how to apply keywords to multiple documents?

Is there a way to apply keywords to multiple documents together? I need to apply keywords to hundreds of documents and I cannot find a way to do it. Any pointer?

1 Like


I think that one way of doing this in Scrivener 3 is as follows:

1/ Open your keyword list : Select from the main menu - Project/Show Project Keywords.
2/ Select the relevant documents in the binder.
3/ Drag the keyword (s)you want to apply onto the selected documents.

I hope this helps



1 Like

Perhaps what might not be completely clear from the above is that the keyword will be applied to ALL the documents selected in the Binder at the same time – you do not have to drag the keyword onto each document individually. See p. 239 in the Scrivener manual:

To assign keywords in the panel to a document in the main window:
— Select and drag the desired keywords from the panel and drop them into the keywords pane in the inspector, a Quick Reference keyword split, the header view above the document editor or onto the document in the binder, corkboard or outliner.
— If there is a multiple selection in the binder, corkboard or outliner then all selected keywords will be applied to all selected documents.

1 Like

This saved me a ton of time. Thank you so very much!

On the same topic, how can I remove keywords from multiple documents together? The method to apply multiple keywords works by dropping those keywords. What’s reverse of that? I enthusiastically applied too many keywords to many documents that I need to change.

Thank you

I’ve used this method in the past:

  1. Create a brand new keyword based on the old keyword: for My_Keyword, use My_Keyword_2.
  2. In the Binder, select ONLY those documents that you wish to KEEP the keyword My_Keyword.
  3. Assign My_Keyword_2 to the documents you selected in step 2.
  4. Delete My_Keyword from the keywords list. It’s now deleted from all your documents.
  5. In the keyword list, rename My_Keyword_2 to My_Keyword. Now only those documents you selected in Step 2 have My_Keyword assigned.

A bit cumbersome, but if you have lots of documents which need a keyword deleted, it will do the trick.

Hope this helps!

1 Like

Good workaround. However, it may not work for my use case because I only want to remove a keyword assignment for several documents. I cannot delete this keyword as it is associated with many other docs that I want to keep.

so, documents 1-1000 has KEYWORD applied.
I want to remove KEYWORD from documents 1-500.


There’s no way to directly remove a keyword from a lot of documents, without removing it from others, so far as I know. I’ve used the above method with great success. Let me see if I can walk through your example the way I’d work it, so that it’s more clear what’s happening at each stage.

  1. Search for KeywordA in Project Search. (I’d check my parameters to make sure I was finding ALL the files tagged with KeywordA.)
  2. Add all the files found in Step 1 to a New Collection. Now I have a list of all 1000 files tagged with KeywordA where I can work with them without affecting the Binder, or being confused by files that aren’t tagged with KeywordA.
  3. Select the files I want to have KEEP KeywordA (501-1000). I’d do this by shift-clicking or command-clicking the files I DON’T want to be affected. Right now, files 501-1000 are SELECTED in the collection.
  4. Open the project keyword list from Project > Show Project Keywords
  5. Add a brand-new keyword to the list, KeywordB. It’s important that this be a new, not previously used, keyword.
  6. Drop KeywordB onto the selected files. Now, files 1-500 are tagged with KeywordA. Files 501-1000 are tagged with BOTH KeywordA AND KeywordB.
  7. Delete KeywordA from the project keyword list. Now, files 1-500 are no longer tagged with KeywordA–half the result you wanted. Files 501-1000 are not tagged with KeywordA either, but they ARE tagged with KeywordB, a brand-new keyword which, because you just created it and have only used it once, you know is ONLY applied to files 501-1000, and no others.
  8. In the project keyword list, rename KeywordB to “KeywordA”. If you like you can assign KeywordA’s old color at the same time.
  9. Now, files 1-500 are NOT tagged with KeywordA, and files 501-1000 ARE tagged with KeywordA. At this point you may delete the New Collection if you like.

If you only have several files to remove the keyword from, rather than 500, this is even easier; in step 3, select ALL the files in the collection, then command-click to deselect the ones you want to remove the keyword from.

I hope this makes it clearer.

Awesome! This should work. Thank you so much!