Tag Archive for Research

An Alternative Way to Access Research

Today I want to discuss an alternative way to access PDFs, web pages, and video and audio, which normally would go straight into your research section.

Oh, no, she’s still stuck on research.

We know how to import text files, PDFS, images, audio and video in the research section. We know how to create notes in Evernote and bring those as a PDF into the research section. But…did you know you can also create what essentially boils down to an alias (or shortcut) in Project/Document References?

Whaaaat? You lost me there.

Ah, grasshopper, it’s easy, and it all takes place in the Inspector. I still have a lot of material in my Finder that I haven’t imported into my research section that I’m hesitant to do because there are videos, images and PDFs saved in Google Documents that look better there, and I don’t want these in Scrivener because all those megabytes can bog down the program. I want, however, a method to access the material and not have to be searching high and low in the many folders I have in my Finder.

To do this, unhide the Inspector. Now take a look at the footer. Do you see the stacked books icon?Click on it and this is what you get.

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Let’s go on a mini-tour for each function. To the right of Project References, there are two arrows that allow you to toggle between Document References and Project References. Let’s say your scene/chapter focuses on American progressive publications during the 1930s. You want to create your references in Document References, but let’s say your overall project deals with the POUM, you want to create those references in Project References.

I’m not getting this.

Okay…let’s look at this way: Micro level: documents. Macro level: Project. Got it?

Oh. Got it. I think…

Fine. Now see that plus sign next to the two arrows? Click on that. Here you’ll be adding, looking up, and creating your references.  Say you want to add an internal reference from within the project that is specific to the document you’re writing. You select one of the submenus and make your selection. This is what you get:

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What you see below is the icon, the description, and the URL stating it’s an internal link.

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Note you can also drag a text file, image, PDF, etc into document references. Next you know you have in your computer’s directory a bunch of videos you want to include, but don’t want them in the research section and bog down your project. Go back to the plus sign and click on Look Up & Add External Reference.  Once you find the document, select it and hit Open (or you can drop and drag). If you want to edit the title, you can do that in Description. In the example below, you see in the section that says URL the file was found in my directory.

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Next, you may want to create an External Reference. In other words, from the Web. I’ve created external references from Evernote, YouTube, and from a website from the University of California, San Diego.

When you want to access any of the material all you have to do is click on the PDF or browser icon, and it opens up in an external editor (your browser or in Adobe Reader).

And if for whatever reason you want to delete a reference all you need to do is select the reference and hit the minus sign.

Wow. That was easy!

I told you so.

Going Steady with Scrivener and Evernote

My favorite Scrivener feature without any doubt is the research folder of the Binder.  As you can see with one of my WIPs, I use it for the outlining process, images, documents, PDFs and so forth.

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For several years now I’ve used Scrivener as the hub for my research, but I discovered I needed something else to store all the material I gathered. I played around with DevonThink, and I’m not 100 percent convinced I need it.

Evernote was an app I downloaded, but rarely used until this year when I decided to spring for the premium version. Conclusion: it was well worth the $45 investment.

Gwen Hernandez recently posted an Evernote/Scrivener tutorial on her site and you can see how she uses it to import a note or a hyperlinked Table of Contents.

I go about importing a note in a different manner. How so? Let me show you.

This week I’m taking a how to structure a short story/novella course. At the moment, I have a vague storyline about three women who have ties with the Spanish Civil War. There’s quite a bit of literature about it so I plan to Google and save whatever I can find in Evernote.

After conducting a simple search, I found a senior thesis about women prisoners during and after the Spanish Civil War that I want to save in Evernote using my Evernote extension in Google Chrome.  I save the web page as “Simplified Article.” The reason behind this is that I don’t want all the garbage that appears on a web page.

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When it’s saved in Evernote, I select the note and in the pane to the left I see the entire article. Typically the page still has a lot of unnecessary text so I clean it up more. A couple of things to note…because I have the Premium version of Evernote, I can highlight sections of the note that I’m interested in as well as write comments.

Next, I go to File->Print. At the bottom of the print menu, I have several choices of how I want to print it. I want to save it as PDF. Once I select that choice, a window will open of where to save it. I save it on the desktop so I can easily drag it into my open Scrivener project’s research section. That’s the way, I’ve been importing my PDFs from Evernote. But as I scrolled further down the menu I noticed that I can actually skip the save to my desktop step and save it directly into my open Scrivener project.

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Now remember, you can only import PDFs into the research folder so before you select Save PDF to Scrivener in Evernote, the research folder needs to be selected. Once I’ve done that, I click on Save PDF to Scrivener, and in seconds, the PDF appears at the bottom of the research section. When it imports into Scrivener it’s untitled so click on it and label it.


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I find this method easier and it’s fast. Give it a whirl and let me know in the comments if it works for you.