New search bar behavior is confusing and inconvenient, help?

I search in my manuscripts all the time. This worked great in Scrivener 1. In Scrivener 3, I’m having the following problems:

The search bar is not immediately accessible. To even make the search bar appear, I first have to click on the little magnifying glass icon. This is really inconvenient when you do a lot of searching. I want to make the search bar permanently available, not hidden behind a click.

When I open the search bar, it automatically displays the last term I searched for, which I then need to clear in order to conduct a new search. Again, this is really inconvenient when you use this function frequently. I want Scrivener to stop remembering my last search.

I can’t seem to search for an exact phrase with whole words. If I search for the term “get this,” I only want “get this” as a result. Nothing else. Currently, using Exact Phrase will also return “forget this” as a result, and Whole Word will return any section that contains both words, regardless of order (e.g. “get in this” would count as a result).

Other than these changes to the search feature, I’m loving Scrivener 3. But searching is a major part of my workflow, and that means these are major problems for me, not trivial ones. Especially the third issue, which isn’t just inconvenient, but a significant loss of functionality. It would kill me to go back to Scrivener 1, but this is by far the most impactful change between versions for me.

How do I fix this?

Are you using Quick Search or Project Search? The manual chapter 11 covers the differences between the two, and you can access the manual from within Scrivener by pressing F1.

Make sure you click on the magnifying glass, not the arrow next to it: the latter opens a menu, but if you click on the glass itself, it opens the search field, with the cursor already in the field. That means you’re only using one click to start searching, just as in Version 1.

At least, it does for me — are you seeing something different?


If the Project Search field (over the Binder area) is already open and has an existing search term in it :

  1. If the search field still has focus (you didn’t do anything since typing the search word), type cmd-A to select what is there and then type your new search, OR click the ‘x’ not in the search field, but to the left of “Search Results” then type your new search term.

  2. If the search field no longer has focus (you clicked around in the binder or what-not, then click the magnifying glass again instead of clicking in the search field. This will give you one-click access to the field and will overwrite whatever is in there when you type.

That should help with one of your annoyances, I think.


P.S. The Quick Search field (in the tool bar area) requires one click to type into. When reinvoked, your search term is still there, but it is auto-selected, so if you type anything it is immediately overwritten.