Saving Comments search to a Collection

Hello Keith & Scriv Crew,

I echo those users who have said already that Scrivener 2.0 is the best software program they have ever used! :smiley:

I would like to be able to search only Comments for an exact phrase (one or more words) and save that search as a Collection.

I’ve checked the menus, manual, wiki, and forums, to no avail. I see how I can save searches of other meta-data, and how I can search Comments from the Find/Replace menu. But not what I’m looking for.

Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

This isn’t currently possible. There is of course a way to search for comments across your entire project in a step-by-step fashion in Edit/Find/Find by Formatting, but this is not a collection style search as you note. I believe this is something on the very long-term “it would be nice” list: expanding the role of collections and searching in general. Eventually some day, it would be nice to something along the lines of what Circus Ponies Notebook has, in terms of an Index. That’s all pie in the sky at the moment though. Stuff for 3.0 most likely. :slight_smile:

I’d love to see all my comments in one place. It would be useful to see comments in one place for an entire document, a paragraph, the entire project. Why is this useful? Because commenting on texts goes beyond editing (the paradigm of Microsoft Word comments; i.e., “accept” “reject” changes, etc), and includes self-editing, notes, ideas, important points to remember, etc.

(As a sort of off topic note related to comments, it’d be great to see this feature implemented in reading pdf files to comment on them in the Research folder, compile those comments/notes and use them for writing. Alas, this may not ever happen in Scrivener: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8773&start=0 I understand the point of what Scrivener is and does for writers, but giving us the ability to store and read PDFs as research files, but not comment on them is, well, strange. Because even Preview lets you do that. Other programs implement this “feature” just fine. Does it REALLY steal away from what Scrivener is about? Would it really burden the application? After all, we are invited to add our “research” with a research folder…IMHO. I am sure there’s a whole discussion about this somewhere, so I apologize for my outburst! :slight_smile: )

Anyway, if I’m not mistaken, there is only one way you can get your comments aside from one-at-a-time: you can compile your draft, and have Scrivener print out “Inspector Comments?”

  1. Is there any way to compile/print comments outside of the “Draft” folder (i.e. in the Research folder)? As is its purpose, Scrivener does not compile things in the “Research” folder. I thought I’d just ask anyway.

  2. Is there any way to print ONLY comments and commented text using this Compile Draft method?

  3. Will a future update address this? to do at least what tdg suggests: a Collection or some way to save the Find…Find by Formatting?

Thanks, and despite my criticism, this probably the finest tool a writer/academic has to work with, keeping one close to the writing process at all times. I’ve used it continuously since I bought it in April 2007. And 2.0 is an amazing upgrade. Kudos.


PS. Indexing like Circus Ponies Notebook would be amazing. Also like Devonthink Pro…

You can use collections to do this, or you can just print any document using File > Print.


There are no plans for anything like it, and no guarantees of features beyonds the ones in the current version. The ability to select to search comments only in the search options may be added at some point though as it’s not a bad idea.

Thanks for the kind words.

There are certainly no plans for anything like this. Every user has different requirements and wants to turn Scrivener into something that would fit their particular workflow, which is entirely understandable, but it will never be all things to all people. :slight_smile:

All the best,

Thanks for your reply, Ioa.

I’m experimenting with the new features of 2.0 to see if I can come up with a Scrivener usage scenario that would be a workable substitute for the qualitative data analysis (QDA) “coding” provided by NVivo, Atlas.ti, and TAMS Analyzer. I discovered that Comments cannot be nested, which is a severe limitation for trying to do QDA with Scrivener. I am aware that such use is outside Scrivener’s intended functions.

I have not yet explored all the in’s and out’s of the new Collections and Custom Meta-data yet, so I’ll keep looking for other ways to get there from the features in Scriv 2.0.


You might try Scrivener Links from within annotations. This can be fluidly with Cmd-L or [[ScrivenerLink]] syntax while typing. You can set up how this works when you use it—the new note can pop up in a QuickRef window, split, current editor, or nothing at all for deferred handling.

On the original matter: instead of using annotations, try using comments. You can select the Draft and open up the comments inspector while in Scrivenings mode. Scrivenings will collect all comments within the session, across all files. It’s not a saved collection view—but it’s a collection of comments. :slight_smile: