Scrivener Collections Pt. 4: Cut Those MS Weeds with Searches

Photo courtesy free photos section.
Photo courtesy free photos section.

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

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Just like with a garden, your manuscript needs to be weeded and using a collection in conjunction with searches. In my example from last week, I created a collection for my rough draft to structurally edit my book for style. Now I can add the specifics of what I want to do with this collection.

The last few weeks have been dedicated to the use of collections while editing a manuscript, using my ongoing rough draft, An Arrow Against the Wind, as an example. Part 1 was an introduction to collections. Part 2 covered creating a real-life collection from my manuscript complete with meta-data. Last week, part 3 scratched the surface of using multiple collections with the creation of a new one in my manuscript to edit style.

Scriv Collection SearchBut, it’s important to be clear on the types of collections there are. So far, I’ve used standard collections but there are two other kinds of collections – Search Result Collections and Saved Search Result Collections. The first is used most commonly when you do a search from the upper-right of Scrivener (yes, if you’ve doing searches you’ve been using a collection all along). The next is when you save the search results as a collection.

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Let’s take the Search Result Collection first in this discussion. Whenever you do a search it becomes part of the project in which you are working and can be recalled for future use. However, this collection cannot be edited. So in this instance, if you do a search it will return results specified such as finding all dialog tags using the word “said”. Every instance of said will be highlighted in the manuscript.

Scriv Collections Search Results

If I click on View, slide to collections and choose Search in the fly-out menu and the Search Results bar will appear (along with the results in the documents according to the criteria I’ve chosen). Also displayed are all the folders and scenes where the word appears. Incidentally, this also shows only one collection – to view them all in tabs click Collections in the fly-out menu.

Scriv Collection Search Results Bar

However, I want to save this search into my own collection so I can use this whenever I want. Here’s how to add such a search result: with the Search term still in the upper-right at the spyglass icon, click the down arrow and at the end of the menu click on “Save Search as Collection”.

Scriv Collection Save Search Results  Scriv Collection Save Search Results Dialog

You will see a dialog box appear that allows you to name it and providing information about how to see it. Here’s the final result as I view all my collection tabs with the “said” tab showing.

Scriv Collection Save Search Tab

I can also delete these tabs unlike the regular Search Results Collection tab. I can add as many of these as I need and remove them as I complete editing for them which makes my style editing much easier.

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the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomonAre you using collections in Scrivener yet? How about searches and saved searches? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Interested in more of my writing? Just click one of the retailer banners on the sidebar to see more.

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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