Saving time with the search function

I really enjoy using the search function in Skim: it makes a list with all the instances of the search terms in the document, and when I click on each one I’m taken directly to the search terms, which are highlighted.

If I type something in the Search field in Scrivener, it also makes a list of all the documents that have the search terms. But when I click on each document I have to find the highlighted search term myself. Would it be possible for Scrivener to take me directly to the search term in this case?


Just hit cmd-F to bring up the regular Find panel and then you can quickly go through all the terms in the selected document. This is how it works in Mail, too, and it’s very fast to find things.

You can also just use cmd-G and cmd-shift-G to jump forward and back through the search terms with in the document after you’ve run the project search via the toolbar. It works per document, but if you load all the documents pulled up in the search as a Scrivenings session, then you’ll be able to step through the whole set.


And keep in mind a single document might have several hundred instances of the search term within it. It’s not like Skim where you are just searching through one single flat document. The click-to-zoom mechanic doesn’t really work in a compound search situation where you first have to recover nodes and then positions within the nodes.

The only way you can really do this is to take the search in an entirely different direction, like TextMate’s project search, which produces a list of File+Position results in a tree. This isn’t a bad technique, but it is a deliberate choice that results in a different mechanic. Scrivener’s search result is a gathering mechanic. The result of a search is a list of items—and you can do quite a lot of things with a list of items in Scrivener. You can’t do anything with a list of references except click on them.