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Exact string search trouble

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Most of my searches are for exact phrases. Evernote seems to assume that most of my searches are for "Any" word or "All" words, since those are the only options in the drop down list.

Let's say I want the phone number of American Express, so I type this in the search box: american express. Obviously, I get many other notes, all of which have both words in them, but only one of which I need, and the actual entry for American Express is way down the list.

I am aware that I can search for the exact phrase by using quotes: "american express" That's well and good, but I find it annoying to have to fiddle with quotes for almost every search. (Perhaps this is because I'm an old Info Select user, which allowed exact phrase searching as a optional default.)

Any chance of having "Exact Phrase" in addition to "Any" and "All" in the drop down menu under the search box?

Or am I missing something?

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Probably too complicated to add as a feature.

Take Hewlett Packard for example.

The search for Hewlett Packard is "Hewlett Packard"

But the quotation marks don't always begin with the first word. For instance:

The search for a tag named Hewlett Packard is tag:"Hewlett Packard"

Or the search for a title containing Hewlett Packard is intitle:"Hewlett Packard"

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Any chance of having "Exact Phrase" in addition to "Any" and "All" in the drop down menu under the search box?

I don't know, but I would suggest you adapt to enclosing exact phrases in quotes (it really is NBD), since that's the way EN works now.

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One tip I could offer regarding multi-word tags is to add a hyphen. That will fool Evernote into thinking it is one word and the quotations are no longer needed.

Example - change the following:


  • tag:"Hewlett Packard" to tag:Hewlett-Packard
    tag:"Rogers Pet Clinic" to tag:Rogers-Pet-Clinic

This tip won't work for standard searches, but it you rely on complex searches involving tags, this tip will speed up your searches.

.

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Any chance of having "Exact Phrase" in addition to "Any" and "All" in the drop down menu under the search box?

I don't know, but I would suggest you adapt to enclosing exact phrases in quotes (it really is NBD), since that's the way EN works now.

Well, things add up and it gradually becomes a bigger deal if one has to live with a program every day for years.

Be that as it may, I notice that if I just put a single quote at the start of a search, e.g. ["Hotel Papadopoli], EN looks for the exact phrase. This is a plus.

However, a negative for me is that the exact phrase search in EN also seems, for some reason, to default to a whole word search, so that {"Hotel Papa] finds nothing. This means that one has to type out the whole word before one gets any result. I'm not clear why this is necessary. In Info Select one could just type [Hotel Pap] and get right to the note.

Why does exact phrase searching in EN require whole words?

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Well, things add up and it gradually becomes a bigger deal if one has to live with a program every day for years.

I do use Evernote every single day for the past few years. On two desktops, two netbooks & my iphone. I'm pretty computer savvy, since I've been programming/using them since I was 19 & am now 54. I'm also a software junkie & have spent thousands (literally) of my own dollars on software over the years. And...I'd have to say, excluding OS oriented apps like DOS/Windows (any version)/anti virus, that Evernote is my most used app ever. Ever.

I find that it's much easier (as a user) to learn the ins & outs of software & simply go with it rather than expect the developer to change something to suit my needs b/c sometimes they do & often they don't.

Why does exact phrase searching in EN require whole words?

Probably b/c it's an exact phrase...

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However, a negative for me is that the exact phrase search in EN also seems, for some reason, to default to a whole word search, so that {"Hotel Papa] finds nothing. This means that one has to type out the whole word before one gets any result. I'm not clear why this is necessary. In Info Select one could just type [Hotel Pap] and get right to the note.

For a workaround to this, try "Hotel Pap*"

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I also don't like the search in EN. This is how I solved the problem for me. I type AmericanExpress as one word, then hight lite it and color the word light gray or yellow. I have started doing this with all notes.

American Express americanexpress

Examples: statefarm, clockrepair, vintageelectronics, epsonprinter, etc. It is a pain to do this, but the EN search is not near as good as Info Select. Other than the search, I do like EN much better.

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I also don't like the search in EN.... Other than the search, I do like EN much better.

I agree. For a sophisticated piece of software which is continuously updated as Evernote, it is hard to believe how primitive is the search experience. Do not get me wrongly, I am a big fan of Evenote (and a premium user) and use it on three PCs, Android phone and Kindle, but when it comes to the user experience in searching, it is at a way, way, lower level than other Evernote's functionalities.

