Project Search: does not scroll the the first search result in the text

Admittedly I’m new to Scrivener, but I read the user manual and still can’t get figure out what’s going on with Project Search. I’m on Mac OS 12.1, using Scrivener 3.2.3, working on a manuscript with 12 chapters and a bunch of other miscellaneous folders. My magnifying glass settings are: All/All words/Manuscript only. When I search on a word, the results are listed in the left as expected, but when I click on a result, sometimes I’m taken to the page where the result is highlighted, and sometimes I’m taken to a few pages away from the highlighted result, to a page that has no highlighting. I have to scroll a few pages up or down to find the highlighted word. For example, the search result is on page 6, and I’m taken to page 4. Any idea what’s going on?

I think it is more a matter of expectations, than you or the software doing anything wrong. When you load an item in the binder sidebar it will 99% of the time load where you last left off working in it, so you can pick up where you left off. That you clicked on an item with a search generating the list, vs the normal binder list or collections (which you might not have explored yet) is irrelevant, the behaviour is always the same and consistent.

After all, we cannot presume that the reason you searched is because you want to actually find and zoom to that text (and then which text, the first, the last?). You might simply be gathering items together that meet some qualification, such as mentioning a topic, and wishing to work with these sections of text in a general way. Losing your place, in that case, would be annoying and even mildly destructive.

If you do want to located highlighted matches though, you’re looking for the yellow tip box titled, “Finding matches in the editor”, in §11.1.1, under Starting a New Search. Could probably break that out into its own subsection here, honestly. It feels like a tip to me, but some might consider it a core part of “The Basics”.

There are no pages in the editor, only scrolling text.

Select one or all of the Binder documents found bt project search, click in the text, and use ⌘ F (or ctrl F) to find matches.

I figured out what I was doing wrong with the search function. When I clicked on the documents in the search result list on the left, I had apparently clicked more than once, which put the name of the document in edit mode, which then makes the search function not active. Since I have my screen in dark mode, it was hard to discern the difference. I know what to look for now though. Also, I figured out you have to hit Cmd-F for each separate document you’re going to search. I had been going back and forth between the documents in the search results list on the left and the Find window. The Find window stays up when you switch to another document in the search result list, but it’s not really active, it won’t search the newly selected document. I have to hit Cmd-F again for each new document in the search results list. At least that’s how I’ve got it to work.

No, you don’t. Select all the documents you want to search. Click in the text. Then ⌘ F for each match you want to find. If there are ten matches in one document, you need ⌘ F eleven times to reach the next document.

Also, ⌘ G will “search again” for the search terms without bringing up the search dialogue.


Exactly, there are way more efficient ways of doing this than what has been described above, and I’m not sure why that is the method being settled upon, when the user manual reference I pointed to refers to much simpler approach. You don’t have to switch back and forth between sidebar and editor, just click on the item, you hit ⌘G / F3 and it jumps to the next spot.

One also can click the hook arrow button beside the X button in the search results header bar to load all of the search results into the editor, switch to Scrivenings mode, and jump through matches, rather than, “going back and forth between documents in the search results list on the left and the Find window”.

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