A possible way to make Project Search a bit easier

My only real issue with Project Search is the scrolling.

IOW, once I have a list of docs (where the Binder typically appears) I can click on each of them, but the doc then displayed in the binder goes wherever the editing text line last was.

That is honestly less than helpful. I do not want to go where the edit line last was, I want to go where the searched word is. Seems like a no-brainer to want this, and that Scrivener should do this. But it doesn’t. It is not smart enough to parse the intent, although it clearly knows I’ve invoked Project Search, and it knows what word I’m searching for.

First, it would be much better if in that particular mode, the doc in the binder would automatically scroll to just before where the first instance of the searched word is (maybe a bit above that to provide the context).

Second, there is no way to know how many instances of a searched word are in any particular document. We are required to discover this by scrolling all the way to the top, then all the way to the bottom.

That can be really tedious. Lots of time-consuming clicking and scrolling.

It seems an easy solution to the first problem would simply be to have the doc scroll to the first instance automatically, as I suggested.

The second problem? Maybe as we hover the pointer over the list of documents that appear due to Project Search, each of them that has more than a single instance of the word could display a tiny window, sort of like Apple Tool TIps, with a numeral in it letting us know how many instances there are in that document.

What this would do is negate the necessity to have to scroll any doc that has a single instance of the searched word or term, and it would reduce the extensive scrolling needed in those docs that have more than a single instance of the word or term.

Currently, we are forced to scroll every single doc, all the way to the top, then all the way to the bottom, in order to see every instance.

And when a word or term is searched for, every instance can have at least the level of importance of being seen in the context of the doc. IOW, that is why we are using Project Search—to find each instance of a word or term in the manuscript to either determine if the usage makes sense, or to find a particular passage we are looking for that we don’t know exactly where it is, but we know it includes that term. So scrolling to see them is a part of this function, and it should be much easier than it turns out to be, the way Scrivener currently executes this.

There is a better way. Evolve. It would make Scrivener much smarter, and more elegant to use, and a better, quicker platform that would get in the way of creativity, much less.

I also think being able to have options in Project Search, such as paying attention to case, and paying attention to whole words rather than partial words, would help.

If I search for a word, there is no earthly reason why words that include the specific lettering in that word as part of a larger word, would be something that should appear in the list. That is in no way helpful, and is instead annoying.

Exactly what do you mean by Project Search? As far as I know there are three different search modes:

Quick Search, usually located directly above the Editor, which is just that - a quick way of finding something.
Cmd-F which opens the traditional Find window, where you can specify e.g case sensitive or not.
The Toolbar Search field, where you can specify in detail where you search (document, synopsis, etc), how you search (any word, exact phrase, etc) and also a number of other details.

So which one is it you mean? Cmd-F seems to do most of what you ask for, and the other two have other uses.


You really don’t have to scroll through each document – that would be tedious indeed.

All you need to do is press shift-cmd-f, type your search term, press enter then cmd-a. This will highlight all the documents with matches (ie turn them into a scrivening), then cmd-g will take you to each match in every document in sequence one by one. No need to scroll even once.

As for matching case, it sounds like you haven’t yet discovered the search options – if you click on the magnifying glass to the left of the project search field you’ll find a drop down list through which you can limit the search in several ways, including making it case sensitive, requiring an exact phrase or whole word, or for using regular expressions, excluding or including different classes of document, finding duplicates and so on. Have a look at it – there’s a lot there. There’s more details in the manual at Section 11.1 for full details.

But as far as I know, there’s no easy way of finding the exact number of matches in advance (you can use cmd-f on the scrivening and replace the match with exactly the same one to give you the number, but I wouldn’t advise that).