Let me give a few a examples.

- I want to search only in titles, so I have to manually type in intitle:

- Evernote does not remember searches so I type in something like intitle:scheicher (that is author's name), next time I want to perform the same search I have to type it again (yes, I heard of saved searches and other workarounds, but workarounds are not the point here)

- I want to search for notes tagged with a particular tag, say "scheicher" is a tag, after annoyance of having to type in "tag:", instead of typing just "sc" and getting drop down menu with list of tags that starts with "sc" I have to type the full word. To overcome this I printed out list of my tags.

Please Evernote, devote some resources to improving this core functionality. Simple tweaks would greatly improve user experience.

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(Perhaps this is because I'm an old Info Select user, which allowed exact phrase searching as a optional default.)

I am a real old InfoSelect user, starting from DOS days ("Tornado Notes"). If I have to compare EN with InfoSelect in terms of search and editing, then EN is like kindergarden while InfoSelect is like graduate school. But I am still converted to become an EN user. For information management, I now use InfoSelect about 2% of the time and EN more than 80% of the time.

However, it would be nice for EN to improve its search and editing.

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For a sophisticated piece of software which is continuously updated as Evernote, it is hard to believe how primitive is the search experience.

I disagree about the the EN search being "primitive." However, keep in mind that EN (the service, not the previous incarnation which was a Windows only, payware app) is only almost three years old & multiplatform. And most of the users use it without paying a penny for it.

As the cliché goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day." There are many requests for many features & those features have to be compatible across all the platforms it affects. IE, currently note linking & stacks are only rolled out on a few platforms. I would guess as they grow & get more paying customers, that they will continue (as they are now) to add nifty things to the product.

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Let me give a few a examples.

- I want to search only in titles, so I have to manually type in intitle:

This allows you to narrow your search space to note titles; unqualified searches will search note title and content, possibly returning matches that you're not interested in.

- Evernote does not remember searches so I type in something like intitle:scheicher (that is author's name), next time I want to perform the same search I have to type it again (yes, I heard of saved searches and other workarounds, but workarounds are not the point here)

Saved searches are not workarounds, and are in fact pretty handy for persisting searches that are used often. They can also be a gateway to better (more precise) searches: start with a saved search, and add more search terms to narrow your search. That being said I think that search history would be really useful, and a way to organize saved searches would be nice to have as well.

- I want to search for notes tagged with a particular tag, say "scheicher" is a tag, after annoyance of having to type in "tag:", instead of typing just "sc" and getting drop down menu with list of tags that starts with "sc" I have to type the full word. To overcome this I printed out list of my tags.

You can multi-select use the tag tree to filter your note list by tag, if you don't want to type. Again, I agree that the drop-down menu of tags-that-begin-with-x would be useful in the search bar; Evernote already uses this technique in the Assign Tags dialog (Ctrl + Alt + T).

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From my perspective; speed is, and has, to remain the #1 priority.

I am amazed at how fast Evernote can find information from the thousands of notes in a variety of formats.

Typing intitle: or adding quote marks is a minor price to pay for the current search performance.

I would not want Evernote to change the program to make the suggested improvements and end up with slower searches.

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From my perspective; speed is, and has, to remain the #1 priority.

I am amazed at how fast Evernote can find information from the thousands of notes in a variety of formats.

Typing intitle: or adding quote marks is a minor price to pay for the current search performance.

I would not want Evernote to change the program to make the suggested improvements and end up with slower searches.

To use the forum's favourite method of communication.... +1

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I have aready added my own 2 cents to this topic so let me quote nobody else but Evernote: "Search bars that only search are so…yesterday. The new Evernote for Android search bar is an extreme multi-tasker. Not only can it do the usual keyword and image searching, but it can also help filter tags, notebooks and saved searches. As you type, the search bar displays suggestions from every corner of your Evernote account, along with helpful icons that show you what the item is."

post-21526-131906072869_thumb.png.png]

To avoid plagiarism charges :) I am also posting the source link: http://blog.evernote.com/2010/05/28/eve ... jor-fixes/

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I didn't see anything in amer's suggestions that would slow down the raw search speed...

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Maybe, but if I am searching for some free text - do I also need Evernote to automatically search through saved searches and tags as well?

