Search and replace a word formating in italics throughout project

I have a word that is not in italics, that I need to make italic throughout the project (non-fiction).
I cant seem to find a way to do that, in fact, I cant seem to do it per chapter let alone through the entire project.

change this phrase
to this phrase
through search and replace, how?

I’m unaware of an automated way to do this in bulk as I suspect you wish, in Scrivener. Finding all is easy, but appyling bulk (replace) formatting not something I spot either. Others might have a better idea.

Perhaps show the entire project in Scrivenings View, then do a project find for “this phrase”. All found will be shown, then for each select and make italic. Hopefully not too many.

If this something you think you might have to change again in bulk, apply a Character Style to those words and then when change needed in future, just change the formatting of the style.


bummer. I have hundreds to edit. Doing it individually is going to suck.

Maybe there is a way in the compile settings to locate the phrase and then change the formatting. I’m not at my desk right now to look, but before doing “hundreds”, perhaps look there. Others who are compile experts may weigh in here.

To what format do you compile to?

I compile to ebook & pdf for paperback.
I’d sooner have it working in the project than the compile. maybe there is a way through third party software to access the files and change it that way.

My hunch–probably not.


Despite a scrivening not being treated as a single document under Windows, Edit/Find/Find as the ability to travel across documents’ borders.

So, display your whole draft as a scrivening, and,
using Find, search from the top for your specific word.
When an occurrence is found, it is already selected for you.

Find – Ctrl I (Italics) – Find Next-- Ctrl I – Next – Ctrl I etc etc.

Click click click, you’ll be done in no time.


Yes yes.
. . . . . . . . . .

Thanks for stepping in. (Didn’t occur to me that each were already selected to facilitate that quick format application … slap head).


Hadn’t found a use for scrivening feature, and now I have. So, this is probably the best approach in the absence of a global change method.

Though curiously my CTRL-I wont work during a Find, though they appear selected. So I have to actually click the tool bar italics, but it’s not a big deal. I tried to do it the other way by CTRL-N to find the Next instance, so I could hover my mouse over the toolbar italic button for rapid change, but CTRL-N then creates a new chapter instead.

But it’s a work around, and the likely approach I will use. Though I am intrigued to know if someone has come up with any kind of code for this. Going to hunt Github see if I can find anything. I surely can’t be the first to need global formatting changes of keywords.

Indeed, the shortcut for italics doesn’t work with the search window active, I just tried it.

Once you have launched the search and found the first instance of the desired word, close the search popup window.
Apply the italics to that first word, then use whatever shortcut you have for this menu command :

This works. I just tested it.


On the Mac, the shortcut for “Find Next” is Cmd-G; so is it not Ctrl-G on the Windows version?

is it not Ctrl-G on the Windows version?

Not on mine. The issue is more the window focus is changed, so the Ctrl-? feature is doing something else.
But the additional suggestion provided by @Vincent_Vincent works.


Is there a way to find and replace every word of the project or even just a a document with a kursive version of it? For example turning every instance of “fish” to “fish”?

I have several words in my manuscript that need to be italicized each time they’re used (dozens and dozens of times!). I didn’t italicize as I wrote, so now I’m staring at 50+ chapters of text and lots of words that need to be italicized!

I know that, in Word, I can find-replace-apply Italics format. Is there an equivalent in Scrivener?