Annotations vs footnotes vs Inspector Comments

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tylertoo
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Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:27 pm Post

Greetings all. I am finishing up a second draft of my novel, and have belatedly discovered the idea of adding notes to myself via annotations or footnotes or inspector comments. I haven't used them, only tested out the functionality.

I'm shortly going to do a third major pass of the WIP. My question is simple: in order to make notes to myself as I re-read the material, which of those three options are best to use as notes to myself? They would be deleted later once they're no longer needed, and would be excluded from compiling.

My guess is that Inspector Comments would be best for this, but I thought I'd check with y'all first before starting down that path. Thanks.

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AmberV
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Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:56 pm Post

There is a list of usage differences, found in a bullet list prefacing Chapter 17 (the list starts on pg. 137), on annotations and footnotes in general. Hopefully that gives you a few ideas. For myself, it depends a lot on the project material itself, but I like inline notes for anything I don’t ever want to ignore while reading the section of text, but for things that may not matter to other areas of that same text (since they become hidden by scrolling away from them). Comments on the other hand are more useful to me as bookmarks, and thus for the kind of thing I want universally visible no matter where I am in the text. I tend to use comments for “infrastructure”, such as marking where figures or tables are located, and assigning to-do actions to text. Neither of these would be as important to me when reading through the text by itself.

So I guess my main answer is that I use both about equally, but to their individual strengths. I tend to prefer inline annotations as a rule though, since you don’t need to have any extra panels open to interface with them. They are very minimal and text-based in that regard and I like that.

They would be deleted later once they’re no longer needed, and would be excluded from compiling.


Both stand about equal on this front. It is true that it is easier to delete comments one by one because it is a matter of clicking a button instead of selecting and deleting text, but both can be stripped out of a section of text in bulk by selecting the text, using the Edit/Copy Special/Copy without Comments and Footnotes command, and then pasting over the selection. I usually like to take a Snapshot prior to wiping out my editing notes this way.

Using footnotes: I’d only consider using them for that if you don’t otherwise need footnotes, and find yourself need more than two streams for notes. You can have up to four, with inline and linked footnotes included.
.:.
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tylertoo
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Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:27 pm Post

Thank you Amber for the detailed and helpful reply (I actually had read that list on pg. 137 first, but got overwhelmed and came running here :D ). I was leaning toward Inspector comments, but after your reply I'm leaning toward inline comments for the reasons you laid out. I tend to keep the Inspector closed anyway, particular when I'm on my laptop.

Are inline notes and inspector comments equally searchable?
I see how you can export a list to .rtf of inline notes. Can you do this for Inspector comments also?

Apologies if this is all in the manual; I did try reading the appropriate sections.

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AmberV
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Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:54 pm Post

I tend to keep the Inspector closed anyway, particular when I’m on my laptop.


Exactly, my laptop has a very small screen, so opening the Inspector is something I’d rather only do now and then rather than just have it open constantly.

Are inline notes and inspector comments equally searchable?
I see how you can export a list to .rtf of inline notes. Can you do this for Inspector comments also?


The Edit/Find/Find by Formatting menu command should sort you out for both types. Additionally you should be able to use the standard project search feature to find text from comments and annotations as well. I think I recall project search for comments isn’t working in the current stable version however. This will be fixed for the next release, and the public beta already fixes it.

At the moment the export feature you mention only handles inline annotations. However you can copy and paste bulk notes out of the Inspector pane.
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tylertoo
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Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:12 pm Post

Thanks again, Amber. I should be good to go! :D

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Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:15 pm Post

Just a note, both inline annotations and inspector comments should be included in the export function, although I think they aren't being ordered properly in 1.6.1 (i.e. they're being grouped by type rather than listed in top to bottom order as they appear in the document), which has been fixed in the current beta for the next release.
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r6d2
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Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:47 pm Post

tylertoo wrote:I'm shortly going to do a third major pass of the WIP. My question is simple: in order to make notes to myself as I re-read the material, which of those three options are best to use as notes to myself? They would be deleted later once they're no longer needed, and would be excluded from compiling.

If you're interested in another approach, I use comments for those things that have been considered "good points" by peer review on my drafts, and Footnotes for everything that needs a revision, rewriting or consistency checking. Once I fix the "bad points" I delete the footnotes, but tend to keep the comments so I don't accidentally remove something that has been considered to have a particular value on the humor, tension, or character development areas.

Just my 2 cents.
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Beware of realism when writing. Avoid the usual zoo inhabitants. Summon the unicorns and the tritons, and give them reality!
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tylertoo
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Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:55 pm Post

r6d2 wrote:If you're interested in another approach, I use comments for those things that have been considered "good points" by peer review on my drafts, and Footnotes for everything that needs a revision, rewriting or consistency checking. Once I fix the "bad points" I delete the footnotes, but tend to keep the comments so I don't accidentally remove something that has been considered to have a particular value on the humor, tension, or character development areas.


Great idea, r6, thanks. I particularly like retaining the positive comments! I'd had to delete something that someone found as a positive. :D