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[Feel Frustrated] Why no text search even within a page? [Come back to say Thank You for fixing this issue on behalf on all German users!]

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It can be understood that you support only TERM SEARCH (instead of text search) for the whole library. But why do you even disable TEXT SEARCH within a page? I trusted Evernote so much that I stored all my data in it. However, at the end of the day I found out I cannot retrieve my data from it! You don't support a simple feature that even simplest Text Edit would support. What a sad thing!

Will you consider change this design? My CPU is powerful, I just need the feature! Please!

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If you mean find within a note that you have called up, that exists in the Windows client. So I'd guess it will eventually be added to the Mac client.

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It already exists in the Mac client - I can search for a word and the note(s) that contain the word are displayed and if I select one then the word is highlighted.

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Are you asking for a simple find within a page? Cmd+F should pull that up

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Are you asking for a simple find within a page? Cmd+F should pull that up

Hello Dlu,

yes, but CMD+F won't work. As I remeber, the same functionality works on Windows Version, but on Mac, it doesn't work. On Mac, even CMD+F supports only TERM SEARCH, which means that it can not search any part of a word.

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yes, but CMD+F won't work. As I remeber, the same functionality works on Windows Version, but on Mac, it doesn't work. On Mac, even CMD+F supports only TERM SEARCH, which means that it can not search any part of a word.

First, I think you're using the phrase "term search" incorrectly, which can be confusing to people who are trying to help you. On first blush, it sounds like you're referring to searching for a word/term. Out of curiosity, the closest thing I could find on the web defining "term search" is this.

Second, no Evernote client supports searching for arbitrary character sequences within words (which sounds like what you're really talking about) & probably won't for a very long time, if ever.

Most of our search operations support prefix matching (with a wildcard at the end), but we don't support searching for matches in the middle or end of a term for performance/scalability reasons. I.e. it's very hard to make that fast once you have gigabytes of notes.

Correct. You can search for complete words and phrases, or search for prefix substrings at the start of words, but not for arbitrary character sequences in the middle of words or punctuation. We aren't currently planning to change this behavior.

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sorry for using the confusing terminology! but fortunately I am understood correctly. Yes, what I need is arbitrary character sequences search. I just wonder why you believe that users won't need this feature? You can just find as how Text Editor find. Why??

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I just wonder why you believe that users won't need this feature? You can just find as how Text Editor find. Why??

It isn't that we don't think it is useful, but rather that it can get a bit hard to implement across all of our platforms. It might make sense to only do it on the desktop clients, but I'm also imagining that it wouldn't be used by too many of our users.

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Also, I'm not curious... what type of info do you have where this type of search is essential?

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dlu, thanks for your continuous concern!

i don't think it 's too hard in terms of technology. you just abadon real-time search (by which i mean search as the user types in).

to meet yourcuriosity, for some languages like German, combined words are much more used than in English. for exmaple, Abend=night; Essen=dinner, so in German Abendessen = evening dinenr. note that they are considers as one single words in German (so it is Abendessen, NOT Abend Essen). So you can imagine how German people would struggle without partial word search:

In English, "dinner" will retrieve "evening dinner". However in German, "Essen" won't retrieve "Abendessen".

What a tragedy!

FYI

I just wonder why you believe that users won't need this feature? You can just find as how Text Editor find. Why??

It isn't that we don't think it is useful, but rather that it can get a bit hard to implement across all of our platforms. It might make sense to only do it on the desktop clients, but I'm also imagining that it wouldn't be used by too many of our users.

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i don't think it 's too hard in terms of technology. you just abadon real-time search (by which i mean search as the user types in).

The quotes I posted by "engberg" are from Dave Engberg, CTO of Evernote. They are "sort of" current, it's doubtful they've recently changed their stance.

to meet yourcuriosity, for some languages like German, combined words are much more used than in English. for exmaple, Abend=night; Essen=dinner, so in German Abendessen = evening dinenr. note that they are considers as one single words in German (so it is Abendessen, NOT Abend Essen). So you can imagine how German people would struggle without partial word search:

In English, "dinner" will retrieve "evening dinner". However in German, "Essen" won't retrieve "Abendessen".

