Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Free Links in Scrivener

It turns out that Scrivener can do free links. They are just called "Wiki links." From the manual:
Wiki Link Style
An optional method lets you type in new links without using the mouse at all, oreven being fully aware of the title you wish to link to. To enable this method, visitthe Auto-Correction tab of Scrivener’s preferences, and turn on "and [[Scrivener links]]" in the Substitutions section.
To use this method, while typing in the text you can enter two double-brackets,type in the title of the item you wish to link to, and then close it with a second pair of brackets, as shown. Scrivener will detect what you are trying to do, and if it finds an exact match to a document, will link it for you automatically. If it does not recognise the text inside the brackets as correlating with an existing title, the New Link sheet will pop-up, giving you the option to either create a new item and place it in the Binder, or via the second tab, “Link to existing document”, navigate to an existing document in the Binder and create a non-literal link. Non-literal links are useful when you wish to link phrases in your text without directly referencing the name of the item you are linking to. Once substitution has been performed, the brackets will be removed.
As with other substitution types, wiki linking works only on newly typed material. If you have previously typed in double-bracketed words, and then enable the option, you will need to re-bracket them.
Usually, "wiki link" refers to the CamelBack convention. But a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

4 comments:

Bill Maslen said...

Actually, this has been a convention in e.g. Markdown for a long time now (alongside the famous "Camelback" concept). What Scrivener is doing is effectively equivalent to the Markdown syntax [[ACTUAL URL|NAME OF LINK]], but rather more elegant (in this age of icons and buttons, I find wiki syntax rather annoying, to be honest, so the simple elegance of the Scrivener solution rather appeals to me).

MK said...

Free links pre-date Markdown and are a convention realized in many wikis. Sorry you find wiki syntax annoying, but I don't quite understand, as the difference between Markdown and some Wiki syntax seems negligible to me.

Furthermore, free links in, let's say in ConnectedText, are even more simple (and thus?) more elegant.

Bill Maslen said...

Sorry, I should have made myself clear: yes, absolutely, Markdown is simply a form of wiki syntax, along with many other forms (my preferred form of wiki syntax, when I use any at all, is that found in tiddlyWiki - I forget the name!). No, it's the principle of (having to use) wiki syntax that annoys me. On the other hand, as various colleagues in the Outliner Software forum have pointed out, simple text remains probably the least fragile format for files that one hopes will last for millennia rather than just a couple of decades. So perhaps my dislike of wiki syntax is misplaced! One of the best compromises I have encountered is in Alfons Schmid's elegant Notebooks app for iOS, which is capable of accepting input in at two different formats (HTML and text) using three different mechanisms. So it's up to the user how they interact with the app. Nice.

MK said...

No need to be sorry. I have never found TiddlyWiki very compelling either. Everyone has different preferences, I understand.
Your reference to Alfons Schmid's Notebooks app for iOS is interesting. I will have to check it out.
Manfred