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How to Search a Manuscript Written in Leanpub's Browser Mode / Online Editor
How to Search a Manuscript Written in Leanpub's Browser Mode / Online Editor

Keywords: search, book, text, browser mode, online editor, how, whole manuscript

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Written by Leanpub Support
Updated over a week ago
How to Search a Manuscript Written in Leanpub's Browser Mode

If you're writing a Leanpub book online, using our Browser writing mode, there is currently no way to search the whole manuscript all at once, in the browser itself.

However, in this article, we'll briefly explain how you can search an individual text file in your browser, and then explain a process for searching a whole manuscript.

Searching for Terms in an Individual Text File in the Browser Mode

To search an individual text file, just click into the Write tab and type Command + F on a Mac, or Ctrl + F on a PC.

Type a word in the search bar to search for it:

Downloading an Entire Manuscript Written in the Browser Mode as Text Files Onto Your Computer

To search an entire manuscript written in the Browser writing mode, currently you need to download the entire manuscript.

To download an entire manuscript, go to the "Manuscript Versions" page for your book here:

...making sure to replace YOUR_BOOK with your book's unique web address.

You can also find the "...." page on your book's "Overview" page:

On the Manuscript Versions page, click "Create Archive" for the version you want to search (presumably the latest version, at the top of the page):

After you click "Create Archive", you will briefly see an "Exporting Archive" page:

When the process completes, you'll see an (ugly, we know!) page like this:

To download your manuscript, click the "download" link:

Check the place on your device where your download go, and you'll see a zip file like this:

Double-click the file to unzip it, and you'll see a new folder, like this:

The text files for your manuscript will have the same file name they have in the Write tab in the browser:

Searching the Downloaded Manuscript Text Files

Now, what you do next is up to you!

The best thing to do is search the web for something like:

"how to search multiple text files at once on a mac"


"how to search multiple text files at once on a PC"

Searching for Terms in Multiple Text Files on a Mac

To search multiple text files on a Mac, navigate to the folder in Finder:

Click the magnifying glass at the top right of the Finder window:

This will open a search bar:

In the search bar, type the word you want to search for:

Next, click the folder name that you will see next to "Search: This Mac":

That will show you a list of files that contain the word you're searching for:

You won't see search results within the text files themselves, but this should help you narrow down your search!

Searching for Terms in Multiple Text Files Using a Text Editor App

Here's a fun fact a lot of people are understandably unaware of:

The most sophisticated text editors in the world are designed by and for programmers!

Why's that? Well, software is all written text, just like a book.

But now imagine you were writing the kind of book that wouldn't open at all, if there was a single typo in the whole manuscript!

Computer programs are like that. So, for this and a whole of other reasons, programmers typically use really sophisticated text editor apps.

To open a text file in a text editor app, you'll need to download the app from somewhere.

A really popular app that programmers use is the Visual Studio Code app, or "VS Code".

You can download the VS Code app for free from their website:

The following example will be shown on a Mac, but the process is probably quite similar if you are using a PC.

Once you've downloaded the app, go back to the book folder you downloaded and unzipped:

Next, right-click on a text file, select "Open With", and then select "Other...":

Scroll down the list of apps and select the "Visual Studio Code" app, and then click "Open":

VS Code can be kind of "shouty", so you may see a lot of stuff on the right:

For our purposes, we're just going to click the blue "Open Folder" button:

In the window that opens, you should see your book folder has been selected. Click "Open":

You may see some more shouty stuff like this:

We're going to click "Yes, I trust the authors":

You'll see you've now navigated to this folder in VS Code:

We're going to do some clicking to get rid of all the shouty stuff at the right:

OK, that's better:

Type Shift + Command + F to bring up the search bar:

Type the term you want to search for, and you'll see the results:

You can "collapse" the results from a file by clicking here:

Then, you can see the results in the next file:

You can click on an individual result, like this:

That will open up the text file the result is in, in a panel on the right:

You can type in the file if you want, but of course you're writing in your browser, so that won't actually change anything in your book! It will just change the file on your computer, if you save the change in VS Code by typing Command + S:

One last thing to note is that you will also see the line number from the file:

Just to be extra clear, the file name is at the top of the window on the right:

You can now navigate to that text file in the Write tab your browser, and scroll down to the line:

OK, that's it!

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