 : I grouped my writings.  The Blue Folders are both Brazil related and the red folders are both Timor related. At the moment, you can see they are organised

  1. Brazil: Situating the Study
  2. Timor-Leste: Situating the Study
  3. Brazil: Empirical
  4. Timor-Leste: Empirica
Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Customise your icons

This example uses coloured folder icons to organise the thesis. Blue Folders were used for sections on Brazil and Red Folders for sections on Timor-Leste

Round 2: I decided this format didn’t work and would require mental jumping back and forth for examiners. Instead I grouped both sections (Situating the Study & Empirical) by Country. It is great how easy to do this in Scrivener- I can just ‘pick up’ the chapter folder and move it within the binder (drag and drop).
It now looks like this:
Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Customise your Icons

Flags icons were used to help visually orient my writing. Structure was also changed to previous version

Obviously the flag icons are not ‘in-built’ icons in Scrivener. It’s very easy to add a customised icon to your Scrivener project.

Firstly, you’ll want to download some icons. Icons are simply images – you can add .jpg, .png or .tiff icons. It might take some playing around to see which icons display best for you in Scrivener – sometimes they appear too small, unclear or with too much detail. Also decide HOW the icons will help your writing (not just an exercise in procrastination). I settled on the flags because it was a quick visual clue to myself that meant I didn’t really have to think about the structure – I recognise those symbols very quickly.  Canva Design School has a great list of +50 free-icons downloads.

In theory you can assign actual photos (i.e. .jpg) as an icon- however, I don’t recommend it as even high quality photos are small & undefined. Better to choose a simply, easy to recognise icon.
Secondly, you need to access the icon management section. You can do this via selecting an item in your binder (except the very top level “thesis” (Manuscript) folder) and right-clicking.  Alternate access is via the gear symbol at the bottom of the Binder.
Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Customise your Icons

Right-click and access the icon management section. Scrivener comes with some built in icons but it is very easy to add your own customised icons

  • Go- > Change Icon
  • Manage Icons
  • Click on the + symbol to add your own icon
  • The – symbol will delete any icons that you do not like.

 

Scrivener for Thesis Writing: Customise your icons

Icons in Project Package apply to this Project only – Icons in Applications apply to all your Scrivener Projects

You can see from the 3 icons I’ve added here the difference between a simple black icon, a coloured icon and a photo.
Happy Thesis Writing!
Remember Scrivener has a free 30-day trial period. You can download Scrivener with an Education Discount via this link (Note: purchasing via this link gives me a commission about equal to the cost of a cappuccino)
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