It's difficult to tell from the screenshot and I'm sure the desktop versions will work differently...but if I do an in title search, will it also search through saved searches, tags and notebooks?

Now, the effect of this extra searching might be negligible, but if you have hundreds of tags for example I would think there would be some effect.

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Maybe, but if I am searching for some free text - do I also need Evernote to automatically search through saved searches and tags as well?

I assume by "free" text, you just mean some search term, not prepended by "intitle:" or "tag:". I don't know what you mean by searching through a saved search, but if you search for X, EN will find notes that contain X, as well as notes that are tagged with X (even if they don't contain X).

It's difficult to tell from the screenshot and I'm sure the desktop versions will work differently...but if I do an in title search, will it also search through saved searches, tags and notebooks?

If you search for intitle:X, EN will find notes where X is in the title. It will not find notes where X is in the tag or body, but not the title.

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My questions refer to the change that has been recently been implemented on Evernote - see the screenshot above.

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My questions refer to the change that has been recently been implemented on Evernote - see the screenshot above.

That change is in the Android client as far as I can tell. You'll probably get more mileage in a different forum :)

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I don't know what you mean by searching through a saved search, but if you search for X, EN will find notes that contain X, as well as notes that are tagged with X (even if they don't contain X).

I didn't know that matching tags would be found as well. That's useful -- thanks.

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Maybe, but if I am searching for some free text - do I also need Evernote to automatically search through saved searches and tags as well?

Evidently it already searches through tags, at least on the Windows desktop.

It's difficult to tell from the screenshot and I'm sure the desktop versions will work differently...but if I do an in title search, will it also search through saved searches, tags and notebooks?

I believe that that's limited to just note titles. Easy enough to test. Pick a word that appears in a number of note titles and create a tag with the same name. Tag a note that does not contain that word in its title. Do an intitle: search on that word, and the note that you tagged with your new tag should not appear.

Now, the effect of this extra searching might be negligible, but if you have hundreds of tags for example I would think there would be some effect.

Apparently they've been doing this behind our backs all this time. :) So maybe not negligible, but probably not particularly noticeable either, at least at human speed (the speed at which that we interact with the UI).

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IME, it's iffy:

OK then: useful to know anyways.

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I didn't know that matching tags would be found as well. That's useful -- thanks.

IME, it's iffy:

viewtopic.php?f=56&t=26061&p=110461&hilit=iffy#p110461

Have you only noticed this problem when your tag starts with an underscore? I ask because I noticed something funky with underscored tags in the assign tags dialog.

See the attached screenshot. In the assign tags dialog, I've typed five underscore characters, then 'h'. You'll see that the tag names it returns all have 'h' in the sixth position. It seems to be a way to do a one-char at a time wild-card search but I've never figured out how to leverage it.

post-1775-131906072872_thumb.png

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Have you only noticed this problem when your tag starts with an underscore? I ask because I noticed something funky with underscored tags in the assign tags dialog.

I tested a couple of tags that don't have an underscore & they seemed to work. So it appears it may only be iffy when the tag name contains an underscore.

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I'm having trouble figuring out how exact string search works. I have realized that even with quotes, Evernote does not search for "stop words", which is frustrating. Even with this in mind, it is still inconsistent:

 

To test, I created a note with title "on the day"

 

- Searching for "on the" returns all notes, as it should since both "on" and "the" are removed from the string

- Searching for "day" returns the new note, as it should

- Searching for "on the day" returns nothing, why?

 

next, a note with title "on the day and tree"

 

- "on the day" still returns nothing

- "day tree" returns the new note, as it should

- "on the day and tree" also returns the new note, which is inconsistent with the previous test

 

What is going on here? Why can't I search for an exact string just return notes with that exact string?

 

I have only tried this on OSX so far.

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I'm having trouble figuring out how exact string search works. I have realized that even with quotes, Evernote does not search for "stop words", which is frustrating. Even with this in mind, it is still inconsistent:

 

To test, I created a note with title "on the day"

 

- Searching for "on the" returns all notes, as it should since both "on" and "the" are removed from the string

- Searching for "day" returns the new note, as it should

- Searching for "on the day" returns nothing, why?

