Project Replace by word

In the standard search dialogue, the ability to search by word instead of character is quite useful. Perhaps one of the most important places for that ability is in the Project Replace tool, however. This is one tool which can wreak major havoc on your project, and having the quick option to narrow down its focus by word would help to minimise that.

Workaround: Of course, for now, we can simply add spaces around our search and replace input.

Another comment, while I am here: Should the ability to scour and manipulate Snapshots be enabled by default? One of the primary features of Snapshot is to preserve a prior state of the document. I can see how, in some cases you might want to go back and rewrite history, but by default? It seems a little dangerous. Just an opinion.

No, it shouldn’t, and in the original design it wasn’t. This was an oversight, fixed for beta 2.

A good idea, but as it would take some work and slow down the replace feature, I’ll leave this one as a post-1.0 consideration. I really think Project Replace should only ever be used in very clear-cut cases, anyway. For instance, for changing a character’s name. Generally, global replaces are better (ie. more safely) done by using the search feature in the toolbar and then using the regular Find & Replace panel anyway.

Some discussion for post-1.0:

Well the classic problem there is that even proper names, especially simple ones, can be parts of other words. Dan and Danger, for example. I had an idea once, but no good way to implement it, to solve this issue. Basically the application would passively report all of the changes that had been made via a global replace function like this. It would use an unusual format choice, like a green strike-through. Then a simple function in the context menu or a button that only appears when these highlights are present, would allow the user to “approve” of the changes. That way, the process remains passive. Interaction is largely optional, and extremely efficient. You can put off proofing until the next time that document is opened.

Of coarse, there are flaws. What if there is a document you seldom open and it accumulates several of these operations in its highlights, how do you delineate between them?

Is there a way to search in Snapshots? I agree that a universal search and replace could rapidly turn into a nightmare, but I’d like a way to include Snapshots in my search.

One of the reasons I switched to Mac is the ability to search quickly through the ten million drafts and fragments for that one scene I know I wrote but whose name or location I just can’t seem to remember.

I am guessing, no, since the search results is a filter in the Binder, and Snapshots never show up in the Binder at all. This would be an interesting ability, though. Perhaps, if they could be returned as a date sorted list indented beneath the parent document? The problem is: What if the parent document no longer has the match? How do you let the user know that the search result is from a Snapshot? Maybe change the icon to a camera or a torn document or something?

No, currently there is no way to search snapshots. This would slow down the search significantly, given that snapshots are stored on disk rather than held in memory, so they would have to be unarchived before searching.

P.S. AmberV, you’re getting carried away again. :slight_smile:

Aaahh! At least I didn’t make twenty Photoshopped examples!

You say “currently”. :slight_smile: Does this mean it’s coming?

(And thanks for the great program, btw!)

It just means it’s a good idea but I’m not sure how it would work in the current set up. For instance, snapshots can’t be opened by the main editor (they have to be read-only, and it would be confusing to open them in the main editor anyway) and so they can’t be revealed in the search results. You would just see the document. But then you would open the document and go, “Huh, there’s nothing here,” unless you opened the snapshots panel. And then you would want the snapshots panel to highlight the search terms… So, like I say, it’s a good idea, but one for the “future possibilities” list, I think - I have to leave some stuff for 2.0, you know. :slight_smile: