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(Archived) Search Not Reliable!

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It already happened a couple of times, that evernote search doesn't find what I'm searching for. Specially if the searched term / word is within a sentence.


If have a note with the following content:

xe pif-param-set uuid=$i other-config:ethtool-rx=off

When I search for


it works fine.

If I search for


the note doesn't show up.

Same for

uuid=$i = working

d=$i = Not working

It looks like evernote is not able to find phrases within a sentence.

Is that something I can configure? Or is that a bug?

Thanks a lot for your help!!


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Evernote's search engine looks for words and phrases, ignoring punctuation and spacing. We don't search for arbitrary character sequences for reasons of performance and usability for large accounts.

That's why a note containing "uuid=$i" isn't found if you search for "d=$i"

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If you search for "param-set" on the web, on Windows or a mobile client, it will match this note.

The Mac client appears to have a bug that is incorrectly treating the "dash" character (-) as a "word" character. The only word characters should be (Unicode) letters, numeric digits, and the underscore. The dash should be treated as punctuation. I've filed a bug on this.

(Based on this, I assume you're testing on the Mac...)

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Yes I'm using a mac.

You are right, when I search for param-set on the webclient I get 2 notes. On the mac client nothing shows up.

But when I search for aram nothing shows up on MAC and nothing shows up on the web client.

And that's very strange because it doesn't have any special characters right?


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I did another test:

Create a new note with the following content:

this is a search test


Now try to search for

arams / Never works

-maus / Works on MAC not online

allo-nase / Never works

xe-hallo-nase / Works online, doesn't work on MAC

Something is very strange here. And that's why I say Search is not Reliable because the results are not predictable. And that's really bad. Because you normally never recognize that something isn't found.

Just imaging using that as a database for a group of people. If you search for something, you normally don't know how many results should appear.

Would be great if someone could take a look.



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Try this:

Add a * immediately (without blank) before any of your searching keywords.

For example:

For the search test mentioned above (a note with the following content: params-xe-hallo-nase-maus),

you search for:





instead of searching for:





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Yeah, it works not like a full indexed search. But the evernote guys say, that's how it is.

Here is the answer I got from the support team.

Hi Dan,

Evernote was configured for notes, and the searches were created accordingly. It was not designed to store and search for code. It will not find anything preceded by a sybmol. If you had pif param set you would likely not run into problems even though Evernote is skewed towards words not coding. This is not a bug.


Evernote Support

I hope that the will rethink that, because with a huge notes database we definitely need a full indexed search feature. Where I can enter any possible character in the search will find them. Within words, at the beginning or at the end of words. No matter where they are located.

I hope that others find that useful as well and that we get enough feature request so that EV will implement it.



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As far as I know, EverNote doesn't allow you to search keywords in NOTE TITLES but allow you to search keywords in NOTE CONTENTS (and tags, cateogries). What I have said is just for searching keywords in note contents.

Same here: I have a notes with the title "Saisonkalender für ..." when I search kalender or *kalender as suggested by Frank nothing appears.
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Actually, the title of each note should be part of the normal text search for a note. If this doesn't work right on one of the clients, that would be a bug.

In addition, you can explicitly search for a word in a title (only) using special syntax:

intitle:"mexican cooking"

That would find a note that had the phrase "mexican cooking" in the title, but not one with that in the body.

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I am very sad to say I had a similar experience today. I have been scanning my Bills and things into Evernote without labeling and tagging too much, expecting the search to work. But today when I needed to find a particular bill it couldn't find it at all. I can see the name right there in the PDF and yet if I put it in the search box I get nothing. Is there a trick?

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bone187 -

Actually, I think that this isn't an issue about the "title" of the note. What you see here is that we don't search for characters within the middle of a word. We only search for complete words, or the beginnings of words. This is why you can search for:


but not:


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