Scrivener Smart Finder on Mac

Computers are good at filing things, but if your memory is like mine… Not so much.

Fortunately, file browsers–Finder on the Mac and its equivalent on Windows–can help.

I store my writing (Scrivener) files (*.scriv) in a couple of places. For first drafts, I let Scrivener use its default location wherever that might be. For really big works, I’ll create a directory somewhere and move the Scrivener project into that. Other times, and for no reason I remember, I’ll move one of them to a good place that I can’t forget, and then I’ll forget it.

To offset my scattered and sometimes forgetful brain, I set up Mac’s Finder with a Smart Search to compensate.

The Hard Way

(See also “The Easy Way” far below.)

(Click any picture for a larger version.)

Click anywhere on the desktop screen but not on any folder or file; just anywhere in the background. That’ll put the Finder’s menu at the top of the screen.
Therein, click File -> New Smart Folder.

You’ll see the New Smart Folder panel.

Way over to the right, click the tiny + symbol to begin creating one.

In the search settings, click the elevator icon next to Name and, down at the bottom, click Other…"

Scroll down in the list of search attributes to File extension.

Over to the right, checkmark its box, and then click OK at the bottom.

That’ll take you back to the New Smart Folder panel.

Do three things there.

  1. Make sure the first box is set to File extension.
  2. Set the search text to scriv (without the dot) or whatever extension you want it to find for you. And then,
  3. Click Save over on the right.

In the Save dialog, there are (again) three things to do.

  1. Give the Save As a good, indicative name. Since I’m searching for Scrivener projects, I named it Scrivener.
  2. Checkmark the Add To Sidebar box. And finally,
  3. Click Save.

From then on, whenever you bring up the Finder, click on your new search item and see what the computer remembers for you.

It’s much better than doing it yourself!

The Easy Way

July 15, 2023

A writer in the Facebook Scrivener Users group provided a quicker solution.

After clicking File -> New Smart Folder in the Finder, use the search box in the upper-right corner.

Type “scriv” and when it offers the Scrivener Project option, click it. Use the tiny Save button (as above) to save this new Smart Search.

Thank you, Tom!

History began in 2023. Fiction and non-fiction publications are included as well as (blog) posts and supplemental materials from (2004-present).

Comments submitted on individual pages are subject to approval. General suggestions may be sent via the Contact page.

© Copyright 2024 by E D Skinner, All rights reserved