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(Archived) Searching Special Characters eg. ()[]@...



I love evernote and have been a dedicate user for over a year now but there's always been one thing that bugged me and that's searching within notes.

I use evernote quite often to jot down information and sometimes assign inline tags to my notes using [] and <>


- a bunch of notes

- a bunch of notes

- key fact [important]

- a date [date]

- a bunch of notes

- more notes

As far as I know, there doesn't seem to be a way to search for special symbols like []@#><...

Would love for this feature to be added of if it already is, for someone to enlighten me.

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Evernote's search engines are intentionally insensitive to: case, punctuation, spacing, and diacritics (e.g. accents)

We perform searches for words and phrases without requiring you to type in the exact correct capitalization, spacing, punctuation, etc.

A "word" is any sequence of letters, numbers and underscores. So if you want to put special searchable text within your notes, you may want to use some combination of those. E.g.


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Is there any plan in the future to let users search for exact phrases and phrases, maybe with the use of quotes?

You can search for exact phrases with quotes. What you can't search for is special chars. When the new version of EN came out (i.e., after 2.2 on Win), you couldn't even use _ as a special character. We got that concession, but asking for other characters, like @, netted a response somewhat like 'our search is like google's, you can't search for @ on google'. Or something like that.

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I've read on their tech blogs that each user's data is isolated from everyone else's, individually indexed, and their shards can run different search indexers than neighboring users on the same server. This article gives a good glimpse into their search indexing architecture.




From a technical standpoint they definitely could offer the abiliity for each user to tweak their Lucene settings to allow certain special characters.


I can see 3 obvious reasons why they haven't done this:

  1. Users would expect the experience to seemlessly sync to all their devices. And each device would require time to re-index its offline data.
  2. if some users accidentally changed the settings incorrectly it might make their data virtually unsearchable until corrected. That's a tech support headache.
  3. Every feature has a global rollout. That means this capability would require an application update to every platform they maintain (desktops, mobile, web).
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