Replace By Formatting?

Hi everyone,

Apologies if someone has already asked for this — or if it’s possible to do it some other way I am ignorant of — but here’s my idea for a feature request: You know how we can already search and find things by formatting (I.e., find some text if it is “italicized” or “bolded”, etc.), if it’s within the current document? Well why not apply this functionality to the Project Replace function, as well? I recently had a situation where I had forgotten to italicize the title of a fictitious book my characters referenced in the novel I’m writing . . . about a hundred different times. It would be swell if Scrivener would let me search the entire project for “The_title_goes_here” + No_Italics, and then replace it with “The_title_goes_here” + With_Italics.


Andy H.

Any objection to using a little Markdown and enabling the Convert Markdown to bold and italics switch in the Transformations compile pane to convert to italics? If not, you could just search for Title of Book and replace with Title of Book (or you can use a pair of “_” characters instead of an asterisk if you prefer how that looks).

Adding the capability to find panels, as you are describing it, would be quite the project though. It’s not something we’ve ruled out, but it’s not on the table for any upcoming upgrades. We generally recommend one use a word processor with these features, post-compile, if the asterisks trick doesn’t work.

I have a slighty different suggestion. Would it not be possible to change the Scriviener Search and Replace facility(Ctl-F) to search for any paragragh styles or character styles/overrides and be able to replace them with another preset style? Could you also not enable, for instance, a complete Search and Replace of ChapterTNRHeading to ChapterArialHeadingBold preset para styles with just one click? This change should enable you to change any preset paragraph or char style into a different preset style. Also, if you could put a dropdown in the search box with the ability to select “Current Document” or “Whole Project”, this would also be extremely helpful and quick. Perhaps also extending this Search and Replace to search and replace non-ascii text might also be a boon.

I am also aware that you can set default bodytext styles via Editor preferences in Scrivener. But the current method is buried under multi-submenus and is not so intuitive as just using an S & R pop-up that most people are used to anyway. I think having more options is perhaps a good thing, because no two people will ever use Scrivener in the same way.

If you want to see a really great search and replace capability, then have a look at Adobe Indesign’s S & R pop-up version. Even Word 2010 now has an extended Search and Replace facility now that doesn’t just search and replace text.

IMO, this stems from an RTF/WYSIWYG issue. If Scrivener acted a bit more like HTML or LaTeX, then global changes wouldn’t need to be necessary this way.

What would be the advantage of this approach? If you are to the point of using stylesheets, then you have relevant texts assigned as a heading of some sort and have that formatting assigned to the style. Creating another heading style with a different font and then converting all text from that heading style to the new one would be much more easily accomplished by changing the formatting assigned to the heading style directly and having that change displayed in all text using that style, no?

If you’re talking about how easy it is to do this with a .tex file using a plain-text editor, sure. Searching for Title Goes Here and replacing with \emph{Title Goes Here} doesn’t require any fancy user interface, but most people want some kind of palette or mouse accessible tools with icons and such to help them do that, rather than knowing codes and intermediate level text processing techniques. Otherwise I am not sure what you mean since RTF as a technology is capable of doing exactly the same thing. Scrivener has never been WYSIWYG anyway though, nor will it be in the update, so we might be using that phrase to mean different things.