Highlight color in search

The highlight color in search is yellow. When f.lux is invoked, it does not show. Is there any way to change the highlight coloir so that once the sun goes down I can still see what words are highlighted?

For future highlights, you can change the colour yourself: on the Format > Highlight menu, click one of the other colours, then it will become the default. If you don’t like the ones that are provided, you can add others with the Show Colours command on the same menu — your choices will be attached to the menu (drag them into the boxes at the bottom of the colour swatch).

As for existing highlights, there may be a way of converting them automatically, but I can’t think of one. I think you’ll have to do it manually, but you can make it a reasonably smooth process:

  1. Set your new highlight colour
  2. Edit > Find > Find by Formatting (cmd-opt-ctl-f) and set the first dropdown box to Highlighted Text, tick the ‘Limit search to colour’ box and choose the old highlight colour.
  3. Press next and the first ‘old’ highlight will be selected.
  4. Press cmd-shift-h to highlight it in the new colour.
  5. Press shift-cmd-opt-g to go to the next ‘old’ highlight
  6. Press cmd-shift-h to highlight it in the new colour.

Repeat 5 and 6 till you’re done.


I should have been more specific. My apologies.

I have no interest in highlighting text. My interest is in being able to distinguish text that has been highlighted via ‘search’ (meaning the searches done after clicking the little ‘search’ chiclet and the field then appears above the Binder).

This does not seem to follow settings from Apple prefs, and I can find no way to modify it in Scrivener prefs or menus. In fact, the menu for highlighting text displays one color (yellow, of course) and that is greyed out, meaning it can’t be changed.

Plus a search of the inscrutable 979-page user manual seems to not reveal the answer.

Searches using that function are just yellow, and yellow does not work at all (becomes invisible) once f.lux or nightshift mode is invoked. If I could turn that blue, it would solve the problem.

Try the setting at Scrivener Preferences > Appearance > Textual Marks > Search Results Highlights > Colors.

You can also change the search results underline color at that appearance/textual marks pane.

Thank you. That worked.

I guess I never would have figured that out, since the term ‘textual marks’ is so illogically nebulous. Gun to my head, I still couldn’t define that term. Hard to search a 979-page user manual if you don’t know what term to search for. Searching for logical terms like ‘highlight’ and ‘search’ revealed nothing useful.

You’re welcome.

An example of searching the manual for this feature:
Open it in Preview…have the sidebar open to thumbnails or table of contents…in the search box enter ‘search results highlight’. In this case, the results do include those exact terms in the last thumbnail’s few lines of text.

If it didn’t, to get a general idea of which thumbnail (location) to choose, view the manual’s actual Table of Contents to see the big picture. For a closer look, each manual section has its own ToC. If you can reasonably assume that what you’re looking for is a Preference, you’ll able to winnow down the search to Appendix B, pages x to x.

I don’t think the manual is inscrutable (that’s not a criticism of your observation). It’s rather well done and is a reflection of the fact that Scrivener is a feature-rich tool. Finding things does get easier as experience is gained with Scrivener terminology and usage.

And when you just can’t find the thing to do what you want to do in the manual or tutorial, after you’ve tried and tried––there’s this mostly user-based forum or L&L direct support available.There’s users and L&L team members who’ve been helping each other here for many years. [Thank you!] Use a ‘site:’ search in a search engine or ask a question if need be.

Again, what I’ve written is not a criticism directed at you. It’s an acknowledgement that Scrivener can be overwhelming at times, if global-you let it. It’s helped me to always remember that answers could be found, and that I don’t necessarily have to know the answer right at this second to be able to use the tool to write.

Happy writing.

fwiw, I looked at your question yesterday, and, even having made the change myself at some point, struggled to find where.

In mitigation for L&L, providing documentation for a big program with a huge number of options is always going to be imperfect. If it weren’t, there would be less activity on the forums – and it’s fairly light already. L&L care about this type of thing, so I expect they’ll have a think about it.

