If hardlinks are different to aliases, I wonder it there is a command line equivalent to the CMD+l keys combination.
Not to my knowledge, at least in a pure sense. You can run AppleScript from the command-line using the osascript
command, though, and you can use AppleScript to create aliases
So far I can’t see the point for Scrivener’s Research folder for writing a long dissertation. As I see it now, there I would place only generic files for loose referencing. I am used to working with outliners, lately NeO, therefore I would like being able to place, in each section of Scrivener’s outline view, aliases to the files I will need when writing that section.
There are a couple of points here, to address the second one first: I would say that sounds a lot like References.
I know it’s not
—I used to use NeO (more back when it was called TAO), since not everything is done inside
the outline tree itself but rather in a special panel that is “beneath” the item—but functionally you get pretty much what you are describing with References. Why are references not in the binder? It’s a design decision, that’s really all there is to it.
Both systems have their merits, but having a list of “bookmarks” attached to a document seems more intuitive than mixing these concepts into the outline tree.
Okay, as for the point of the Research folder for a long dissertation, I can’t really say what does and does not have a point for you. I would say in my opinion that there is a point where Scrivener’s design weakens under tons of research, and so having everything in the binder (to be clear, you don’t need everything in the Research folder, that’s just a handy starting point—rename it, give it another icon, make ten of them, whatever) becomes more trouble than it is worth. Where precisely that line falls really depends on the person using the software though (and possibly the speed of the machine they use). I like to create a least two backups every day, so a few hundred megabytes is enough to make me want to start optimising the main project. On the other hand I’ve seen people dump hundreds of gigabytes
into their projects. So no, I don’t believe it is fair to say that Scrivener’s research system categorically has no point for long dissertations.
It might not for you
however, and that is fine too.
If I understand correctly, importing files means those supporting notes will appear as items of the outline of my dissertation. Since they are not, Scrivener’s outline will become a confusing mix of my dissertation’s sections and a high number of entries, which are just supporting files but will be undifferentiated from the sections of my dissertation in Scrivener’s outline.
I don’t see how that would become a confusion since imported aliases to PDF files and whatnot wouldn’t be directly intermingled with your dissertation outline. That is why there are two different top level folders: everything descending off of the Draft folder is potentially your dissertation in progress (it is possible for outline elements to be “hidden” from export, either procedurally or individually). In fact it is not possible to put PDF files, or even links to PDF files, in the Draft folder for this reason (as well as the fact that compiling a .docx with .mov files referenced in the middle of the text would make no sense at all).
This is one important difference between an outliner like NeO and the one in Scrivener: its root level is one step higher than “the document”, and can contain sibling items and folders to that document root. It seems you’re thinking of the binder as being one outline, and thus everything within that outline should be in service of one cohesive representation of structure in the document, but that statement is only true within the context of the Draft folder. Once you get to that point, it makes more sense that you can only put “folders” and “files” into the Draft folder—just like you can’t drop an MP3 file into the middle of a NeO outline.
All of this is why I like to think of Scrivener more as a hybrid outliner than a pure outliner, such as NeO and OmniOutliner. Outside of the Draft folder, it feels more like DTP or Finder. You drop in a PDF and you get one entry to that PDF in the folder tree somewhere. But in the Draft? Well it would be pointless to use Scrivener in such a way where that was one single document. Even the least complex usage of the software—one outline item per chapter—is still an outline in the sense that we have a long block of text broken up by a hierarchical representation of its internal structure (and potentially its external structure as visible to the reader by way of page breaks and section headings). And of course you can outline
, as a concept, outside of the Draft folder as well.
The basic tools to work with your dissertation are the same as your research tools. The loading a PDF in the main viewer is just as easy to perform as viewing a section of your dissertation. All of this is meant
to be mixed up in the UI model, the underlying philosophy of design in Scrivener is arguably that research and writing material should have equalised accessibility in an integrated environment. Is that approach for everyone? Absolutely not, but that is
why Scrivener was originally created: to completely break down the divide between writing and referring.
In order not to appear as sections of my dissertation’s outline, I think that aliases to supporting files should be in the Reference panel.
Well again, I can’t really disagree with you on that point, but it’s how the technology works (or doesn’t rather). For whatever reason the third-party access to Quick Look doesn’t poke past the alias-as-file and examine the file-as-aliased. You get an alias icon, not the original material.
But again, I don’t really understand the compulsion to avoid outlining/organising your research material in the binder. Why would the alternative be dumping everything into the top level Research as a “bucket”? Why not sort that stuff into topical folders, give them keywords so that relational searching can be done, etc.?
Scrivener supports the rendering of aliased pdfs and images in the Research folder. I guess that implementation is different from the CMD+l we talked about in a previous posting. I can’t see the point to plague the Research folder with hundreds of aliases to long academic pdfs. What I need to view when writing are aliases to the several short .rtf notes in which I have skimmed their content.
Hmm, yeah I can think of better ways of approaching things with Scrivener. Here’s an easy one based on your earlier description of putting references into the outline tree as child items beneath the thing they relate to:
- Import the alias to the PDF into the binder.
- Import the note files into the binder.
- Drag the notes “into” the PDF, nesting them as child items beneath the PDF’s outline node.
All right, now click on the PDF in the binder, and you can read the PDF. If you want to see your notes on the PDF, at any time hit Cmd-3
menu) to switch to Outliner view. When you’re done, use the same shortcut to turn the Outliner off for the current node you are viewing and it goes back to showing the PDF.
Does that make more sense? That’s why I like to think of this as a hybrid outline. You can outline around your research material, making these files a part of how you structure your thinking and knowledge. A JPEG can be a headline element or parent to other supporting JPEG files, interspersed with notes on those files. One might not even open a note file into the main editor if it is a short note: you could type the whole note into the synopsis field.
Hopefully you get some new ideas out of that. I'm not saying any of this is the right way to use Scrivener, but I will again say I don't quite understand the hard dichotomy between "reading" and "writing" and so forth, because to me, and how I've always used Scrivener, one of its crowning achievements is that it obliterates the walls between files in the body of information that constitutes your work and the material you use to create that work.