 

next, a note with title "on the day and tree"

 

- "on the day" still returns nothing

- "day tree" returns the new note, as it should

- "on the day and tree" also returns the new note, which is inconsistent with the previous test

 

What is going on here? Why can't I search for an exact string just return notes with that exact string?

 

I have only tried this on OSX so far.

 

Are you using quotes?

 

- Searching for "on the" returns all notes, as it should since both "on" and "the" are removed from the string

I don't know what you mean when you say " both "on" and "the" are removed from the string". This should return all notes that contain all three words (if you're not using quotes). If you're using quotes, it should return only notes that contain that exact phrase of all three words.

 

- "day tree" returns the new note, as it should

This should only return notes that contain the exact phrase "day tree".

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Yes, I'm using quotes. It looks like Evernote removes stop words like "on" and "the" from search phrase, even when using quotes. Even considering this, there are still inconsistencies, as mentioned in my original post. Did you try replicating the test from my post?

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If Evernote is removing stop words, then that's a new feature on the Mac client, unless it's related to the natural language search (which is only available for the Mac client as far as I know). I'm not a Mac user, so I can't test this myself. The rules of the search grammar don't say anything about stop words, and my tests on the Windows client searching the quoted search string "on the day" returns only notes that contain exactly that sequence of words. The rules of the natural language search haven't been revealed to my knowledge.

 

Wait a sec: the web client does seem to exhibit the behavior you've described. It's easier to see if you just do a title search (intitle:"on the day"). This returns notes with the word "day" in the title. But it doesn't return a note that has a title of "on a lark", so it's apparently "day" that's significant.

 

I hope that this is a bug; I don't see this as an advance in Evernote search, in any way.

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If Evernote is removing stop words, then that's a new feature on the Mac client, unless it's related to the natural language search (which is only available for the Mac client as far as I know). I'm not a Mac user, so I can't test this myself. The rules of the search grammar don't say anything about stop words, and my tests on the Windows client searching the quoted search string "on the day" returns only notes that contain exactly that sequence of words. The rules of the natural language search haven't been revealed to my knowledge.

 

Wait a sec: the web client does seem to exhibit the behavior you've described. It's easier to see if you just do a title search (intitle:"on the day"). This returns notes with the word "day" in the title. But it doesn't return a note that has a title of "on a lark", so it's apparently "day" that's significant.

 

I hope that this is a bug; I don't see this as an advance in Evernote search, in any way.

Yes, it works fine (translate --> the way it is supposed to) on Windows but not the web client. Can't speak to the Mac client.

Definitely a bug or feature regression.

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1) a search query for "on" or "the" (with or without quotes) or "on the" (with quotes) will return all notes. It will, however, highlight the search query in the contents of any notes that contain it.... but since it shows all notes, you'll click on some notes where the query does not exist. It does seem like Evernote is stripping "on" and "the" and similar from filtering notes, but it is still searching for the word or exact phrase (in the case of "on the"). 

2) This seems to be isolated, as far as I can reproduce, to cases where many of the words in a query are words like "on" or "the" or "a". Searching for something like "Safe at any scale?" or "Meeting with Myrtle 15 June 2015" will return the note with that phrase in the title. 

3) Hard to tell if this is a bug. That being said, I don't know why a search for "on" or "the" or both should return all notes but still continue to search the body of those notes. Evernote should either commit to returning the proper results (Only notes that contain "on" or "the" or both in either title or body), or it should not conduct the search when the query is "on" or "the" or both. To do something awkward in between is confusing and not terribly helpful (in the current implementation I have hundreds of notes returned that do not contain anywhere within them the word(s) "on" or "the" or both.... so I have to click on each note to see if it actually contains those words (which are at least, thankfully, highlighted). 

 

Oh, this was on the Mac. 

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3) Hard to tell if this is a bug.

I'd say that the search results produced for "on the" are surprising, and I'd call that a bug.

That being said, I don't know why a search for "on" or "the" or both should return all notes but still continue to search the body of those notes.

Not too hard to explain what's happening (but not justifying it). The search for "on the" returns a result set of notes. The search is still in context when the note list is displayed, evidently, so when you click on a note, the note rendered consults the search context and says, "hey, I gotta highlight the text search items that occur in this note. Ok, done." So the rules for highlighting and the search results are out of sync. Also confusing, and hence a bug as well.

