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OneNote for Windows: more about searching


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It is worth considering how tag searches are handled in OneNote from an Evernote perspective. Here is a heads up. 

Three apps

There are three versions of OneNote for Windows

  1. browser app
  2. desktop app
  3. Windows 10 app

The search functionality common to all three was discussed in the last post. The UI for the first two is similar. The search is similar too but cannot do what somebody using Evernote would call a tag search. 

The Windows 10 app is the best for taggers. The Microsoft Evernote to OneNote importer adds the tags to the top of the page as a hashtag. The tag "public transport" becomes "#public transport". The browser app and the desktop app cannot search for these hashtags, but the Windows 10 app can.

Preparation before importing

The separator between hashtags in OneNote is space. Before using the Microsoft Evernote to OneNote importer rename all your tags including a space in Evernote. Replace the spaces with some other character - say "_" so "public transport" becomes "public_transport". The tag imported into OneNote will now be #public_transport. This tag can be used in a search. 

Search syntax examples

Search examples for the Windows 10 app

  • #public_transport - searches for the tag #public_transport but not the text "public transport", "public" or "transport"
  • "public transport" - is a string search for the text "public transport" and will also find the tag #public_transport.
  • public transport - searches for the words "public" or "transport" 
  • #"public transport" - finds the string "#" or "public transport"  
  • #public transport - finds the tag #public and the text "transport" 

 

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I had to laugh when I saw @charlieedstrom reaction to the above post. I had similar reaction to tag searching in OneNote.

Tag searching is limited in OneNote. 🙂 The only app I have heard of that does tags well is DevonThink - local data and native too - but only for Mac folk.

All the other apps seem to leave searching to keyword searches. 

The good news is OneNote does not delete the tags and can import the notes. Most apps will not import the notes and of those that do, the tags are lost - at least in part. 

Change means doing things differently. Mostly, there is another way that suits us too. 

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3 hours ago, Tamagotchi said:

Change means doing things differently. Mostly, there is another way that suits us too. 

Absolutely right, that's what I'm doing now with EN V10. Of course, I still miss some essential features, but I'm confident that they will return. So, I refuse to torture myself by switching to 'alternatives' which differ even more from legacy  EN than V10 in its current state.

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10 hours ago, eric99 said:

Absolutely right, that's what I'm doing now with EN V10. Of course, I still miss some essential features, but I'm confident that they will return. So, I refuse to torture myself by switching to 'alternatives' which differ even more from legacy  EN than V10 in its current state.

Well said.

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13 hours ago, eric99 said:

Absolutely right, that's what I'm doing now with EN V10. Of course, I still miss some essential features, but I'm confident that they will return. So, I refuse to torture myself by switching to 'alternatives' which differ even more from legacy  EN than V10 in its current state.

Each to their own. It is however quite easy to focus on what is lost with a switch but NOT the gain. Other apps have other strengths that Evernote never and may never have. As for the future nothing is certain. All we know is what is available now. We cannot know what Evernote will do and they have not committed to a roadmap in any way. I hope your strategy pays out for you.

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