Scrivener excels at helping you visualize your story’s structure, and at keeping your manuscript and supporting materials organized. But, sometimes you still need to search for something. Whether it’s a scene you misplaced while trying to move it, the details of a conversation between two characters, or the main character’s boss’s eye color, Scrivener makes it easy to find what you need.
Here are three easy ways to search within your project.
Searching the Entire Project
In Scrivener 3, there’s a new Search button on the toolbar that aggregates several search-related functions, including Project Search (formerly a text box in the toolbar), Document Search, Synopsis Search, Find by Formatting, and Project Replace.
Project Search is the most robust and furthest-reaching search option. It can scour the entire project for text in all kinds of places—not just the main document text—and can also match metadata (e.g., Label, Status, and Keywords).
Using Project Search
To quickly access Project Search, click the magnifying glass portion of the Search button. A text box opens at the top of the Binder.
Type the word(s) you want to search for in the text box. The Binder changes to a list of documents that match your search criteria. When you select one of the documents in the list, you can scroll through to see any matches highlighted in yellow.
Command+G is the helpful shortcut for Edit>Find>Find Next, which will jump you through the matches in the document you’re viewing so you don’t miss any.
To clear the project search results and view the normal Binder list, press ESC on your keyboard, or click the X in the project search text box.
Changing the Search Parameters
Did you notice that one of the matches in the example above was not the word I typed, but a word that contained my word? Sometimes that’s great. Other times not so much. In this section, we’ll look at how to adjust the parameters to get exactly what you’re looking for.*
*(These five subsections are more more for reference than fun reading. Feel free to skip to Getting a Quick Hit with the Quick Search Toolbar and return to this part when you need it. Or when you can’t sleep.)
The settings for Project Search can be adjusted by clicking on the tiny magnifying glass in the project search text box to change what elements Scrivener searches (e.g. All, Title, Text, etc), what type of search it performs, and which files it looks in. You can even make your search case sensitive, which is handy if you have a name that is also a word, like Bob or Trace.
TIP: Before you enter any text, the project search text box displays the most recent type of search in gray text (e.g., All (Exact Phrase) so you know what kind of search settings are selected.
Determining Which Parts to Search
The “Search In” section of the menu allows you to narrow the elements Scrivener searches. [Read more…]