Mining an Older Project

Scrivener 3.1.5; MacOS 10.15.5

I am using an older project (P1) as source material for a new project (P2; both are in the same Scrivener file, as explained in the Manual).

In an effort find each nugget of truth, I made a list of relevant keywords. I searched on a keyword in P1.This gives me a list of Documents containing the Search term. Next, I look at each Document in turn. What I want to do next, and where I need the help:

  1. Examining each Document, I want to save whatever text that seems relevant;
  2. And, I need to Save the title of the Document containing the saved text.

I wondered if this might be something that Collections could do, but didn’t see how to make it work?

Save to where? P1 or P2? And how much of the original context do you need?


Original context? I don’t know! A few hundred words of context, at a guess.

Location: I was thinking that I’d save to the same Draft folder; like for instance a Research folder close by is a strong Scrivener feature I use frequently. I envision maybe a dozen instances if we can make it work as I’ll draw heavily from the old project.

I’m just starting the project, and I could use any setup suggestions as I envision quite a bit of back and forth; here’s how it looks now:

If it were me, I’d take the source document and duplicate it. The duplicate will be named something like “interesting document-1,” though of course you can change it.

Then I’d go through the duplicate and use the Document -> Split command to break each “interesting” chunk out to its own document. Again, the default is to have the same name as the original, plus a number, but you can change it. The pieces will inherit keywords and other metadata from the parent.

Throw any leftover chunks away. You’ll now have however many chunks, each named after the original, which you can shuffle around, assign metadata, etc. independently. And the source document is untouched, so you can repeat the exercise as many times as necessary if you don’t like these chunks or think you threw something away that shouldn’t have been.


PS Long time forum readers may see a theme here. I’m a loud and consistent advocate for the Split and Merge functions. IMO they’re two of Scrivener’s best and most underappreciated features.

“If it were me”


Yes, that’s the advice I needed - a general direction. While I’ve been using Scrivener since 2010, my assignments have always been short weekly columns; I never explored or needed the more powerful functions.

The ability to move ‘chunks’ around was one I hadn’t anticipated but will be useful.