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malcolm.b.anderson

Allow searches of special characters

Idea

Currently it is not possible to search for special characters like (pretty much any symbol other than the underscore)

I have used special characters like $, %, ^, &, *, @, and # as part of my tag system and would like to be able to search for them.

This came to my attention when I found that I can not search for all of my notes dealing with the programming language C#

(I got back every file that had the letter "C" in it)

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I am surprised this hasn’t gotten more support... I have been a long term Evernote user, but never a tagger, and recently started using symbols at the beginning of note titles as a way of quickly tagging (and sorting them from list view).... but no way to search for notes with the symbol in the title?!?  Bummer... since apparently there doesn’t seem to be any traction to fix this.

 

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if anyone knows of an existing feature request similar to this, please let me know and I will delete this and up vote theirs.

My search for the term "Search for special characters" turned up no results, so I created this request.

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21 hours ago, malcolm.b.anderson said:

Currently it is not possible to search for special characters like (pretty much any symbol other than the underscore)

I have used special characters like $, %, ^, &, *, @, and # as part of my tag system and would like to be able to search for them.

This came to my attention when I found that I can not search for all of my notes dealing with the programming language C#

(I got back every file that had the letter "C" in it)

EN will support tag searches with special characters, though all searches are from the beginning of the tag name.  EN won't search the body of a note for special characters.  The tag C# would be found in the tag drop down, but C# would not be found with a text search,.

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The underscore is not supported 100%. If you do a search in your notes with title including "_", you will see not all notes show up. :(

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15 hours ago, iShiBin said:

The underscore is not supported 100%. If you do a search in your notes with title including "_", you will see not all notes show up. :(

Works for me.  Works with or without the intitle:.  Be sure the _ is by itself if all you want to find is the _.  Otherwise you need to include some of the other text.  Windows anyway.

ScreenClip.png.2b77874e2fa153686ad3b4aa9a6a8a74.png

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I could get result with _ in the title but not all. That's why it fails. Try to create some new notes with _ in the title, and then you may see it.

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13 minutes ago, iShiBin said:

I could get result with _ in the title but not all. That's why it fails. Try to create some new notes with _ in the title, and then you may see it.

Can you give specific fail examples.  All my tests were successful

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Here is an example note with title "some_thing".

Anyway, it seems correct if I put a space character in and after the _. So I may use this way instead to mark my notes instead.

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32 minutes ago, iShiBin said:

Here is an example note with title "some_thing"

From my Mac597ac6ed58938_ScreenShot2017-07-27at22_07_54.png.10b456ab89c1ebfea2bb7640218b0f3b.png

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4 hours ago, DTLow said:

From my Mac

I am sorry but you misunderstand it. I mean to search using "intitle:_" and you won't get the notes with a title like "some_thing". 

In addition, I tried using intitle:"_thing" but it failed again. I guess the only way to make it work is to have a space before and after _

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EN only searches from the beginning of the word.  A search for some_ should work.  

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53 minutes ago, csihilling said:

EN only searches from the beginning of the word.  A search for some_ should work.  

No, it won't when it is in the title. Even, I tried to quote it using intitle:“some_” but failed.

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For whatever reason intitle searches for specific matches.  A search for intitle:some_* will find all notes containing some_ in titles. 

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5 minutes ago, csihilling said:

For whatever reason intitle searches for specific matches.  A search for intitle:some_* will find all notes containing some_ in titles. 

You're right. It works. Thanks!

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You are welcome.

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To me it's an absolutely necessary feature and I am quite disappointed in the app... No special character search? Seriously? so many ways and tricks that Evernote could enable such feature... search from within a single note is so far from sufficient!

Hey Evernote! you keep your side/dev less complex, you make the user side more complex and miserable until they give up on your app...

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This has always been a pet peeve of mine.  Why wouldn't symbols be supported?  I mean, if I search for 'A' for example, I will get every note that contains the letter A, which would be all of them.  Why can't symbols be treated as characters.  It just makes no sense.  It would help so much when searching for stock symbols (preceded by $ on Twitter) for instance.  If I search for SHOP I get every note that contains the word SHOP instead of notes about Shopify. So a search for $SHOP would be most useful.   Again, this just makes no sense. 

Why would they just say, "OK, we need a fantastic search tool since we are essentially a free-form database.  We're even going to search within photos.  But it makes sense to only allow search for alpha and numeric characters.  We'll ignore common symbols like # @ and $ because it would allow people to easily find hashtags, email addresses, and stock symbols.

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8 hours ago, RustyC said:

I mean, if I search for 'A' for example, I will get every note that contains the letter A

Actually only notes with words beginning with the letter A ☹️

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1 hour ago, RustyC said:

It would help so much when searching for stock symbols (preceded by $ on Twitter) for instance.

It happens this works.  An ?idiosyncrasy? of how EN converts symbols to blanks seems to find notes with $xxx in them.  Note the blank in front of sym in the search information.  It's kind of like a word beginning with a blank is in the search index...  You just have to know what is after the special character. 

OTOH a $s search will return $sym and any note with a word starting with s.  I don't get it, it just seems to work that way.  Idiosyncrasy.  

ScreenClip.png.091ad2d1878a3cf28eacc388656ec385.png

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2 hours ago, CalS said:

It happens this works.  An ?idiosyncrasy? of how EN converts symbols to blanks seems to find notes with $xxx in them.  Note the blank in front of sym in the search information.  It's kind of like a word beginning with a blank is in the search index...  You just have to know what is after the special character. 

Not sure that this does work, really. I tried this and a search for $SYM will find matches for #SYM, $SYM, and @SYM, just plain SYM, and probably others. I see no space character preceding 'sym' in the search information: i.e., it looks the same for $SYM as it does for SYM. In addition, searches on #SYM, $SYM, @SYM, etc. appear to work exactly the same as a search for SYM. As far as I can tell, special characters (punctuation in the search grammar documentation - https://dev.evernote.com/doc/articles/search_grammar.php) are discarded in the search query, and also in note text (or as treated as if discarded).  If you're trying to find notes containing $SYM but not get matches on #SYM, SYM, etc, I don't think that that's doable in Evernote, at least the Windows client.

From the docs:

Quote

Punctuation is used to split the input query and document into words, but it is ignored for text matching. The behavior of a quoted search should behave as if the following operations were performed on both the search query and the target note:

  1. All XML markup is removed from the document, leaving only the visible text as a string
  2. The string is converted to a list of words which are separated by one or more whitespace and/or punctuation characters.
  3. The case of each word in the list is normalized
  4. The list of words in the query must match with the same sequence of words in the converted Note

All that being said, I think that it would be great to be able to search for special characters, and I'd already upvoted this request.

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3 hours ago, jefito said:

Not sure that this does work, really. I tried this and a search for $SYM will find matches for #SYM, $SYM, and @SYM, just plain SYM, and probably others. I see no space character preceding 'sym' in the search information: i.e., it looks the same for $SYM as it does for SYM

Yeah, my bad on that one.

3 hours ago, jefito said:

 In addition, searches on #SYM, $SYM, @SYM, etc. appear to work exactly the same as a search for SYM.

I think you got me here.  I tried in my test account, not enough notes I suppose.  That and I still have my cold.  <whine><whine>

I too have up-voted.

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3 hours ago, CalS said:

I think you got me here. 

A rare one. Red letter day for me. I'll take it, even if it's due to your cold! :) 

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