Keeping the Find window on top?

Here are a couple of ideas I’d love to have you consider:

They relate to the size of the Find window. I’m puzzled by why it’s so ginormous, for one thing. There’s a lot of unused real estate there. The buttons don’t need to be an inch and a half wide, either. Making it more compact would not affect functionality.

What that would do would be to improve functionality. The Find window obscures everything underneath it, so it seems completely unintuitive that a Find window would be this enormous, because it’s used to search the same windows that it’s obscuring.

So the first suggestion that comes to mind is to simply reduce it in size, and/or make it resizable. I know that’s absolutely doable, so please do that. Another option would be to have it jump out of the way when it finds something in the Editor that it’s actually obscuring. That would probably be difficult to code, but that would be much smarter behavior than what we are seeing now. Since it doesn’t do that, I find myself moving it around on the screen numerous times as it finds separate instances of what I’m looking for. That’s busywork that no one needs.

Another option would be to make the actual window fairly transparent, also a possibility in macOS, leaving the buttons and the relevant fields opaque. That would help a little bit. Or just resize it as a vertical window that’s as wide as the Binder so it doesn’t obscure the editor. Or even make it appear in place of the Binder the way Collections do.

The other issue is that every time I click in the Editor as I am attempting to find multiple instances of what is in the Find window, it disappears (!). I’m aware that this is typical macOS behavior, but in this scenario it’s actually pretty annoying because then I have to go bring it back every single time. More unwanted busywork.

Of course we don’t want the Find window to be glued to the top all the time. But what would make this work much better is if there could be a function ascribed to the Editor itself that would prevent it from disappearing. For instance, if a particular function key was held down when clicking away from the Find window that would allow that window to remain on top just for that moment, this would make it much more functional.

Can I recommend using Cmd+G to Find Next, and Cmd+Shift+G to Find Previous.

That way you need never click the buttons, and rarely have the find modal displayed.

For example, if you Cmd+F, enter text to find, then hit enter, the find box closes only if it finds a match (otherwise it displays: Not found); after that you can use the keyboard commands above to navigate.

Replace is slightly different, but I usually do that with a combination of find and paste.

I suspect this has something to do with your display resolution. I am using 1920 x 1080 monitors at 100% scaling. My Scrivener Find window is appropriately sized. In fact, it’s exactly the same size as Find windows from other apps, e.g. Excel.

What is the resolution and scaling of your monitor?

See this recent thread for a related discussion to an overlarge Find window.

I don’t know if there’s a workaround for this in your case, but perhaps that thread will provide some ideas to try.

ETA: Sorry, just saw you’re on MacOS. That other thread had to do with Windows, so I’m not sure whether it’s applicable.


I remember a day when that worked.

I also remember a day when that stopped working, inexplicably.

I’m pretty sure I know how to do that but maybe I’m missing something. It seems that it should be as simple as invoking ‘search in project’ to get the Find window to open, typing what I want to find in the find window, possibly pressing the next button to find the first instance, then pressing command G to find the next instance. It seems like that is how I used to get it to work, but that hasn’t worked for some time and it isn’t working today.

What am I missing?

My display resolution is the standard resolution. I’m using an M1 MBP. 2550 x 1600

Keeping the Find dialogue on top is the way the Windows version works and it’s really annoying! I suspect that limitations in the Windows toolkit meant that they couldn’t get it to work properly and had to settle for the dialogue having to be dismissed manually. The Options dialogue suffers from the same limitation.

You’re right in that all you (should) need to do is:

  1. cmd-f (or highlight a word/phrase in the text and cmd-e)
  2. With a search term in the box, press Enter
  3. cmd-g to go to the second term etc. (cmd-shift-g to go backwards)/

If the standard cmd-f - return - cmd-g/shift-g no longer works for you, then the easist solution is to reinstall Scrivener and see if that solves the problem.


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