keyword search suggestion

In version 1.50, clicking on the keyword search button in the Keywords HUD performs a search of selected keywords only. If the exact same selected words are in a text page, but are not included in the keyword list for that page, then that text page is not included in the search results.

After doing a keyword search, if I do nothing else but put my cursor in the search box in the toolbar and press enter, then the search results are expanded to include the text pages that contain the selected word(s).

I’m thinking that this two step process could be shortened by having the keyword HUD search bring up all instances of the “keyword”, whether or not it resides on the keyword list.

This issue came to my attention when I did a keyword search for a page with key word of interest, but I had forgotten to add that word to the keyword list for that page. For me, this kind of error is likely to repeat over time.



I’m confused, why would you want a keyword search to be anything other than a keyword search? The whole point of that button is to shorten the process it takes to search for keywords, which without that button means first selecting the keyword search type from the search options drop-down menu, and then typing in the keyword by hand. If you want to search every field and text area for a keyword, that is what typing it in into general search is for.

If you do not consistently use the keyword feature, then I recommend not using the keyword search feature to locate instances of the word. The contrary of this would be as intuitive as using the annotation search with text matching every instance and not just instances that fall in annotations.

Hi Amber,

Thanks for posting what was for me an enlightening response.

Prior to your response, my thought was that if a keyword is set up for a page, it’s because that keyword lies within the page, and the point of keywords is to help find pages of interest - not just pages with keywords in the keyword list.

Under this scenario, which I believe will always be the case for how I’m using Scrivener, whenever I search for a keyword, I will want the search to return all instances of where the keyword exists. Otherwise, I may miss finding key pages, simply because I forgot to fill in the keyword list for a particular page.

And now, thanks to your reply, I’m better acquainted with the magnifying glass and triangle which when pressed lists more powerful, flexible, and varied ways to perform searches.

It appears that, though the keyword HUD is a good way to input keywords into the toolbar search area, the toolbar search is better suited for searching for keywords.

Interestingly to me, while you wondered why I would want a keyword search to be anything other than a keyword search, I wondered why anyone would want a keyword search to exclude pages with keywords found only in the text or synopsis.

Regarding the analogy to annotations, I think that keywords and annotations serve very different purposes. It’s much easier (for me) to envision scenarios where I’d want to find items exclusively within an annotation, compared to scenarios where I’d want to find keywords exclusively in the keyword list.

Anyway, despite the fact that I most likely will never want to search for keywords found exclusively in the keyword list, I’m now more cognizant that others may be using the keyboard HUD to desirably filter out keywords not found on the keyword list.

Thanks again for your thoughtful reply.


I should chime in that although I didn’t reply initially, I have added this as a possibility to my list of things to do: to have a checkbox in the keywords panel that will determine whether the keyword search should limit itself only to keywords within the keywords section of documents or should include the words where they appear anywhere. The advantage to this is that, of course, you don’t have to type the words manually into the search field. You could use the keywords panel to select several items, and hit search to set up the search field to search for those words anywhere. As I say, it’s a possibility for the future, depending on the other stuff that needs doing.

Thanks and all the best,

It depends on how you use keywords, really. The beauty of Scrivener is that you and I can use keywords for totally different purposes and both are entirely correct if the method works for us.

In my case, searching for keywords found only in a document’s keyword list is useful, because of how I use keywords. The keyword itself may never actually show up in the document, but the idea that the keyword represents is there, and that is what I use it for. So, making a distinction between a keyword and a fulltext search is very useful for me. The way I use Scrivener keywords is similar to what many other programs (and websites) call “tags”.