 

Oh, this was on the Mac.

Figured. :)

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On the Windows client, it works as expected.

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s137/sh/79ecb803-c9a4-42ed-8f39-04b9bdcb04df/e6c9bd0231791de8a8bc45926d39e4fa

I would definitely say the web client not finding the exact phrase a BUG. And if the Mac version is not finding the exact phrase, that's a BUG, too and I would also say this is something that should be a high priority for EN to fix.

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I'm having trouble figuring out how exact string search works. I have realized that even with quotes, Evernote does not search for "stop words", which is frustrating. Even with this in mind, it is still inconsistent:

 

To test, I created a note with title "on the day"

 

- Searching for "on the" returns all notes, as it should since both "on" and "the" are removed from the string

- Searching for "day" returns the new note, as it should

- Searching for "on the day" returns nothing, why?

 

next, a note with title "on the day and tree"

 

- "on the day" still returns nothing

- "day tree" returns the new note, as it should

- "on the day and tree" also returns the new note, which is inconsistent with the previous test

 

What is going on here? Why can't I search for an exact string just return notes with that exact string?

 

I have only tried this on OSX so far.

 

Sams, I'm getting the same, incorrect, search results as you are.

 

If you haven't already, I'd suggest that you submit a BUG report via the EN Support Ticket (see below link).

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I've found poor search capability in both OneNote and EverNote. Info Select by Micro Logic http://miclog.com/software/index.php has much better search features. As you type in a search word or phrase, Info Select shows you how many notes contain it. It does not include individual words in the phrase and it includes matches to the partial phrase as it is typed. So if I type in "make love n" I get all the notes that have that exact phrase, it doesn't wait for me to finish typing in "not". And it doesn't give me all instances of "love" or "make".

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I've found poor search capability in both OneNote and EverNote. Info Select by Micro Logic http://miclog.com/software/index.php has much better search features. As you type in a search word or phrase, Info Select shows you how many notes contain it. It does not include individual words in the phrase and it includes matches to the partial phrase as it is typed. So if I type in "make love n" I get all the notes that have that exact phrase, it doesn't wait for me to finish typing in "not". And it doesn't give me all instances of "love" or "make".

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/26477-request-2-simple-search-options/?p=141919

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On the Windows client, it works as expected.

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s137/sh/79ecb803-c9a4-42ed-8f39-04b9bdcb04df/e6c9bd0231791de8a8bc45926d39e4fa

I would definitely say the web client not finding the exact phrase a BUG. And if the Mac version is not finding the exact phrase, that's a BUG, too and I would also say this is something that should be a high priority for EN to fix.

 

AFAIK, this has yet to be fixed.  Around July, I submitted ticket # 627563 on this issue.  One would think this would be a pretty high priority...

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On the Windows client, it works as expected.

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s137/sh/79ecb803-c9a4-42ed-8f39-04b9bdcb04df/e6c9bd0231791de8a8bc45926d39e4fa

I would definitely say the web client not finding the exact phrase a BUG. And if the Mac version is not finding the exact phrase, that's a BUG, too and I would also say this is something that should be a high priority for EN to fix.

 

AFAIK, this has yet to be fixed.  Around July, I submitted ticket # 627563 on this issue.  One would think this would be a pretty high priority...

 

 

 

Yes, it is still broken.

 

It is definitely still broken. 

 

 

The exact phrase search tip does not work. I searched my notes for the exact phrase "t-mobile"  

 
Both times I had results for t-mobile and AT&T Mobile 
 
for some reason the dash between the "t" and the "mobile" is not honored. It highlights the letter "t" in every note that has it, and also highlights the word "mobile" wherever it occurs. 
 
 
It found and highlighted the "T" at the end of AT&T,  and then highlighted "Mobile"  , which looks like it matched on "T Mobile".
 
 
Not what I expected at all!

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This has driven me mad ever since I started with Evernote [on a Mac]. Is there any other app which does not search for the full string as typed when it is in double quote?

 

Is there any way of forcing compliance the people know of?

 

Cheers, Colin

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This has driven me mad ever since I started with Evernote [on a Mac]. Is there any other app which does not search for the full string as typed when it is in double quote?

 

Is there any way of forcing compliance the people know of?

