A Linked/Connected/Mirrored Text or Entry Possibility?

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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:17 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:40 pm Post

Heyo all!

So I'm using macOS Scrivener ver. 3.2.2 and love it, I've been using scrivener for years at this point. Despite that I am very much a novice at using all of its functionality

A few current projects I'm working on have what I would call abridged dictionary entries with truncated citation & references as a footer for pages with those terms on it's page which then correspond to a lengthier and more in depth entry with complete references and citations in an appendix. The majority of the abridged-entry is present in the corresponding appendix-entry and I do my best to make sure both entries have the same information but its time consuming and cumbersome and I very much doubt I ensure 1:1 info all the time. So my questions are :

1. Is there a method by which I can link/mirror/connect the text in one entry so that when one is edited both entries are edited? As an example if I edited the abridged-entry by adding the word 'from Bob Bobman' that same edit would show up on the appendix-entry as well?
2. If 1 is possible then can I do this across projects? Depending on the subject different projects may use a similar dictionary and if I could have a master dictionary project which I could connect to projects that would be handy to me.

Apologies up front if this is simple or has been covered. Multiple searches for ways to do this came up with different subjects being tackled when I search for 'how to link/connect/mirror text entries' so I may not know the right term to search with.

Thanks in advance!

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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:28 pm

Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:13 pm Post

I'm not sure this is possible.

For a single project, I was able to create a footnote for the abridged definition which contained a document link for the full definition contained in a separate document.

When the document link is clicked, it opens in a split which allows for easy copy and paste edits.

The link format looks like it might be used cross project, but that is outside the scope of Scrivener, and I wouldn't know how to use it, though you might look at how Shortcuts work on iOS.

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Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:48 pm Post

For creating 2 versions of the entries (one short one for footnotes, another longer one for the appendix), you might be able to do this, but you'd have to experiment, as I've not tried it myself...

1. Create a folder for your appendix/dictionary. If you plan to include this at the end of your current project (book/paper), then put this folder at the bottom of your draft folder, or in a designated "back matter" folder, which you can pick during the compile setup phase.
2. Make a single document for the short version of your definition. Change it's "include" checkbox to un-checked status. Make a custom "short def" document type for it and assign it.
3. Create a sub-document under that to contain the longer definition; create a custom "long def" document type for it and assign that.

Use the <$include:binder name> syntax, or the alternative linked version, to include the text of your short definition document in the footnote. The manual has more on the $include tag and how it works.

If you can get that to compile as you want it to, so that your footnote only contains the short definition, and your appendix only includes the long version, then you've got both versions of the definition right there, next to each other, so that you can edit/review them both in one place.

I suggest taking items 2 & 3 and copying them to a document templates folder, strip out the actual definitions (leaving the include flag and any other metadata to be part of the template), and then setting the appendix folder to create new pairs of those documents by default when you want to start a new definition.

As for using the same documents across projects... I don't know if that's possible. You can include multiple works in the same project, each a sub-folder of the draft folder; at compile time, you can change which of those sub-folders to treat as the entire draft, change which front & back matter folders to use... but I'd just try to get one pair of short/long definitions to compile in a test project first, before tackling that topic.

If you get stuck at any stage, someone's likely to be able to help you sort that part out, or direct you to a better solution.

Good luck!
FKA: robertdguthrie
AKA: R Dale Guthrie, Robert, Mr. Obscure, and "Oh, it's you again".

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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:28 pm

Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:13 pm Post

I just learned a lot :D