Ok, I give up, what do Keywords actually do?

Is there any documentation about keywords?

Have you tried the interactive tutorial or the manual? Both are available via the help menu.

I’ve tried both of those.

I have an Interactive Tutorial option in the dropdown menu, but I click it and there’s no file installed, it just opens file explorer.

As for the manual, you must mean page 71, where it tells me I can drop keywords onto other keywords!

Thanks, but it hasn’t answered my question.

Ok Keywords are basically tags you can apply to individual files. You can apply a single label but multiple keywords. Using tags allows you to keep tabs of specific things such as a character in fiction or an idea or theory in non fiction writing. Keywords are searchable meaning that you can see a list of all files with that keyword. You can even save this search as a collection for viewing later.

Does this help?

Thank you Stacey, I really appreciate your taking the time to reply.

I’m not sure it’s going to be useful to me, but at least I know.

Keywords are a major functionality available within Scrivener. I use keywords to track my characters and which scenes they’re in along with Point of View. There’s a really cool way of doing that somewhere around here by that fellow who wrote the ebook on using Scrivener for writing a novel. I can’t find the link though, sorry.

Here’s how I use keywords.

I set up in the Keyword HUD two keywords for each character, eg

I also set up a keyword for each location in the book, eg

Each character gets it’s own colour, so Dave_(mentioned) and Dave_(present) will be the same colour. All locations are white.
Note that all the keywords have underscores instead of spaces - they only work if each keyword is a single wordstring.

Then, for each scene (which in my case is an individual text file) I add a number of keywords.
The first is the location the scene takes place.
Then there are any characters present in the scene, followed by any that are only mentioned.

Eg, a scene betweeen Dave and John at the Hospital ward where they talk about Phil would have the following keywords:

With this set up, I can then use the search facilities to tell me things such as:
Has Dave ever been to the Hospital Ward?
Search for: Hospital_Ward Dave_(present)

Have Dave and Phil met in the book / Show me all the scenes with Dave and Phil in
Search for: Phil_(present) Dave_(present)

If in editing I want to change something about my description of the hospital ward, I can call all the scenes up with:
Search for: Hospital_Ward

I can also find out all the scenes where John is either physically present or mentioned:
Do an “Any words” Search for: John_(mentioned) John_(present)
(change search parameters in the little drop down triangle in the search bar)

wow pigfender that is cool I will use that info
thanks for posting
Grandad7 (now8)

Thanks pigfender, for a really good response. I may just try it now that I understand a bit more.

Pigfender, thanks a lot! :smiley:

Pigfender, thank you for posting that information. I’ve been using Keywords, but now I know that I have not been utilizing them to their full potential.

Again, thanks for sharing how you use Keywords!

You know, that explanation of keywords is too good to let fall down out of sight in feedback.

Maybe move it to the Tips forum? Or add it to the manual or something like that.

For what it’s worth, I found out that you can have whitespace in keywords now.

You can have spaces and that works fine as long as you only ever search for one keyword at a time. Single keyword searches trigger the “Exact phrase” type search. However, if you want to use the above techniques to search for more than one keyword appearing, this is done under an “All words” search (searches done via the HUD automatically make this switch) and you’d end up with false positives.

So yes, you can use spaces, but the underscores approach provides a bit more ‘future proofing’ for more complex searches later.

I just tried using keywords (for the first time). And with blanks. I had:

Will t
Bob m

“t” for “talks” and “m” for “mentioned”.

A search in the Project Keywords dialog for “Will t” and “Bob m” seemed to select the correct files, so blanks seemed to work even with multiple keywords. Am I missing something important?

I’m using 1.0.2 right now.

you might be getting lucky with that one - if you don’t have other keywords overlapping to cause conflicts.

Apologies for the slightly long winded example:
I have set up a test project in which Keyword HUD contains the following keywords(note this is an example of it NOT working, so the keywords have spaces not underscores):
“Phil (mentioned)”
“Phil (present)”
“Dave (mentioned)”
“Dave (present)”

I then create a document and assign the following keywords to it:
“Phil (mentioned)”
“Dave (present)”

Now if open up the HUD and select “Phil (present)” and search, I get zero results. Which is correct and as it should be. The HUD is doing an ‘Exact Phrase’ search, and therefore looking for a single text string which says “Phil (present)” but can’t find one because it doesn’t exist.

Now, if I do a search in the HUD by selecting “Hospital” and “Phil (present)” you’d want this to also be negative: Phil has never been to the hospital. However, because the HUD search needs to do an “All Words” search for multiple keyword searches you actually get a positive result for the document we created. This is because it is able to find all the words “Hospital”, “Phil” and “(present)” in the keywords for that file. Although in reality Phil isn’t present. Dave is (and talking about Phil behind his back apparently).

But, you don’t have any of these problems if you use underscores instead of spaces.

Gotcha. I haven’t done anything that complicated with them yet. :wink:

I’m so glad you posted all the info, because now I think the keywords will come in really handy for keeping track of POV and certain plot threads, etc. :smiley:

Pigfender - you are my hero! I have been struggling with keeping track of my characters in this program! I am trying to switch from a program that kept track of characters 100% better than this one. Hopefully this will help. Thank you for the detailed explanation :slight_smile:

Great! Really, really great! Now, at last, I understand what Keywords is and how I can use it.