Can I build a collection including documents with comments?


For years (long before I’ve found Scrivener) I’ve added notes into my text using my own tags. So in summary my text could look like this.

Keith collapsed to the floor, promising himself to debug the race condition in the morning [COMPLETEME][A good place for Keith to have nightmares about tumbeasts]

I also usually format the COMPLETEME bit in yellow so they are really obvious.

I can easily search for square brackets or a [COMPLETEME] tag. I can save a collection / search thingy and it works for me. It also means I don’t miss these comments when reading through.


I’d also like to try using the built in comments features. Can I do that and still be able to save a collection to show all documents with comments? Would I need to create new keyword / tags to my comments and save these (Which is not a bad idea) so I could have a [TODO] preceded comment or a [REWRITE] comment.


Yes, you can do this. Comment text is included in a text search (there isn’t yet a way of searching comments only). The commented text will be highlighted when you click on the found documents. You will need to place something searchable in the comments, of course, but it sounds like you plan to do that with the “[TODO]” or “[COMPLETEME]” tags. The only drawback will be that although the search feature - and thus also the saved search collections - will find these comments, the regular Find panel won’t. So if you are used to clicking on a document and then hitting cmd-F to bring up the regular Find panel to search through the text, too, this would be a problem. But you will be able to glance through the comments in the inspector, and if you use different colours for different types of comment, then you’ll be able to find things at a glance anyway.

Hope that helps!

All the best,
(Now worrying about what a tumbeast is)

The project search will find words in the inspector comments if you choose “all” for the scope. Using custom tags in brackets, you could run the search for those terms and then save it as a dynamic collection. You can search for multiple tags at once using “any word” or save collections based on the specific tag. For a collection with multiple tags, your best bet is probably to use one or two word tags, so that any word you search for will have a bracket attached, thus making it unlikely to show up in any other context (unless of course you use square brackets frequently–you could use curly braces or some other delimiter in that case); you can also use all caps and check “case sensitive” at the bottom to further decrease the likelihood of accidentally finding your keyword in normal text.

Since the search works by text, there isn’t a way to dynamically form a collection of documents just containing comments, regardless of text–you need to have some word for the search to find, such as your tag. You could create a keyword just for “has notes” or something and then drop that onto any document which you’ve added notes to, then search for that keyword, but that might be more work in the long run since you’d need to do that extra step whenever you first made a note on a document (whereas adding the tag to the note is simple since you’re right there typing anyway). Still, depending how you use keywords, dropping a “needs completion” keyword on relevant documents could be helpful to you when viewing your whole manuscript in outliner or corkboard, etc. since it’d be visible there.

EDIT: Keith beat me to it. But since he mentioned the fact that you can’t use the regular find, I will say that on the other hand, when you save the search, your search terms will be highlighted, which means that in the case of comments, the linked text in your document will be highlighted. So although you can’t use the “find next” commands to jump from one instance to another, unless you otherwise have a highly colorful (visually :wink:) document, it’s pretty easy to scroll through and find the instances of your search term. You could also at this point use Find by Formatting to search for the text in your comments, which will let you jump from one instance to the next.

Great responses, thanks to both of you. Gives me stuff to try.

And as to a tumbeast…

If you’re not a reader of the oatmeal, I most heartily recommend it - it’s a truly beautiful thing - like Scrivener… but not.

Okay, you’ve just cost me hours… Must… stop… reading… Oatmeal cartoons…

What do I care? You could sit back and chill all day and I wouldn’t mind. 2.x is released and I’m not chasing you to fix bugs or to implement a must have new bit of binder functionality that will automatically sort content based on an MD5 hash of the first 213 characters*

I knew you’d love it.

  • Probably the only feature you’ll never see a request for

Curse it, I was totally just writing up a wish list item for that. It’d be so useful for cleaning out duplicates! Pleeeease Keith? It’s vital to my workflow. And I have a deadline. And honestly I can’t believe that software this good is missing such an obvious feature. 8)

Just to close…

I’ve now fully moved over to using S2s comments rather than my own purely text based inline comment system. I have to ensure I precede every comment with TODO so I can build a collection out of them, but other than that it works great.

Would be nice to have way to refine a collection to only include documents with comments though…

I tend to concur with Jenny here. This isn’t the feature request forum, but since she mentioned it… :smiley: Grouping any documents that have comments attached to them would greatly increase efficiency during the rewriting process, in my humble opinion.


No plans for this at the moment, but you can use the formatting finder to find all commented text in the project one-by-one.

You can also view the whole draft as a Scrivenings session and have the comments open in the inspector. They’ll all group at the top and you can click through one by one, letting it take you directly to the commented text. Quite useful, and if you’ve color-coded the comments by type, it’s easy to see at glance which you want to work with.


Both of these methods worked wonders for me.

You guys are … uh … Awesome! (I know, overuse of the word. My English teachers would rap my knuckles.)

But the word fits seamlessly.