In the post before last,
the (mysterious to some of you) tag <$p> appeared.
I go back a long way with various computer codes, so anything within the triangular brackets < > is ‘normal’ to me. But, in answer to those of you who were puzzled and wrote asking for an explanation, here’s the lowdown on tags.
What is a tag?
A tag is a string of characters which starts with < and ends with >. The characters within the triangular brackets < > are non-printing characters but they affect what is seen on screen or when printed.
What are tags used for?
In text/word processing, these embedded codes serve to turn on/off features such as bold, italic and underline, and to control features such as colour of text and size of the font.
So, <b> turns bold on; </b> turns bold off.
For this blog post, the style of the headings is ‘Heading 5’.
Looking at the ‘Text‘ pane instead of ‘Visual‘ within the WordPress software, the way in which the appearance of text is controlled is apparent:
Notice also that, where you see the left triangular bracket < on screen above, the text is actually < and it’s > for the closed bracket. Gobble-de-gook, eh?
Here’s another example. The inclusion of the first image in this blog post was achieved with this tag:
<img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-1165″ src=”http://www.scrivenervirgin.com/wp-content/uploads/Screen-Shot-2016-02-17-at-06.02.34-300×107.png” alt=”ToC in place” width=”300″ height=”107″ />
I took a screenshot on 17 February to demonstrate how to create the ToC (table of contents) and uploaded that screenshot for the blog posting then. Today, I’ve reused the same image for this blog posting. Clever, eh?
How are tags used in Scrivener?
The tags in Scrivener are mostly for information that is not yet known, and cannot be known until your project is completed, such as the page number.
You might want to include the page number tag <$p> in your header/footer so that your pages are automatically numbered. Simple! Set this up through Compile / Page Settings.
Referring to the Scrivener Help section reveals that all Scrivener tags start with the $ symbol. They are called placeholder tags – or variables – and are useful, especially as template tags when the information is gleaned from your Address book or elsewhere.
The ones that come to life during the Compile stage include <$pagecount> which is the total number of pages in your document.
Document variables serve many uses such as providing information about your project (like your username and the project title), the date (in loads of different formats), and statistics, such as the total word count to the nearest 100 words.
Tags are also used for automatic numbering, not just of items in a list, but for figures and tables. Having published, through traditional routes, many textbooks on Maths and IT, and having to do the numbering manually, this is such a time saver.
There’s a whole world of tags out there, but you can’t see them unless you look closely!
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