 

Cheers, Colin

The use of quotes to enclose an exact phrase is pretty standard issue behaviour. That is interoperated by most application, including evernote (when it is working properly) as saying: "find the exact phrase".

 

if you just enter the words, without quotes, you are asking evernote to: "find content that have any of these words in any order"

 

So if you don't want to search for the exact phrase, don't enclose it in quotes. That should solve your issue. 

 

There are plenty of other applications. I find the search in Evernote to be fairly robust and user friendly. DEVONThink has a more sophisticated search features set, though it is a little less elegant. If retrieval is a very important thing to you you could consider comparing those two. 

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This has driven me mad ever since I started with Evernote [on a Mac]. Is there any other app which does not search for the full string as typed when it is in double quote?

 

Is there any way of forcing compliance the people know of?

 

Cheers, Colin

The use of quotes to enclose an exact phrase is pretty standard issue behaviour. That is interoperated by most application, including evernote (when it is working properly) as saying: "find the exact phrase".

 

if you just enter the words, without quotes, you are asking evernote to: "find content that have any of these words in any order"

 

So if you don't want to search for the exact phrase, don't enclose it in quotes. That should solve your issue. 

 

There are plenty of other applications. I find the search in Evernote to be fairly robust and user friendly. DEVONThink has a more sophisticated search features set, though it is a little less elegant. If retrieval is a very important thing to you you could consider comparing those two. 

 

 

 

I think you've misunderstood. The problem we are having is that Evernote does not search for the exact phrase within double quotes, as nearly every other application would.

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This has driven me mad ever since I started with Evernote [on a Mac]. Is there any other app which does not search for the full string as typed when it is in double quote?

 

Is there any way of forcing compliance the people know of?

 

Cheers, Colin

The use of quotes to enclose an exact phrase is pretty standard issue behaviour. That is interoperated by most application, including evernote (when it is working properly) as saying: "find the exact phrase".

 

if you just enter the words, without quotes, you are asking evernote to: "find content that have any of these words in any order"

 

So if you don't want to search for the exact phrase, don't enclose it in quotes. That should solve your issue. 

 

There are plenty of other applications. I find the search in Evernote to be fairly robust and user friendly. DEVONThink has a more sophisticated search features set, though it is a little less elegant. If retrieval is a very important thing to you you could consider comparing those two. 

 

 

 

I think you've misunderstood. The problem we are having is that Evernote does not search for the exact phrase within double quotes, as nearly every other application would.

 

 

Too right sams!

 

What I don't understand is is this a 'bug' or a 'feature' and if the latter who on earth thinks it a good idea?

 

C

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This has driven me mad ever since I started with Evernote [on a Mac]. Is there any other app which does not search for the full string as typed when it is in double quote?

 

Is there any way of forcing compliance the people know of?

 

Cheers, Colin

The use of quotes to enclose an exact phrase is pretty standard issue behaviour. That is interoperated by most application, including evernote (when it is working properly) as saying: "find the exact phrase".

 

if you just enter the words, without quotes, you are asking evernote to: "find content that have any of these words in any order"

 

So if you don't want to search for the exact phrase, don't enclose it in quotes. That should solve your issue. 

 

There are plenty of other applications. I find the search in Evernote to be fairly robust and user friendly. DEVONThink has a more sophisticated search features set, though it is a little less elegant. If retrieval is a very important thing to you you could consider comparing those two. 

 

 

 

I think you've misunderstood. The problem we are having is that Evernote does not search for the exact phrase within double quotes, as nearly every other application would.

 

Ah, see, if you look at the words of the user I quoted, you'll see that s/he has phrased it in an extremely confusing manner that is easily misunderstood. Having re-read it, I now understand that s/he is actually posing a hypothetical question. 

 

I understand the search problem (as demonstrated by my much, much earlier post), however, I misunderstood the quoted poster's words (irrespective of the existence of a problem with Evernote's search). 

 

Cheers

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This is driving me crazy. Time and time again i cannot find something later turns out to be there because Evernote is not letting me do a text seach.

I have a note  on the clojure language. I hit Cmd+F to search WITHIN the note for string "#(" (with or without quotes) and Evernote is tell me that it's not there.

 

This is a TOTAL fail for an app that is supposed to help me keep TEXT NOTES!

 

Please add this option - a magic keyword and checkbox, any UI will work.

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