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(Archived) Really Slow When Entering Search Characters



I love the Mac version of Evernote (the thumnails are so much better than the long list in Windows)!

The only issue I seem to have is when entering words into the search box.

It seems like Evernote is trying to scan through all of the documents each time I enter a character in a word. It won't let me enter a new character for 30 to 40 seconds after almost each character. A work-around I found is to enter the word I want to search for into a text document first, then copy and paste the whole word into the search box. Is there a way to make evernote only search once i hit enter?

Right now I only have 2 pdf's (about 500 pages total) and 3 web pages saved so I don't think too much content is a problem. I'm looking at using evernote for my dissertation work, but I'm concerned that it might become more unusable for searching because I would be entering a lot more data.

Any ideas?


(I am using the version available as of yesterday - 04/06/09)

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That definitely sounds unusual. I'm able to enter characters into the search box relatively quickly in spite of having a much larger number of notes. What type of Mac do you have? I.e. is this a particularly old/slow system? What version of OS X do you have? Does your system have all of your data on a single hard drive, or might your home directory be on some other storage?

As a test, would you mind trying the following:

Move all of your PDF documents into one notebook and your web clips into the other notebook.

Select the web clip notebook and try typing your search text into the box to see if that's fast/slow

Select the PDF notebook and try the same thing

Select "All Notebooks" and try the same thing

My best guess is that there may be something peculiar about your PDF documents that are causing our client to chug a bit whenever they need to process them. If your "web clip" search is really fast, but the PDF search is really slow, we may want to determine the nature of your PDF documents.


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Hi Engberg:

My Mac is a MacBook (new 2.4ghz duo, 4 gigs ddr3, Leopard - just got new 2 days ago).

Everything is on one drive (except for the time machine backups).

I tried what you suggested. The searches are very, very fast with the notebook with just the web clips. It's definently the .pdf's that are causing the problem. I opened the .pdf's in adobe acrobat 8.1 and tried to optimize them and saved out new files. I then added them to evernote (after deleting the old versions that were already in evernote). I'm able to enter text in the search box a little quicker, but still some 'freezing' while evernote attempts to narrow the search with each letter typed (the first 3 letters go fine, the slowness starts on the 4th letter). It may just be a result of the size of the .pdfs (one is 200 pages, the other 600 pages). In the future most of the .pdf's will be just 'article' length... may 4 to 6 pages.


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Thanks for the additional details. That definitely sounds like a plausible source of the problem. What type of document is the 600 page PDF? I.e. is this a textbook with a lot of images, an e-book novel, etc.?

If this comes from a public source, it would be great to get the URL for the PDF so we could reproduce it.


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We've been able to reproduce this problem by putting very large PDFs into the Mac client. We did notice, however, that you get the same sort of choppiness if you open the PDF directly in Preview, so we suspect that this may be contributing to the problem (we leverage the Preview code for the Mac client PDF rendering).

We'll file a bug and look into it more closely.


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I've been hitting this problem for the last month or so.

It is totally unusable for search now. :)

One character and it beachballs. I thought it was my machine as it is on the older side yet I recently purchased loads of netbooks and synced to them and they are also doing the beachball on search.

Original DB machine: Macbook Pro OSX 10.5.7 (was doing it on 10.5.6 also).

Other machines: Dell Mini 9s OSX 10.5.7.

Evernote version: 1.4.2b (48634).

3589 notes mostly generated from PRINT TO PDF from Safari.

Some external docs imported also.

Thank you.

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Hi Evernote Team,

I saw a few threads on the Windows client about "instant search" or "search as you type". This is the only topic that relates to to this problem for the Mac. Evernote is turning very slow during typing the search string. I have to wait for several seconds to see any result. Clearly, I have lots of PDFs in my database (I am premium user with currently 5980 notes). Working with EN you realise that PDF searches are often somewhat slow as you wait while an indicator informs you about the something like "search within PDF".

Could you please provide me with an update on this issue? What does slow down the great EN software on a Mac? Is it really the PDF handling? Or is the search not efficient on the Mac? Do you search through PDFs during every search (can't imagine)? And if the PDF handling is so inefficient, what do you intend to do?

In addition: could you please make the "instant search" optional? I would rather type in my whole search phrase and then press enter to see the results. It would be so much more efficient for me.

Many thanks in advance!



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