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peterfmartin

mac (Archived) BUG: Search problems with 3.0.7 beta 5

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I've had a lot of difficulty with the search function in a few versions of Evernote. The problems I had with 3.0.6 went away when I both upgraded to 3.0.7 beta 5 and deleted my data, allowing Evernote to re-sync all my data from the web anew. (The problems did not go away when I just upgraded to 3.0.7 without deleting my content.)

Anyway, now in 3.0.7, I'm having a new problem: The global search returns notes correctly—but then tells me the keyword isn't in the note. Here's an example:

Just now I searched "italian," and got 362 results. Here's one result in which the search works as normal, highlighting the keyword: http://dl.dropbox.co...%20correct.jpg.

But here, even though the search for "italian" correctly returns a note containing the word "italian," it doesn't highlight the word. And when I do an in-note search, it tells me "Not found": http://dl.dropbox.co...50/Italian.jpg.

I thought this might because of a Diigo-caused error. The italicized part of that note (part containing "italian") isn't actually italicized, but instead highlighted with Diigo, and the incorrect display is an error that sometimes happens on Diigo-highlighted NYTimes.com pages. But I tried to search for another word in that highlighted/italicized passage, and the search works: http://dl.dropbox.co...0/Keepnews.jpg.

So I don't have any idea what's going on. I've already filed a support ticket (#16051-89043), but since it usually takes several days for support to help me solve problems, I'm asking here in case anyone has an idea about what might be behind this.

EDIT: I've refined the problem some. In the note that's not working, the search is not picking up any words preceded by quotation marks. Here are two more examples:

http://dl.dropbox.co...0/Footloose.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.co...0450950/For.jpg

But it is picking up words preceded by quotes in other notes:

http://dl.dropbox.co...50950/NYPD1.jpg (quotes more visible here: http://dl.dropbox.co...50950/NYPD2.jpg)

So it seems the quotes are the source of the problem, but I don't know why they're messing up the search in one note and not others.

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Anyway, now in 3.0.7, I'm having a new problem: The global search returns notes correctly—but then tells me the keyword isn't in the note.

. . .

So it seems the quotes are the source of the problem, but I don't know why they're messing up the search in one note and not others.

It is very disappointing that we have yet another Search issue.

What Mac OS version are you running?

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It has been five days now (three working days), and Evernote support has still been unable to figure out what's causing this. But I finally figured it out (and have emailed support to let them know).

Evernote—at least on my computer—finds words that begin with quotation marks when they are straight/dumb marks. Evernote does not find words that begin with quotation marks when they are smart quotes. Here's a perfect example: the Wikipedia page for quotation marks.

Search for "dumb": http://dl.dropbox.co...450950/Dumb.jpg

Search for "smart": http://dl.dropbox.co...50950/Smart.jpg

Unhighlighted page to show the difference between dumb and smart quotes: http://dl.dropbox.co...ion%20marks.jpg

Am I the only one to whom this is happening, or is this known behavior in 3.0.7 beta 5?

Also, I know more active forum posters usually tell frustrated, less-active users to cut Evernote support some slack if support can't solve their problems (and quickly), but I'm going to criticize support for, in my opinion, handling my ticket incompetently. First, in two of their five responses the support reps asked questions that were answered in screen shots I had sent, suggesting to me that they weren't looking closely at the materials I had shared with them. (They had commented on the screen shots, so it's clear they were able to view the images.) More frustrating than that, though, was this response:

I am afraid that at this time the Evernote search engine will not search for partial matches inside of words. It will only begin searching from the beginnings of words, but a wildcard at the end of the search string is able to find partial matches for the last part of a word.

This is the reason why you are having difficulty searching for Italian when it is preceded by a quote.