The example you provided is really no different from English, IMO. IE, we don't normally refer to dinner as "evening dinner". So yes, a search on 'dinner' would find the references. Just as you could search on Abendessen. Or just as in English we could search for "nightgown".

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i don't think it 's too hard in terms of technology. you just abadon real-time search (by which i mean search as the user types in).

The quotes I posted by "engberg" are from Dave Engberg, CTO of Evernote. They are "sort of" current, it's doubtful they've recently changed their stance.

to meet yourcuriosity, for some languages like German, combined words are much more used than in English. for exmaple, Abend=night; Essen=dinner, so in German Abendessen = evening dinenr. note that they are considers as one single words in German (so it is Abendessen, NOT Abend Essen). So you can imagine how German people would struggle without partial word search:

In English, "dinner" will retrieve "evening dinner". However in German, "Essen" won't retrieve "Abendessen".

The example you provided is really no different from English, IMO. IE, we don't normally refer to dinner as "evening dinner". So yes, a search on 'dinner' would find the references. Just as you could search on Abendessen. Or just as in English we could search for "nightgown".

Hello BNF, Thanks for your concern in this thread!

Yes, you are right in this case. But there are many many other cases. For example, Apple Juice = Apfelsaft, Orange Juice = Orangensaft, where safe=juice. Image you just remember you drank some juice, but don't recall which exact juice you drank. You can't say NO to all these cases, based on your own's use habit.

As far as I know, many medical terminologies are also combination of words, each of which has it own meaning. Do you think medical professional users will be happy when they are searching a word that happens to appear in the middle of a word?

By the way, I've been talking about in-page search, not the whole library search. So I don't think arbitary search will cost much CPU when Evernote removes "search as you type" feature. I don't think this feature is as useful as arbitary search.

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If this is really an issue you run into a lot, a hacky workaround is to:

Select the note

Cmd+A to select all text in the note

Cmd+C to copy

Paste it into TextPad or whatever your text editor of choice is

Search within TextPad for the text you need

But if this is really an issue you run into a lot, maybe there's a different way to organize your notes so that you don't need to search in page so often? I have been using Evernote for almost 3 years, have 500 notes, and I think there is maybe one or two times I've ever need to even search within a given note. If the note is that big, it can probably be split up. To be clear, I don't mean that as sarcasm or criticism...just a friendly suggestion.

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If this is really an issue you run into a lot, a hacky workaround is to:

Select the note

Cmd+A to select all text in the note

Cmd+C to copy

Paste it into TextPad or whatever your text editor of choice is

Search within TextPad for the text you need

But if this is really an issue you run into a lot, maybe there's a different way to organize your notes so that you don't need to search in page so often? I have been using Evernote for almost 3 years, have 500 notes, and I think there is maybe one or two times I've ever need to even search within a given note. If the note is that big, it can probably be split up. To be clear, I don't mean that as sarcasm or criticism...just a friendly suggestion.

Hello steppencat,

Thanks for your reply!

However I think it differently. I think the reason that evernote disabled arbitary in-page search is because it would sometimes cost CPU to find all the occurrences in a page. So along the same vein as yours, I think when this worry by Evernote is true for a specific user, which means the user's page is too big, the user should consider spliting it up. just for your information ;-)

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I too would find it great to find words like "Steuer" or "Steuererklärung" in notes containing "Einkommensteuererklärung" (that's "tax" and "tax return" in "income tax return").

I for one *would* want this for search across notes as well.

Right now I work around this problem by adding redundant key words to the borrom of my notes, so for "Einkommensteuererklärung" related notes (or scans thereof) I would type in the words "Steuer" and "Steuererklärung" at the bottom of the note. It works, but it's tedious. I have to augment about 50% of my notes this way.

What I really would welcome is Evernote supporting server-side tokenization. That way, it would be relatively easy to build in dictionary-based word segmentation for specific languages on the server, without needing to update all the clients each time a new language is added. The client could retrieve the new tokenization information from the server in pretty much the same way as it currently retrieves the OCR information. Thinking about it, this could possibly be done without changing a single line of code in the clients (provided that you don't require correct keyword highlighting for these notes).

