More robust search

Searching in a document or even a document section is important to me. I deal with large projects. When I want to search a string or a keyword, I get binder folders where my results are, but it does not help me if I have to scroll through pages and pages to find the results (I know I had a quote by an author, but I can’t remember where I cited it). I love the way Word allows the results to show up in a side window, and I can click on a result that reflects which part of the document I want and it will take me straight to the place in the project. This is also good when I want to check missing references in the project.

The search is just not there. If I am missing something that does what I want, I missed it.

Thank you for the feedback.

The “Scrivener” solution to this issue is to split documents into smaller pieces.

Once you’ve identified the specific document you want, you can also use the Edit → Find command to jump between results in that document.

Splitting the document is not that easy. It is a doctoral dissertation, and so the binder is large with lots of different sections and subsections. I also have many other document (a library I put together from classes) that I want to bet able to search.

Thank you very much for the tip. Control G works well for skipping though to find the specific results. However, Control G only allows me to skip to specific search results within a specific folder in the binder. It does not automatically move to another folder.

So, I still think it is a bit clunky. Within a project, it would be nice if Control G would move from one folder to another folder in the Binder without having to manually move there.

Even better would be to show a small section (3 or 4 lines of text) of the results within each folder in a tabbed window toggled with the binder. This way, I can see the results with a bit of context around the search term/phrase and choose it and go to that text. When I see references, I can easily see if all the references in the document match what is in the reference folder (one of the folders in the binder lists my references) without going to each folder separately. This will save time.

To simplify and speed the process, once you’ve run the project search you can load the entire collection of results in the editor as a Scrivenings session by clicking the arrow to the left of the Search Results title:


⌘1 will switch the editor view to Scrivenings if it loads in outliner or corkboard.

Then you can use ⌘G to jump through the full results in the editor, moving through each document. (The search term is pre-loaded, so there’s no need to open the document Find panel first.)

If you prefer not to load the entire results list into Scrivenings, you can instead use the Go to ▸ Next Document shortcut, ⌥⌘↓ to load the next document in the collection from the editor to streamline searching through the results.


I also work with (very) large projects. I think the trick is to search as precisely as possible so that you don’t get too many search results that you then have to sift through.

You say you use keywords? Good, a precise and fast search consists of searching for several keywords and words that appear in a text at the same time.

Here you can see some of my keywords


With a search like this, I find exactly the 5 documents I need in 5000 documents.


Basically, metadata (and words) can be combined in any way for the search. You can also exaggerate it. But used appropriately searches of this type are a great help to me. :slightly_smiling_face: