Best Practices for Tracking Recurring Subjects

Hello fellow Scrivener users,

I’m delving into a project that requires a nuanced approach to managing recurring themes and key terms throughout the text. Specifically, I’m looking for the most effective way to track instances of specific themes or phrases, such as “quantum physics”, and similar expressions like “quantum mechanics”. A while back, I remember coming across some techniques or tools within Scrivener that might serve this purpose, but the details elude me now.

Could anyone advise on the best strategies to employ? I’m contemplating whether metadata or another feature might be optimal for flagging these instances, enabling a cohesive view of where and how these themes are explored across different sections.

Additionally, the ability to group synonymous phrases under the same thematic umbrella would be invaluable, although this isn’t an immediate requirement.

Thank you in advance.

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Multiple ways, if include term “quantum physics” in quotes and search project for this using the operator whole word, will treat the phrase inside the quote as a single word and pull only the instance where the specific phrase occurs.
You can add as many keywords as want to one file and could associate with multiple themes and search by keyword. Or you can use comments to highlight key text in a file.


Thank you for your suggestions. It appears that “comments” might indeed be the best solution for my needs. I am looking to “label” specific keywords that appear across various chapters. While metadata keywords are typically more scene-specific, in my scenario, a single scene may cover multiple subjects, similar to tagging keywords for an index.

To give you more context, my project comprises numerous notes taken on different dates, with the subject matter scattered across various days. Consequently, my goal is to efficiently organise and filter these notes by subject matter.

I would argue two method approach. Use keywords for each key concept. When search keywords can search all words so could see only files that contain 1 , 2 if want, or 3 intersecting keywords.
If attach comments can use up to 16 custom colors. These colors could be a marker for topics just like you use labels. Also if view search results in scrivenings view and leave inspector open, you can see all comments and if click on one takes you to that point in the text. I use comments to mark every crucial point. They can be searched as well by searching text in all.
Using both can really lock you down and comments can be removed in compile.

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Here is an example in Scrivening view and clicking any comment takes you to that exact point in the scrivening view. This could be a collection based on a keyword(s) search.


Thank you for the visual presentation, that’s exactly what I was looking for!

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