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Search syntax for notes containing text that is the same as a tag WITHOUT including the tag itself as part of the text search?

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Confusing subject, right?


I have notes containing the text @thetop and I have an @thetop tag. There are 63 notes with the @thetop tag. I am trying to find notes that have that tag but DO NOT contain the text @thetop either in the title OR body of the note. I can get the search to include or exclude notes containing @thetop in the title but I cannot seem to isolate notes with that tag that don't contain @thetop in the body of the note. As my control, I created two new notes:


One tagged @thetop with the subject line "test" and "test" as the only word in the body.

One tagged @thetop with the subject line "test" and "test @thetop" in the body.


No matter what it seems to include the text of the tag as part of the text search unless I explicitly exclude the tag. Am I messing myself up by using the @ symbol? I like it because it puts that tag (you quessed it) right @thetop of my tag list!



None of the following work:


@thetop -tag:@thetop

thetop -tag:@thetop     <----- (since punctuation is supposedly ignored for search I also tried without the @)

*thetop -tag:@thetop

0 Notes





63 Notes



63 Notes


@thetop tag:@thetop

thetop tag:@thetop

*thetop tag:@thetop

63 Notes


-@thetop tag:@thetop

-*thetop tag:@thetop

63 Notes


-thetop tag:@thetop

0 Notes


-"@thetop" tag:@thetop

-"thetop" tag:@thetop

0 Notes




20 Notes


intitle:@thetop tag:@thetop

intitle:thetop tag:@thetop

20 Notes


-intitle:@thetop tag:@thetop

-intitle:thetop tag:@thetop

43 Notes (some of these contain @thetop in the body and some don't)

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  • Level 5*

..and do remember that Evernote

  1. only finds character strings at the start of words, not the middle or the end.
  2. apart from "_",  doesn't recognise non alpha-numeric characters like "@" in normal searches 
  3. will find tag:<yourtag> regardless of the above.

In general it's fine to use non-alpha characters like " ! " or " # " to group tags - (i.e. hit # and see an immediate list of all the tags starting with that character) but if you want to create a tag in the note text,  use Xthetop not @thetop - it's easier to find...

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  • Level 5*



I think a large part of the problem is that a search for unqualified text searches not only the Note Content, but also the Title and Tags:


FROM:  https://dev.evernote.com/doc/articles/search_grammar.php



Matching literal terms

If no advanced search modifier is found in a search term, it will be matched against the note as a text content search. Words or quoted phrases must exactly match a word or phrase in the note contents, note title, tag name, or recognition index. Words in the content of the note are split by whitespace or punctuation


So a search for "tag:@theTop -@theTop" won't work.


I'm not sure what your objective is, but you could change the Tag Name to something NOT in the Note Content, like "MyTop", and then do your searches and add/remove tags a necessary.  When you are all done, you can then change the Tag Name back to its original name.

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Thanks for the responses. I am using the most current desktop client for Windows (EN on Win 7. It sounds like from what you've both posted though that no matter what it will search the tag's text as part of the text of the note so there's no way to exclude that even if I exclude the actual tag from the search. The workarounds you've suggested will have to do which isn't too bad since there's less than a hundred notes. Just thought it was odd because the search feature is so robust I've rarely had issues not being able to execute a search. Of course it was only a matter of time before the obsessive compulsive organizational part of my brain found a way to flummox it!

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