How to search project notes

I have not found a way to to search “project notes.” Anyone see what must be an obvious fix? Send help, please! :blush:

The standard Cmd-F panel works in the project notes editor as well. Is that what you are looking for? If you’re looking for something that includes project notes in the main project search, you won’t find it. If you are using that feature so heavily that you need to do broad scope searches on them, you might find it better to use the binder for that. Just create a level called “Notes” and put your thoughts in that folder. The project notes window is more for being used like a scratch pad.

Thank you Amber. I’ve found as well that searching in “project notes” is limited to the files you’ve created. In other words, if you create tabs beyond “General” – for instance, tabs called “Characters” or “Locations” or “Plot Points” – each must be searched separately. And sadly, the tabs cannot be searched from its “header”; you must enter the “tab,” in order to search its contents.

With the bad comes the good.

I’ve found real utility in “project notes” pop-up feature, which is good for jotting AND organizing. But, as has been noted, as soon as you need to search for that trivial element that you’ve jotted into “project notes,” which is actually designed to work like “Checkov’s Gun,” you’re doomed. Search is an essential tool for writers, and not to be underestimated or overlooked.

The “Scratch Pad,” which I really like, pops-up and allows searching from the “tab” but, like “project notes,” it does not permit a global search, which I really don’t like. :confused:

In the best of all worlds, Scrivener would include “project notes” and “Scratch Pad” in one global search. (No. I have no idea why I am using lower case for “project notes” and upper case for “Scratch Pad.”)

That said, it’s hard to complain about Scrivener. :smiley: There are, as you point out, always work-arounds. I don’t think these limitations to global searches are intentional, or an oversight, but rather they are a function of the program’s brilliant coding. In a world of unintended consequences, I should content myself with the binder, as you pointed out. (Now if only there was a key stroke that could link my jottings to the binder… 8)

If anything, I think the feature is on the edge of being too powerful for its own good. The original design of the project notepad was this:

That blue area (which is of course still accessible, this screenshot is in 2.x of the Scapple manual that I’m working on right now, not 1.x) on the right is it. That’s it. One place to type. One place to find it. Just a simple spot to plop down little things like “Oh my, fix the red sweater problem in ch. 8”.

Now it has multiple notepads, and that’s great. And a separate window with tabs that can be used in addition to the sidebar. And that’s fine, it means you can have sweater notes and stuff-to-tell-my-agent notes and so on.

It was certainly never designed to be a host to your book’s entire background theory, though. That is wholly the function and point of the Binder (which isn’t, I should stress, to fault you—that’s why I’m looking at this interface and thinking about it again and wondering if it’s suggesting the wrong thing). Stuff that exists in the Binder is a part of the entire work’s eco-system. They can be linked together, share common keywords, be shown in split view for reference, be searched for in all of the many ways you can search within the manuscript—I just can’t think of a good reason to not put your universe material right alongside the manuscript. Otherwise project notes would have an exhaustive search function—it’s not as though we do not realise that search is important. We are after all writers. :slight_smile:

So in my opinion anyway, the solution isn’t to continue and push the project notes feature into a something that approaches its own miniature project window—but if anything, to curtail the expectation that is meant for anything more than quick notes that are easily universally available from any document in the binder.