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Searching Long Notes


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I still find searching notes to be a problem for me. I have long notes and when I type in a search phrase, EN finds results but I have to scroll through screens of information looking for a not too bright yellow highlight. I see no way to tab through the results in the right window and just scroll through all the results between all the notes. I have to start a new search each time in each note if I want to do Next/Previous.


Plus, as soon as I put my cursor into a note, all the search results disappear and I have to start all over again.


Very cumbersome.


Perhaps a good look at the best ever free-form note manager, InfoSelect, would help the design. Those guys had searching free-form notes down perfectly. Unfortunately, they are not supporting the product any longer. I still use it while trying to get used to Evernote, but wow is the searching in Evernote everawkward.



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  • 1 month later...

Not sure about on Windows, but on Mac, there are two search bars, one to search your evernote databse, the other to look for text within a specific note (it appears in the note viewer when you press cmd-opt-f,  perhaps ctrl-alt-f on Windows?) 


This might offer you a better search experience in long notes. 


Perhaps another Windows user can chime in with some Windows specific tips.

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  • Level 5

HSColorado - yes, your description is fairly accurate for Evernote Windows


Two searches (or more) are required for lengthy notes.


Search 1.) Find all the notes that contain the search term

Search 2.) Click in the body of text of the note and search for the term again by using Ctrl F. The yellow highligted word is not very effective. Often the highlighting is not even on the correct term - it is located 3 or 4 lines down from the term. At the bottom of the note will be the count of matches in that specific note. You can advance through each occurrence by clicking on the Next arrow.


But... if it is NOT the correct note, you will have to perform Search 2.) again on the next note, and the next note until you find what you are looking for.


Yes, it is very cumbersome. I share your pain.


There are ways to minimize the amount of work.

  • Try to use shorter notes. I prefer to create many short notes, instead of a few long notes.
  • I also rely on the Created Date to narrow the possible choices. Was it recent, or two years ago.
  • Another tip is to use well structured titles that adequately describe the contents. I always include location, person, and subject in my titles.
  • Adding keywords to long notes can help


I have several additional methods to improve my search accuracy, but other users have told me those require too much work.

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  • 3 months later...

Please fix this search issue as mentioned by HSColorado. I am using evernote on mac and when it doesn't directly show me the exact position of the searched phrase in my notes, it is frustrating. A good search feature cannot be substituted by the best tagging feature. I am hoping for a normal search functionality (like it is in Microsoft Word,for instance) not even asking for 'natural language cognition'  type of things.  

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Totally agree with jbenson2!  For lack of better terms, a Detailed Title and adding in the Note specific key words you will remember about the Note will be helpful, but not cure the bug.


Not that it matters (because I cannot do anything about it myself), but it would be interesting to know why this search issue is so convoluted.

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  • Level 5*

Titles and tags are all besides the point. We clip articles from the web, gather content from various places, and they can be lengthy, and sometimes we need to search for content contained in those notes, both for locating a number of notes, and for locating the specific text inside a note itself (which is what the original poster is asking for). The ease-of-use solution would be for Evernote to preload the in-note search control (which you get to via Ctrl+F) with search text, so that you're all ready to go when you're searching a particular note, but if you've searched for two or more pieces of text in your filter query, then you stand a chance of having the wrong one pre-loaded. Still, this would help in a number of cases...

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