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How can I search for special characters?

Michael Hyatt


At one time I was marking portion of text in a note with symbols. I was able (I think) to search for those symbols. However, I no longer can.

For example, I'd like to mark unresolved questions with a double question mark (i.e., "??"), then use a saved search to retrive these items. Or, mark a follow-up item with a double ampersat symbol (i.e., "@@").

Is this possible? Thanks.

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According to the search grammar, "Multiple whitespace and/or punctuation characters in the quoted phrase or the note will be compared as if they were a single space". So the string "??" in the text of a note won't be useful in search. You can, however, use "??" as a tag, and then search for "tag:??" (save that search as "Unresolved questions"). Likewise, I believe, with "tag:@@".

I do wish it Evernote had a better search grammar, as well as better search support in the application. The Mac application recently dropped the GUI component that provided information about what a search was actually doing. This is really a step backwards, since most users don't really use the search grammar, and that little GUI component was the only lifeline they had.

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I also have the habit from way back of marking both questions and action items inside meeting notes with symbols like "!!!" or "???".  Tags obviously can't replace these since they would only highlight the note, but not take me to the exact line. 


Did you find an intuitive replacement that accomodates Evernote's search, such as "QQQ" or "AAA" or have you found some other method?  Very curious to hear what you are using.

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BTW, I did find a special character that works in EN search for just this sort of application:




This is actually intentional. We treat a "word" as any contiguous sequence of:
* letters (as defined by Unicode)
* numbers
* the underscore character

This allows you to use the underscore to make special "magic keywords" like "_foo" that you may want to search for again later.

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