Find duplicate texts?

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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:35 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:42 am Post

Hi, have a gigantic Scrivener file in which I save information, including useful quotes. However, I notice that often enough one quote I have will be repeated in another location. Is there a search feature which allows me to find texts of a certain complexity that are identical (so I can merge them)?



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Jack Daniel
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:54 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:12 am Post

What I do is just use the search feature of Scrivener.

What I've found is that if you put the entire phrase in quotes, this works rather well.

For instance, If I search for the word 'promise', even though that is not really that common of a word, I might get 40-50 returns in a manuscript of 80K words, many which are parts of other terms, such as 'compromise'.

But if you remember more than a word or two about what you are looking for, that winnows things down. If I search for a particular moment in the text where my protagonist makes a promise, and I remember generally how it was worded, I can search for the entire phrase 'I made you a promise', or I can search for a truncated version of that, such as 'you a prom', either of which will probably reveal that single moment in time.

So quote marks are the secret to finding your quotes. If you are looking for quotes, you likely know more than a single word in the quote, and this should work splendidly in that case.

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Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:56 pm Post

Yes, there is a feature for doing precisely this, and another one for finding matching texts within other larger texts (so, better for finding quotes and snippets). For full 1:1 duplicates:

  1. Run a project search for a single asterisk (*). This is a special wildcard that means: give me a list of everything with content.
  2. Click on the magnifying glass to the left of the search field and set the scope at the top to “Text”. Now we are just finding items with main text content.
  3. Lastly, select the “Find Duplicates” option, toward the very bottom of this list.

As you might expect you can refine this, and use the setting in combination with other settings. Searching for a word would only find duplicates that also contain that word, for example. Setting the scope to “Title” would help you find duplicate binder titles.

The other feature I referred to is documented in the user manual, under §13.4.4, Matching Text Finder, pg. 328. But you’ll probably want to scroll up a bit for context, as this is a mode buried in the inspector.

Moderator Note: moved to the technical support forum. You were posting in a board for sharing tips on how you use Scrivener.
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