Allow Non-Flattened Search Results in Binder

When you conduct a search for text in Scrivener from the Binder area, you get what I would call “flattened” search results. That is, all the documents with search hits are at the same base indentation level in the Binder, with no context about their parent documents or folders. This can be good, but I think the user should have the option to get either flattened or non-flattened search results.

I think the non-flattened search results should work so that you also get to see in the Binder any documents/folders that are parents of any documents or folders that produce a search hit. Any documents or folders that do not produce a search hit and are not necessary to provide hierarchy context for those documents/folders that do produce a search hit should not be shown in the Binder.

As an example, let’s say you have a project with five documents. Document 1 is the base parent document. Document 2 is indented below Document 1, Document 3 is indented below Document 2, Document 4 is indented below Document 3, and Document 5 is indented below Document 4. Let’s say you conduct a search from the Binder for the word “John,” and that word only appears in Documents 2 and 4. I think the non-flattened search results in the Binder should only display Documents 1 through 4. It should display them with their regular indentation levels, and Documents 2 and 4 should be highlighted (much like Microsoft Word does to its headings in its Navigation Pane when you conduct a text search) so that you know Documents 2 and 4 have search hits and that Documents 1 and 3 are only there to provide hierarchy context (Documents 1 and 3 could still be clickable though). Document 5 should not display in the Binder at all because it does not contain a search hit and does not have any child documents/folders with a search hit. As a final point, let’s say there was also a Document 6 indented beneath Document 2, and that Document 6 did not contain the word John; Document 6 would not display in the Binder search results because it does not have a search hit and does not have any child documents/folders with a search hit.

Does this make sense? I think it would make understanding search results so much faster. As it is, I currently have to click on each individual document in the search results of the Binder and hover the mouse over the document’s icon in the Editor for a tooltip to understand where the document is. This can be time consuming even if I have only a handful of search results and can get out of hand if there are many hits. I understand you can also use the shortcut Reveal in Binder to get back to the hierarchical view, but this takes you away from the search results and is probably even more time consuming when you want to switch back and forth between the two.

The feature I describe need not be the default behavior, but it should be an option for those of us who want to always keep the big picture in mind when parsing search results. At the VERY least we should be given the option of seeing the full document path in the title bar of the document in the Editor (instead of just the document title) so that we don’t have to resort to repetitive, precise mouse movements to know where the current document exactly is in the Project. Ideally we would also have the option for non-flattened search results in the Outline view too.

Thank you for considering this, and thank you for such a fantastic piece of software!

A visual demonstration of how my example looks in Microsoft Word is attached here (imagine each document heading as a different document in Scrivener). The important part is how the pane on the left looks, still maintaining the hierarchy while also showing which documents are a match for the search.

Some combined Scrivener features will get you that (although not exactly what you propose) and more. You might find this usage handy. An excerpt from Sec. 10.2.1 of the manual:
Screen Shot 2019-01-28 at 4.38.57 PM.png
Additionally, it’s noted that you can do the same for non-contiguous selections as well.

I apologize for my previous post; I’m not sure it’s relevant to Windows. What I posted was for the Mac version. I didn’t look to see which OS you were using… :blush:

This would be a great addition to the Mac app, too, as the techniques in the links posted above don’t offer the functionality requested by the OP.

I forgot to mention, I also think this would make Collections even more useful and convenient as well!