Scrivener and Other Writing Tutorials, Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

Scrivener Basics | Inspector Menu Functions | Bookmarks Pane (Scrivener 3)

The Bookmarks pane in Scrivener 3 replaced the Document References pane in previous versions of Scrivener. Mostly they work the same.

Open up the Bookmarks pane in the Inspector window

In Scrivener, bookmarks don’t just mark the place you are up to in a book, you can link them to research or notes to yourself and much more.

Document Bookmark or Project Bookmark

Open the Up/Down arrows to choose whether you want to add a Document Bookmark for the document you currently have selected in the Binder or a Project Bookmark that will show no matter what document you have selected in the Binder.

Your Bookmark can be anything like a document, a PDF or a video

Bookmarks can be stored within the project or be linked to something outside your project like the internet or elsewhere on your hard drive


I’m going to use a recipe book as an example but this works just as well for fantasy fiction or how to build sprockets. 


In this hypothetical recipe one of the ingredients is exotic and will need further explaining in the recipe book but I want to do it at a later time. I also might take many photos whilst testing the recipe so I might want to bookmark the photos to go through later.


  1. This ingredient is specific to this document so I will choose Document Bookmark.
  2. You can drag documents, images or folders in to your bookmark list directly from your project’s Binder.
  3. Whichever item you select in the list will show in the preview window below the list. 
  4. In the case of a folder, you have to open the disclosure arrow and select a file from within it.
  5. You can also drag bookmarks in from your computer’s Finder. But notice that this version of the recipe image that I dragged in directly from my Mac Finder menu has a little arrow. This means that accessing the bookmark is dependant on the file staying where it is on your Mac. If I move this image to a different folder, Scrivener will no longer be able to find it.

It is not the same for URL’s on the internet. Just drag them in and Scrivener can always find them unless there is something wrong with the website.. 


  1. If dragging bookmarks in is not the most convenient way for you, you could right click or open the gear icon which gives you a dropdown menu.
  2. Here you can choose to add an internal bookmark, which gives you a list of the documents in your Binder to point your bookmark to
  3. Or you could choose an external bookmark which will bring up your Mac Finder menu and you can navigate to a file.
  4. Add External File Bookmark will bring up a window where you can give your link a title and paste in it’s URL

Note that you can’t bring in a folder full of videos here, but the folder will open and then you can select a single video file.

Viewing your Bookmarks

Once you have a list of bookmarks, you can either select them and view them in the preview window below the bookmarks list; even Videos.


Or you can double click on them to open them in their default application. An internal Scrivener document will open in Scrivener’s preview window, an image on your hard drive will open in Mac preview, a URL will open the website. And a video will open in your default video player on your computer.

Document Bookmarks show for the current document, Project Bookmarks show no matter which document is selected

  1. Now all these bookmarks only show up when I have that recipe document selected. Notice that there’s a star symbol on the Bookmark icon in the header bar to show that there is a Bookmark attached to this document.
  2. Click on the Up/Down arrows and switch to the Project Bookmark container where you can add bookmarks that you will see no matter what document you have selected in the Binder. You add bookmarks in exactly the same way you added the Document Bookmarks. For a recipe book you might want to keep measurement conversion tables here where they would be accessible from any recipe document.
  3. In Scrivener 3 there’s a Bookmarks tool in the toolbar but it’s just for Project Bookmarks. You can drag documents right into the tool itself and they will automatically be added to the Bookmarks pane.

To delete a Bookmark

Click on the gear icon in the bookmarks title bar and choose Delete selected bookmark or click on the - symbol.

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