Find/Replace Method for changing a character's name

I’ve posted several times (x x x) about the difficulty of changing a character’s name throughout a Project. At the moment Scrivener can’t do a replace that includes Titles, Synopses, Document Notes but excludes the Research or other folders. I’ve recently come up against this problem again, and until we get the promised upgrade, here is the best work-round I can come up with.

This has turned out to be a horribly long post, and it’s not as complicated as it looks!

This method will change Mary to Jane, and MARY to JANE, everywhere in the project except in the Research folder (and any other top-level folders you’ve set up). I’ve found the best way to do this is first to ‘hide’ any instances of the name that you do NOT want changed, then do the change, then unhide.

It is designed for the following scenario:

  • You’ve got a big project, hundreds of pages, too big to step through individual documents.
    You want to change the name:
  • in the Draft folder (and any other top-level folders you have set up - Notes, Manuscript etc), both in the main Texts and also in Titles, Synopses and Document Notes.
  • in Project Notes. BUT - as of version there is a bug that will only do the replace in the first of the Project Notes documents (see step 5).
    You do not want to change the name:
  • in the main Texts, Titles, Synopses or Document Notes of the Research and other folders.

(I have not checked if this works with names in comments, footnotes, keywords, label, importance and custom meta-data).

1 Do Edit/Find/Project Search
Make sure these settings are ticked:

  • All
  • Whole Word
  • Search ‘Included’ Documents
  • Search ‘Excluded’ Documents

Enter the search term: Mary

The results will appear in the binder as a collection.

2 In the binder, select the documents that you do NOT wish to change
Usually those in Research, at the bottom of the list.

Check to see if there are any instances of Mary (or MARY) in the Titles, Document Notes and Synopses of these documents. These instances will not be found by the next step. So change them now to QQMary (or QQMARY). If you happen to be using ‘QQMary’, choose something similar!

Switch to a single Editor view and view this selection as a Scrivening (The Editor pane’s title will say ‘Multiple Selection’ and the Inspector will display the Project Notes).

3 Do Edit/Find/Find
Replace All Scope: Entire File
Ignore Case: Unticked
Drop-down: Whole Word

Find: Mary
Replace: QQMary

  • Select ‘Replace All’

Find: MARY
Replace: QQMARY

  • Select ‘Replace All’

4 Do Edit/Find/Project Replace

  • Ignore Case: Unticked
  • Whole Words Only: Ticked
  • Scope: All

Replace: Mary
With: Jane

  • Select ‘Replace’

Replace: MARY
With: JANE

  • Select ‘Replace’

Replace: QQMary
With: Mary

  • Select ‘Replace’

Replace: QQMARY
With: MARY

  • Select ‘Replace’

5 Check Project Notes
As of version there is a bug that will only do the replace in the first of the Project Notes documents. So check any other Project Notes documents and do the change manually.