Ps sorry for the spelling errors - ipad keyboard. :P

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I have no input beyond the fact that I use tags a lot more than search for finding things. But I'm also really intrigued that it looks like this is an occasional annoyance for English speakers and a bigger issue for Germans. Really glad I don't have to do product management for a product with so many clients AND so many languages :P In my former life "internationalization" meant "coming up with French translations for our Canadian product" ...

Anyway - ENUser2000, good luck. Maybe tags? But mostly just wanted to say that I find it fascinating to see why this problem cropped up.

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So here are my current thoughts about the issue. (Subject to change in the future :P ) I do want to note that we do already match things at the beginning of the word. So if I search for "Tel" it will match with telephone, tell, telltale, telescope, etc. That should alleviate some concerns.

1. We're not abandoning real-time search. Search is vastly more useful this way, and with Google switching to Google instant, it is pretty much expected. People aren't as used to hitting return or the search button.

2. If we keep real-time search and automatically match any instance of your search term, including instances within a word, then we're going to overload your search results. Most of the time you'll get matches for things that aren't useful. Same is true of Find within a note, though probably to a lesser extent. If the trade off is between real-time search and ability to do wildcard searches, real-time wins hands down.

3. Let's pretend real-time search isn't as useful and we get rid of real-time search and we automatically match instances of your search term within a word. I still think we show way too many search results that aren't useful. A search for "Plan" would pull up results for plan, airplane, explanation, transplant, etc. I think what you really want, is to by default to have search work the way it does now, and have the option of filtering or adding wildcards if your initial search doesn't work.

4. We aren't going to make a special wildcard-enabled search dialogue box for advanced users. It would be useful to subset of users, but I don't think it becomes a high priority. Even in the case of, what juice did I drink? It doesn't work perfectly. If you cant' remember if you drank "Apfelsaft" or "Orangensaft", you couldn't do a wildcard search for "*safe" but rather you would need to do a wildcard search for "*saft"

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So here are my current thoughts about the issue. (Subject to change in the future :P ) I do want to note that we do already match things at the beginning of the word. So if I search for "Tel" it will match with telephone, tell, telltale, telescope, etc. That should alleviate some concerns.

1. We're not abandoning real-time search. Search is vastly more useful this way, and with Google switching to Google instant, it is pretty much expected. People aren't as used to hitting return or the search button.

2. If we keep real-time search and automatically match any instance of your search term, including instances within a word, then we're going to overload your search results. Most of the time you'll get matches for things that aren't useful. Same is true of Find within a note, though probably to a lesser extent. If the trade off is between real-time search and ability to do wildcard searches, real-time wins hands down.

3. Let's pretend real-time search isn't as useful and we get rid of real-time search and we automatically match instances of your search term within a word. I still think we show way too many search results that aren't useful. A search for "Plan" would pull up results for plan, airplane, explanation, transplant, etc. I think what you really want, is to by default to have search work the way it does now, and have the option of filtering or adding wildcards if your initial search doesn't work.

4. We aren't going to make a special wildcard-enabled search dialogue box for advanced users. It would be useful to subset of users, but I don't think it becomes a high priority. Even in the case of, what juice did I drink? It doesn't work perfectly. If you cant' remember if you drank "Apfelsaft" or "Orangensaft", you couldn't do a wildcard search for "*safe" but rather you would need to do a wildcard search for "*saft"

Hi dlu, once again thank you for your concern in my problem!

Let me make the last effort.

1) Regarding real-time search. Yes it provides fascinating user experience. But you have already provided this feature via Whole Library Search (and the user can use advanced search operator to search within a given note). Why the same for "Find Within Note"?

2) What I have been talking about is "Find Within Note". I don't think arbitary search within a note will produce too much results. As I said before, it there are too many results, it means the single note is too big. On the other side, I think the designer doesn't need to worry about this too-many-result issue. Think about the Find functionality which is provided by any web browser. Web pages have much more information.

3) Please just think from the user's perspective. Guess how your users would expect when they use the feature accessed via CMD+F (on Mac) or CTRL+F (on Win). I believe that most users would expect it to produce the same effect as that in a TextEditor where CMD+F or CTRL+F performs a general "Find" functionality.

