Searching for keywords in HUD.

I must be doing something wrong.

I have been using the keywords HUD for some time now, but really only as a ‘holder’ for various characters names, place names, etc. Sometimes I have typed the name directly into the HUD and sometimes I dragged the name from the text of the document into the HUD. I also have stuff grouped in there.

Tried clicking on a name in the HUD and then hitting the search button at the bottom of the HUD. Nothing happens except a blank search window. If I use the search window in the top right hand corner of the screen (where the magnifying glass is located) then I get all of the instances of that name in the search results window.

So, what am I doing wrong? The HUD search button always produces zero results.

Thanks for a great product. Version 1.5 is also great.

Best Regards

Hi Steve,

The Keywords HUD search runs a search on keywords assigned to documents. Open the inspector and click on the little key icon at its bottom to see any keywords associated with that document. From what you say, it sounds as though you have been keeping a list of keywords in the HUD but not assigning any to the documents themselves; in this case, a keyword search would indeed bring up nothing.

To assign keywords, you can either add the keyword manually in the keywords inspector, drag the keyword from the HUD into the table in the inspector, or, if you want to assign keywords to several documents at once, select all the documents to which you wish to assign the keywords in the binder, outliner or corkboard, and then drag the keywords from the HUD onto one of the selected documents to assign to the entire selection.

In general, keywords are intended to help you run searches to bring up documents that might not come up were you to run a normal search. For instance, themes may not be mentioned directly in the document, but by assigning its name as a keyword, you could still search for it.

Hope that helps.
All the best,

Hi Keith,

Thanks for all of that. Yes, I can see why I could not find keywords using the search button.

This brings me to the reason that I use the Keywords HUD. At present I use it simply as a holder of all sorts of names of things that I need to remember for a novel. It also helps me sort characters with places and things that characters might have in their possession such as valuables/gadgets/technology etc. Since I write s/f it also helps me keep track of places on various planets and the characters that live there and the places/towns where they live etc. It goes on and on like a tree branching out.

The only problem with this is, and the fact that I use the keywords HUD for this function, is that I have to do it manually. ie, there seems to be no way to duplicate an item once it is in the HUD so it can appear as multiple children if I want, other than retyping it in manually. Which then causes other issues when I want to delete a name that is in multiple places in the HUD.

So, for instance, if I want a complete list of character names used in the novel, versus a list of characters that live in a certain place, versus a list of characters that belong to one family versus one that lists all their friends, I need to generate these lists manually. And this is something that all novel writers need in one form or another.

Okay, so now it seems that I am using the Keywords HUD for some other purpose that it was originally designed for. But for me at the moment, it sort of works.

That being the case, this is what I would LOVE to have in Scrivener (v2.0?)

If you want to keep the keywords HUD as is without modifying its function then maybe we could have another floating window in exactly the same manner as the Keywords HUD. It’s function would be as an ORGANISER for all of the characters/places/things/any category for the novel/story that you are working on. When you get a sufficiently complex world as in fantasy and s/f, all of these need to be kept track of. Not only that, but their relationship to each other needs to be kept track of as well, all accessible using some quickly clickable menu icon as you have done with the Keywords HUD.

It would also need to be interactive and enable me to drag names from the floating window into a document and vice versa.

Maybe some kind of floating window with names/things down one side and across the top, user defined categories so that I only need to click in the matrix to assign a relationship in a variety of ways, but must be able to click in more than one location. Can send you a drawing if I am being to cryptic. Also would like to have it sortable as one long list as per the current implementation of the keywords HUD.

Probably I am asking too much. But please give it some consideration. I can give you a screen capture of the Keywords HUD for my current story if it better illustrates what I would like.

Thanks for a great product. It meets 90% of my needs (just need the ORGANISER to make it 100% - ha ha).

Regarding v2.0. Quite happy to pay for that. You are running a business. It needs to earn money to fund its R&D.

Best Regards

Yes, the HUD is meant to store keywords, which in pretty much all normal cases would mean there is only one instance of every word in the list. As you realise, you are using a feature for something entirely out of its original design intent. Quirks should be expected.

This might sound odd, but have you considered using the Binder? Using Outliner mode, you can basically do what you want, and not only that you can annotate the individual children using the synopsis card if you need to. It might seem counter-intuitive, but Scrivener is quite efficient about it. Unless you actually add text to a node in the Binder, it will not create a corresponding RTFD file (which would be tiny anyway if empty). So when you create empty branches in the Binder, they stay empty until needed otherwise. This would seem to me, vastly preferable, since you can make whatever degree of notation you require right in the tree itself, cross-reference various aspects of multiple trees using the reference list feature, keyword the nodes using the HUD appropriately :wink: and everything else we enjoy in Scrivener.

Okay, thanks for that. I’ve had a bit of a play around with the concept of what you describe and it looks promising. Just need to get my head around using the binder this way.

It will need some experimenting to get the hang of it. I can see where you are coming from. Have you used it this way yourself or has the idea just occurred to you?

I must admit it has merit.

Thanks again for the idea.


It is a modification of how I work. I just keep one instance of each character mention (or whatever) and use the References pane to cross-link things. So for example instead of having a location item in the Binder with a set of relevant characters beneath it, I would just drag the relevant character sheets into that location’s reference list. It probably wouldn’t be as useful to someone who wants to be able to quickly glance at things, since the reference panel us a bit tucked away, but it is fine for how I work. You can also drop links into the content area as well, instead of the reference panel. In this fashion, a location sheet can have the setting descriptions and such, and then a list of relevant entities stored as Scrivener Links in the text itself. It’s a bit more “compressed” than what you are trying to, accomplishing “on a page” what you are doing with nested lists, but essentially conveys the same information.