Word search isn't friendly

The word search option can be much simpler than it is. I have over fifty chapters in my manuscript, and when I search for a word, the word isn’t highlighted in the open chapter. I have to scan through a list of sentence fragments, then hover over them to find my current chapter.

I would love to: Type the word in the search bar, then find that word highlighted in the open chapter. The chapters containing the word should also be highlighted.

Are you using the Quick Search, or the Project Search? Quick Search is more focused on finding single instances: “which chapter was it that talked about widgets?” Project Search is the place to go for “are my descriptions of Ralph’s dog consistent?”

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Also refer to §11.1.1, under subheading, Finding Matches in the Editor. Scrivener approaches search as both a navigation tool and a way to find text. It accommodates the former by loading items to where you were working on them last, because that might be precisely why you are clicking through a list of search results (not to jump about from one hit of text to the next). It accommodates the latter use via the method described in the documentation. Your desired approach is not the default because there would then be no way to do the other thing at all if your selection is jumped to the first hit automatically. We’d just be deleting a whole way of using the software by doing things the way you describe.

And yes, if you are using Quick Search, that’s not really the best tool for the sort of process you’re describing—as noted above, it’s more of a navigation tool with a little search result stuff mixed in to help you out where title matches do not work out. I think you would be much better off with a list of items in the sidebar that contain the text you searched for, so you can click directly on the section you want to look at, and go from there with the above tip.