Saving a search as a collection greyed out if 'binder selection' is checked

Pretty much per the title. In the binder, I have a folder with a particular draft in it, made up of documents. Each document has custom metadata, which I want to use as live(ish) filters. As I understand it, I can set up a collection based on the status of those metadata by first doing a search on their status, then saving it. The ‘save search’ isn’t greyed out if I do that.

However, I want to exclude everything outside that folder with the draft in it, so I’m checking ‘binder selection’ in the search criteria, at which point, ‘save search’ gets greyed out.

Is this meant to happen? Is there a way round it? Thanks

Right click in the search results → Add to collection > New collection.

Thanks. Will that live update though?

But it wouldn’t the other way around either.

Okay, so is it possible to achieve effectively a live smart collection? Or just a series of snapshots as I repeatedly resave the search?

You might be better off setting filter(s) in an outline view.

Wait. My bad. I had misunderstood what you meant by live update. (I spoke too fast there…)

Saving search results as a collection indeed doesn’t act the same.

Thank you. That is in fact exactly what I was trying to achieve!

Well, technically you should be able to get what you want also by saving the search results as a collection.
Why it won’t let you, this I don’t know.

But at least you now have an alternative.

I reproduced and got the same result.

With “Search binder selection only”, the option to save as a collection is grayed out.

My best guess would be that since the binder selection ain’t a static criteria, the auto-update you are looking for just wouldn’t work over the course of a session.
Therefor forcing you to save it to a static collection, the way I posted above.

If you want it to work, organize your binder so that you don’t have to limit the search to a selection. (The question is : can it be done… how will it impact compile… ? Maybe it is not worth it, and you are better off with the alternative. (The ouline view + filters.))

[EDIT] Or refine your custom metadata into “sub-categories”. Like you’d have two that are almost the same instead of one, one of them intended toward that search specifically.
Or one that is the same for all the concerned documents, with a second as a condition, which condition is what you’d actually search for.
This way you’d emulate control over the search range.

An addition, Vincent_Vincent has already mentioned it: Scrivener makes it very easy to add your own metadata (in addition to the standard metadata).

So if you add a special character/icon as metadata to all documents in a folder, you can search for it normally without selecting ‘binder selection’. I find this menu cumbersome, but that is a matter of opinion.

For example, this searches for all documents in the folder :billed_cap: that also contain Word1 and Word2 (if necessary).


My point is that Scrivener can search for all metadata and words at the same time. The result can then be saved as a collection.

Thanks - yep I’d thought of manipulating other custom metadata along those lines but it’s a bit clunky, and means I’d have to remember to add them to every new document. Filtering is good enough for my needs for now.

The option to save the selection-only scope into a collection was disabled intentionally to avoid confusion—if you didn’t really think through what you were doing, it might often result in no matches, and we wanted to avoid that potential pitfall.

That said, for those that do know what they are doing and really want that, there is a way to do this:

  1. Set up your search exactly as you want it, except for the selection constraint.
  2. Save this as a search collection.
  3. Now once you have this search collection loaded, click on the magnifying glass and add the selection constraint.

And there you go! Any changes you make to the search options while looking at a collection will change how it works permanently. So we figured that was a good way to let people do this if they want to, even if it’s almost impossible to figure out on your own. :slight_smile:

Now as for why that is a bit of a hidden feature, as you will discover it doesn’t remember what you select when creating it, which is the problem. You do have to select the group and its items before clicking on the collection tab in order for it to work as intended. It will dutifully only search within what the selection currently is, in other words. We could probably have made it another way, where it remembered, but it was decided that leaving it dynamic was useful for its own reasons. It is nice to be able to save a complex search setup that easily adjusts to your pre-selection parameter before loading it.


@AmberV I figured this out a few months ago and thought it was a bug that was very useful to me, which is why I didn’t say anything :joy:

Which other hidden but useful “bugs” are you hiding from us? :slightly_smiling_face:

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Save Search as Collection greyed out when Search Binder Selection Only (under Project Search: Options) is chosen.
Seems the Options components are only available post being left unticked.