Well, if I still don't have the luck to move you. As I notice that the Windows version of 4.5.3.5953 still supports arbitary in-page search (Surely I won't do any update to lose this functionality). Can you suggest, if you would like, where I can download a previous Mac version that supports this feature? Thanks!

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3. Let's pretend real-time search isn't as useful and we get rid of real-time search and we automatically match instances of your search term within a word. I still think we show way too many search results that aren't useful. A search for "Plan" would pull up results for plan, airplane, explanation, transplant, etc. I think what you really want, is to by default to have search work the way it does now, and have the option of filtering or adding wildcards if your initial search doesn't work.

As evernoteuser2000 suggested, the bolded part above is exactly how Chrome and Firefox search within individual webpages. I can't speak for all users, but this is often very helpful for me, and so I second evernoteuser2000's request for Evernote to allow for this kind of searching—again, within the text of a single note, when the Command+F function is being used, not in the universal search of the entire library.

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So here are my current thoughts about the issue. (Subject to change in the future :) ) I do want to note that we do already match things at the beginning of the word. So if I search for "Tel" it will match with telephone, tell, telltale, telescope, etc. That should alleviate some concerns.

Out of curiosity, how do you tokenize a language like Chinese, where there are no word boundaries in the text? There are a lot of cases where a two character word can be shortened to one character without ambiguity in usage. The "beginning of word" match handles the most common cases like "知" versus "知道", both of which mean "to know". But if you tokenize as a word the longest thing that can be a word, you might wind up in ambiguous situations like "知名字", which would be tokenized as "知名" "字" (well known character) rather than "知" "名字" (to know a name). In written Chinese the choice would be obvious based on grammar and context. Maybe in Chinese you just index every character, since most words are short anyway?

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Just realized this shortcoming of Evernote and am Extremely disappointed. I'm 100% that you would support this if English didn't have spaces in combined words, and that you just don't care enough about your international users.

CPU? Well I'd much rather have a slow search than no search. And make it an option and all other searches will be fast

Too many results? Again, make it an option (* or checkbox)

In the previous example it makes perfect sense to search for "saft", but I guess you don't care since it's not much of a problem in English

/Swede, now looking for software alternative

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Just realized this shortcoming of Evernote and am Extremely disappointed. I'm 100% that you would support this if English didn't have spaces in combined words, and that you just don't care enough about your international users.

CPU? Well I'd much rather have a slow search than no search. And make it an option and all other searches will be fast

Too many results? Again, make it an option (* or checkbox)

In the previous example it makes perfect sense to search for "saft", but I guess you don't care since it's not much of a problem in English

/Swede, now looking for software alternative

Those are some pretty strong words, are you 100% sure?

As a company, we've put an emphasis on international users from very early on. We translate our software into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Korean, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Portuguese (Brasil), Turkish, Indonesian, Malay, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and more. That's across 14 different products and growing. We've been translating and localizing for years, and has been part of our growth strategy, rather than the often seen "Let's grow in one country and then spread outward" strategy.

Also, we've opened a separate service aimed at users within China - http://blog.evernote.com/2012/05/09/evernote-launches-separate-chinese-service/

A quick quote from that blogpost:

  • The new Yinxiang Biji API will make it much easier for Chinese developers to build great apps and integrations. Once built, developers will be able to choose whether to have their apps work with Yinxiang Biji, Evernote, or both.
  • The service will work with Chinese partners and payment methods to match Chinese Internet expectations.
  • Yinxiang Biji will provide Chinese-language customer support based in China.

Also, we just kicked off the very first European pilot project for Evernote for Schools with almost 250 students from SEK Madrid, Spain

( http://storify.com/evernote_es/evernote-for-schools-llega-a-europa-con-la-institu )

Also, when we held our annual Evernote Trunk Conference a month ago, one of our goals was to tell all of our users a little bit about what we've done about us as a company. We talked about our plans, our values, our goal to be a 100 year company, etc. To do that, we invited over dozens of international journalists (read non-American). We welcomed over 35 to the actual event.

