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Fix the Alphabet please! It wasn't BROKEN!


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Once we used the alphabet to find words and titles. 

It was once a grand achievement of humanity itself enabling categorization of words.

You can bring this back.  Some things, like the wheel on land vehicles over higher friction surfaces, we shouldn't change.

Please when I type the exact title in the search box try making that the main selection criteria.

This would enable half way intelligent humans to use your product without callouses from hand slapping one's own face.

BRING BACK THE ALPHABET EVERNOTE!!!!!!!!!!

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2 hours ago, Drold said:

Please when I type the exact title in the search box try making that the main selection criteria.

Use the intitle: parameter to identify the "main selection criteria"   
for example search     intitle:"the exact title"

The search feature is documented here

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I wonder how big a deal it would be to make the search box smart enough that it recognizes that you're typing an exact title match while you're typing it? Google and the other search engines have that.

Back in the buggy, kludgy EN for Windows app, there's a longstanding problem with responsiveness when typing text in the search box. The interface remains responsive while you type the first 2-3 characters into the search box, and the list of matches updates nicely. But on about the 4th or 5th character, the UI hangs for 5-20 seconds, consistently. This is enough to upset the flow of my typing, as it freezes so hard that it can't even display what I've typed, much less update the possible matches. Worse, when it hangs, if I keep typing (relying on the Evernote version of what Windows calls the type-ahead buffer) it sometimes drops characters, so I can't just keep on typing and trust that what I typed will eventually be seen and processed by the application.

I bring this up here because if you start typing "intitle:<whatever>" it hangs before you get to the : character, *every time without fail*. With patience, intitle: works as documented but because of this hang it is almost useless.

It is time for EN to offer an option to turn off the "live results as you type" feature (or whatever it is called).

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Having to type "intitle" every time you want to search in a title (which is surely one of the main ways people search) is onerous. As has been pointed out by others, imagine searching for, say, "whitehouse" in Google, and the first 30,000 results were obscure books and chat threads that have the word "whitehouse" buried in footnotes or the third page of discussions. This is my experience nearly every time I search for something in Evernote: the relevant results are buried, and I mostly see completely irrelevant notes.

Two options:

  • Evernote fixes search to match typical user expectations
  • Evernote users change their expectations about what a good search function returns

I'd encourage Evernote developers to think about which option is more likely to be successful.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@viverechristus to be clear, you don't have to use intitle: to match on title. In my long experience, an exact title match will be more likely to appear in the search results than an exact body text match, which in turn is more likely than a fuzzy match of title or body text. I think I assumed that the OP knew this, but maybe not?

Part of the problem could be, EN for Win doesn't support sorting results by quality of match.

Besides, no algorithm is perfect, which is why the intitle: modifier exists to force a title match. Intitle: is also helpful if you want a fuzzy title match while excluding exact or fuzzy body text matches.

Upon reflection: For the price, and given that the use case and the search space is very different than e.g. Google, I don't expect EN to have a Google-quality search implementation. EN understands the alphabet just fine. The main problem as I see it is that the Windows client hangs while typing your search (and not just when using intitle:). In previous versions, search was nice & responsive, assuming your PC itself wasn't slow.

Edited by John in Michigan USA
Clarify that I changed my position somewhat
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  • 9 months later...
On 9/26/2020 at 6:10 AM, John in Michigan USA said:

@viverechristus to be clear, you don't have to use intitle: to match on title. In my long experience, an exact title match will be more likely to appear in the search results than an exact body text match, which in turn is more likely than a fuzzy match of title or body text. I think I assumed that the OP knew this, but maybe not?

Part of the problem could be, EN for Win doesn't support sorting results by quality of match.

Besides, no algorithm is perfect, which is why the intitle: modifier exists to force a title match. Intitle: is also helpful if you want a fuzzy title match while excluding exact or fuzzy body text matches.

Upon reflection: For the price, and given that the use case and the search space is very different than e.g. Google, I don't expect EN to have a Google-quality search implementation. EN understands the alphabet just fine. The main problem as I see it is that the Windows client hangs while typing your search (and not just when using intitle:). In previous versions, search was nice & responsive, assuming your PC itself wasn't slow.

Take a look at the attached search for the words "book list." The note I want has "books list" in the title, but I never remember that. But I'm pretty close, right? Well, the targeted note is the 19th in the search results. I frankly can't remember the exact titles of my notes. That's why searching is so awesome.

image.thumb.png.8b28be8bf06d95201e2cd2765f9039c2.png

As John in Michigan USA observes, EN for Win doesn't support sorting results by quality of match. That seems to be a justification for EN's behavior. But it's exactly what people on this thread are unhappy about. Imagine a car company saying, "That model doesn't support rolling down the windows." It's true that a car drives without the ability to roll down the windows, but it's a nice feature, and most auto manufacturers have managed to incorporate windows-that-roll-down into their products, even relatively inexpensive cars!

"For the price" -- some of us are Premium members and actually pay annually.

"Google-quality search" -- Don't forget that one of the main reasons to use a sophisticated note-taking app is "findability." I do in fact expect the top note-taking apps to implement intelligent algorithms to improve search results.

Maybe EN 10 for Windows knows how to return relevant search results. Waiting to see...

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You got close enough to get it listed, didn’t you ?

Google improves its search results by billions of searches. They see the search term. And they see what finding you clicked at to proceed. This through all theses searches helps refine the results list.

How often have you searched for „book list“, how many times could EN see that it was this search result you were expecting. Not the same, true ?

If you want better search results, learn how to define better search requests:

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