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peterfmartin

(Archived) Workaround: Search for notes with only a single tag

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I'd been frustrated before by Evernote's inability to find notes with only one tag, since there's no way in the search grammar to say, "Return all notes with tag X and no other tags."

Anyway, I finally figured out a workaround. This isn't rocket science, so many other of you may already be doing this. But I present it here so any of you who find it useful and don't already have this saved can C&P the search into Evernote for future use. First, select the tag you want in the tag list, or put "tag:[desired tag]" in the search bar. Then pasting in the following:

-tag:a* -tag:b* -tag:c* -tag:d* -tag:e* -tag:f* -tag:g* -tag:h* -tag:i* -tag:j* -tag:k* -tag:l* -tag:m* -tag:n* -tag:o* -tag:p* -tag:q* -tag:r* -tag:s* -tag:t* -tag:u* -tag:v* -tag:w* -tag:x* -tag:y* -tag:z* -tag:1* -tag:2* -tag:3* -tag:4* -tag:5* -tag:6* -tag:7* -tag:8* -tag:9* -tag:0* -tag:!* -tag:-* -tag:.* -tag:#* -tag:@*

Important note: You need to remove from that list the negator that has the first character of your desired tag. So if you're searching for tag "Religion," delete "-tag:r* " from the list. The search should be the technical equivalent of "tag:[desired tag] -tag:* ," where the wildcard removes (almost) everything else. But if you have tags beginning with symbols besides !, -, ., #, and @, you may need to add those too.

One example I searched just now: I wanted to find all notes I have tagged with "Economics" and nothing else. Clicking the Economics tag shows 315 notes. Copying the string above into the search bar leaves me with 16 notes. I see that the first note showing is also tagged with "Education," and since I really wanted to totally isolate just the "Economics"-tagged notes, I added "-tag:education" to the search bar. Then I see a note tagged with "Eurozone," so I did the same thing: add "-tag:eurozone." Finally, I was left with 7 notes tagged with "Economics" and nothing else.

I hope this is useful to at least one of you.

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At least on the Windows client, there is a much easier way. Select all notebooks, the economics tag & then sort the results pane (list view) by tag. This sorts by tags, of course. But for notes with more than one tag, the sort position is determined by sorting the tag names & using them alphabetically. IE, if a note is tagged with "apple" & "economics", it will appear in the tag list under "apple". If a note is tagged with "economics" and "zebra", it will appear in the tag list under "economics". The subsequent tags determine the position in the results pane, too. IE, notes tagged with "economics" & "apple" will appear together (under "apple", "economics") & ahead of notes tagged "apple" & "fruit" (which will appear under "apple", then "fruit"). I hope this makes sense... Anyway, what this means is those notes tagged only with "economics" will appear together & ahead of notes tagged with "economics" & one or more other tags. IDK if the Mac version does this.

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When you're refining that tag search, and unless your tags are named something very similar, could you not simply add characters to the start of the string so you'd wind up with tag:econ* then all your other minus tags?

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No, Mac does not do this.

Then I'm moving this to the Mac section.

Does the Windows method work on the web client? I can't see it. If it doesn't, can you move this back to general?

And gazumped, I don't understand. How would "tag:econ* " filter out the notes tagged with both "Economics" and "Education"? Or is that not what you're saying?

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Sorry - had firm hold of wrong end of stick; was thinking that other tags were included only because they all started with 'e', not because they were tags additional to 'economics'. Your method is the only one that works on both. Should have realised you wouldn't willingly generate a longer search term.. Going back to sleep now.

:(

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Moving this back to general, since it applies to at least two clients (Mac and web) and maybe more (mobile? I don't know).

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Moving this back to general, since it applies to at least two clients (Mac and web) and maybe more (mobile? I don't know).

Property of the search grammar, so you're correct, yes.

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