Also, our DevCup is also extraordinarily international, we have entrants from all over the world and we fly in finalists from all over the world each year. (Don't have those statistics in front of me, apologies).

And that's just the recent stuff, and don't even get me started about Japan...

So, while it may not always seem obvious, but I think we care plenty about international users. We don't catch everything, but we do try and we're more than happy to learn and do better. I've cited this thread more than once to other Evernote employees so they know about this type of issue in other languages.

As many other forum posters will tell you, we dislike just "making it an option" somewhere. It's one of those things we talked about ETC. Early on we ended up using that as a crutch, rather than making a hard decision or taking the time to find a more elegant solution. Perhaps there's more work to be done here, as there is a lot of work to be done in general.

So if you want to say that we've made a bad decision and want to give suggestions on how to improve (or even just help us understand the problem) I think that's great. But I don't think it's great if you accuse us of not caring about our international users.

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One of the main concerns of this thread (being able to search within a note, including within and at the end of a word) now appears to work on the MAC as well as it does in Windows. Well done EN for addressing this requirement. :)

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One of the main concerns of this thread (being able to search within a note, including within and at the end of a word) now appears to work on the MAC as well as it does in Windows. Well done EN for addressing this requirement. :)

Are you sure? But I didn't see it ;(

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One of the main concerns of this thread (being able to search within a note, including within and at the end of a word) now appears to work on the MAC as well as it does in Windows. Well done EN for addressing this requirement. :)

Can you explain how you are getting this to work?  I'm using the latest Mac version and it most certainly is NOT searching within words or at the ends of words.

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Two observations if I may:

 

1. How about having real-time search results (aka as-you-type results) as a switchable option - like Google itself does?

 

2. I had occasion only yesterday when the lack of substring searches let me down.  I was searching for a couple of research papers by an author by the name of McDonald.  However, I couldn't remember if it was 'McDonald' or 'MacDonald', so I searched for 'Donald'.  Needless to say, EN didn't find what I wanted.  That's the Mac version, by the way.  And it's the previous version - I backgraded from v5 to v3.3.0 some time ago, as posted on other threads.  But the iPad version also didn't find it - also the previous version.

 

So yes, there ARE occasions when substring searches are very useful.  And the real-time as-you-type search results are something that I keep turned off in Google, and would turn off in Evernote if I could.  I am not a touch typist, so I tend to look at the keyboard while typing, NOT at the screen - until I've finished typing my query.  So letter-by-letter suggestions are a complete waste of CPU cycles as far as my use is concerned.

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Two observations if I may:

 

1. How about having real-time search results (aka as-you-type results) as a switchable option - like Google itself does?

 

2. I had occasion only yesterday when the lack of substring searches let me down.  I was searching for a couple of research papers by an author by the name of McDonald.  However, I couldn't remember if it was 'McDonald' or 'MacDonald', so I searched for 'Donald'.  Needless to say, EN didn't find what I wanted.  That's the Mac version, by the way.  And it's the previous version - I backgraded from v5 to v3.3.0 some time ago, as posted on other threads.  But the iPad version also didn't find it - also the previous version.

 

So yes, there ARE occasions when substring searches are very useful.  And the real-time as-you-type search results are something that I keep turned off in Google, and would turn off in Evernote if I could.  I am not a touch typist, so I tend to look at the keyboard while typing, NOT at the screen - until I've finished typing my query.  So letter-by-letter suggestions are a complete waste of CPU cycles as far as my use is concerned.

Hi. Fortunately, Spotlight indexes your Evernote account, so you could have found McDonald, because it will find content in the middle of words IF it begins with a capital letter. I have written more about this elsewhere on the forums.

 

As for the incremental search, I have requested a toggle for this feature for a long time, and I continue to hope that the Mac team will consider it. You guessed it, Windows has this :) A registry hack in Windows will turn off the incremental search. 

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I just realized that the latest version of Evernote Mac v.6.0.5 supports partial-search within a page now!!!  Sometimes, global partial search also works! Thanks for Evernote listening to users! I want to express my thanks to the very person who identified the significance of this issue and made it changed within the Evernote team! I hereby thank you on behalf of all the German users!!

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