I hope I didn’t come off as a ‘complainer’.

I think Scrivener is one of the best-written pieces of software I’ve ever encountered. It is a godsend to the very hardest part of writing a novel, which is order and structure.

If we imagine Raymond Chandler in 1937 writing his first novel, he had a method, which was to fold the paper he typed on in half, then triple space. This meant he wrote in 150-word chunks, and it trained him to be concise. But it also meant he had smaller bites that the typical typewritten page. Scrivener has this same capability, which is that one can write things in ‘documents’ that are as short as you like, then when compiled, all divisions between them are invisible. That’s truly brilliant.

So how does a writer like Raymond Chandler deal with order and structure once he has his scenes written and polished? My best guess would be he sits on the living room floor and has everything in stacks. Then he rearranges the documents in those stacks, then eventually combines them into one stack, which is the full manuscript.

This is exactly what can be done in the binder. We can nest documents inside folders, then drag the documents or folders into any order we like, This is the functional virtual equivalent of arranging scenes or beats typewritten on paper into stacks and then figuring out what the order should be.

Also brilliant. Thank you, Scrivener, I never could address order and structure using a word processor. I could never get things in the proper order and structure without Scrivener. It is definitely well-designed, and is the proper tool for this job.

I do find the forum more helpful than the manual, although I do the due diligence of going there first. Manuals are very difficult to write—I’ve written many. What magnifies the issues with writing a manual is that as the product becomes more feature-rich, the manual gets exponentially more difficult to use.

Feature-rich is a good thing. But it results in a 979-page manual sometimes.

If there is a problem with the manual, it may be that it is written from the subjective point of view of the engineering behind Scrivener. But what a user wants is the answer to a question: ‘How do I do X?’ The best manuals are written from that objective reader view. Without that, we are reduced to searching for a word or term, and often an arbitrary term couched in a buzzword invented by the author of the manual.

‘Keyword’ is sort of an intuitively-understood word. It appears on 69 different pages in the manual, probably over 100 instances. Most if not all of them are completely out of context with the reader questions ‘What is a keyword?’, and ‘How do I leverage them?’ I spent an hour searching and never got those answers. Why? I think because the subjective view of he author is that they know what a keyword is as it relates to their understanding, and how to use them. What they forgot is to tell us the answers to these questions. Instead, they take a trip way into the weeds.

The videos and the tutorial are terrific. They get to the meat of things and answer these sorts of questions. Whoever the mind is behind the tutorial and the videos, I’d love to see them do a complete overhaul on the manual.

This is my exact problem. I do not understand what a keyword is, and how it is used. Where can I find that out? In the manual I didn’t find any examples to give me a sense of this, or any descriptions that help me to understand what this feature is. Can someone help? Thanks in advance!

UPDATE! I found a very helpful youtube video on this topic by you (Literature and Latte) here: https://youtu.be/REPkufHPVoQ: Thank you! It’s answered my question. :slight_smile: _/_

Very nice, SofiaB. Yes, the videos and the tutorial for Scrivener are pretty great. This one actually explains it! How difficult would it have been to put that in the manual?

I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who finds the manual inscrutable. I actually abandoned Scrivener 2 for months because the manual is so dense and drones on and on about things not really relevant to what I need to know (but iBooks Author is not nearly as good a program, so don’t do what I did). It took me months and some great courses from Udemy to figure out how to use the compiler. The manual just makes compiling seem as difficult as eating soup with a fork.

When Scrivener 3 came out, I went back, mostly because the Linguistic Focus feature seemed interesting (and now I use that all the time to keep from using conjunctions and tense improperly, which are my bad habits). And then I discovered that the tutorial is really very good. I think it was new at that point.

It seems the manual was written early in the life of Scrivener, back when those who wrote it understood the features, but still did not know how powerful they are and how to use them exactly. It is sorely in need of an overhaul.