We apologize for this inconvenience,

This is nonsense, since Evernote can and does find lots of words "preceded by a quote," as I showed in the screen shots above. Though I've now identified that, at least on my computer, smart quotes make words unfindable in search, the standard, straight quotation marks pose no problem. If I clip from this forum, which uses dumb quotes, Evernote will find the words that begin with quotation marks. If I make a new note and type text into it, Evernote will have no problem finding words beginning with quotation marks. The support rep's response that "the Evernote search engine will not search for partial matches inside of words. ... This is the reason why you are having difficulty searching for Italian when it is preceded by a quote" was a wrong answer to the problem, was misleading, and encouraged me to misunderstand how the program works. Had I not been more familiar with the search, I might have accepted this answer as correct, since it came from Evernote support staff, and not kept testing the system to find the real cause of the problem.

To be clear, again, my complaint is not that Evernote support cannot solve problems instantly. My complaint is that in this interaction the support reps who helped me (a) seemed not to be paying close attention to the details I was providing, and (b ) told me something wrong about the program. Is it too harsh to say that that shouldn't happen?

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It has been five days now (three working days), and Evernote support has still been unable to figure out what's causing this. But I finally figured it out (and have emailed support to let them know).

Evernote—at least on my computer—finds words that begin with quotation marks when they are straight/dumb marks. Evernote does not find words that begin with quotation marks when they are smart quotes. Here's a perfect example: the Wikipedia page for quotation marks.

Search for "dumb": http://dl.dropbox.co...450950/Dumb.jpg

Search for "smart": http://dl.dropbox.co...50950/Smart.jpg

Unhighlighted page to show the difference between dumb and smart quotes: http://dl.dropbox.co...ion%20marks.jpg

Am I the only one to whom this is happening, or is this known behavior in 3.0.7 beta 5?

Also, I know more active forum posters usually tell frustrated, less-active users to cut Evernote support some slack if support can't solve their problems (and quickly), but I'm going to criticize support for, in my opinion, handling my ticket incompetently. First, in two of their five responses the support reps asked questions that were answered in screen shots I had sent, suggesting to me that they weren't looking closely at the materials I had shared with them. (They had commented on the screen shots, so it's clear they were able to view the images.) More frustrating than that, though, was this response:

I am afraid that at this time the Evernote search engine will not search for partial matches inside of words. It will only begin searching from the beginnings of words, but a wildcard at the end of the search string is able to find partial matches for the last part of a word.

This is the reason why you are having difficulty searching for Italian when it is preceded by a quote.

We apologize for this inconvenience,

This is nonsense, since Evernote can and does find lots of words "preceded by a quote," as I showed in the screen shots above. Though I've now identified that, at least on my computer, smart quotes make words unfindable in search, the standard, straight quotation marks pose no problem. If I clip from this forum, which uses dumb quotes, Evernote will find the words that begin with quotation marks. If I make a new note and type text into it, Evernote will have no problem finding words beginning with quotation marks. The support rep's response that "the Evernote search engine will not search for partial matches inside of words. ... This is the reason why you are having difficulty searching for Italian when it is preceded by a quote" was a wrong answer to the problem, was misleading, and encouraged me to misunderstand how the program works. Had I not been more familiar with the search, I might have accepted this answer as correct, since it came from Evernote support staff, and not kept testing the system to find the real cause of the problem.

To be clear, again, my complaint is not that Evernote support cannot solve problems instantly. My complaint is that in this interaction the support reps who helped me (a) seemed not to be paying close attention to the details I was providing, and (b ) told me something wrong about the program. Is it too harsh to say that that shouldn't happen?

Thanks for posting, I've passed this along.

In general we do a search for what you type, plus a wildcard at the end. Looks like you found an exception, so it was probably something that isn't well documented.

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Thanks for the report - ticket #6579 has been filed

Thanks, but I'm confused. What's the ticket about? The problem I've been reporting here is the subject of an ongoing ticket, #16051-89043. Evernote support already has all the information I've put here, minus my frustration with how the ticket has been handled.

In general we do a search for what you type, plus a wildcard at the end. Looks like you found an exception, so it was probably something that isn't well documented.

Thanks, dlu. Does this mean that the difference between how Evernote Mac search deals with smart and dumb quotes is true across all versions and had not yet been noticed by Evernote or brought to the company's attention by users?

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