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douglerner

Frequent problems with even simple searches - anything I can do?

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I'm having frequent problems with search. For example,  I was trying to find "Anthem" - which exists in multiple notes.

If I search for "Anthem" though, Evernote only finds one note - and not the note I was looking for.

I fortunately remembered that the note I was looking for also contained "1955" so searched for "1955" and found the 2nd note, as well as some other notes containing 1955. The other note also clearly contains "Anthem" in it in plain text. So why didn't it show up in the first search?

This happens to me all the time and it seems to be getting harder and harder to find relevant notes. I would expect Evernote's search to be clever, but instead it seems to be getting worse and worse all the time. This is basic functionality in a "free form database" like this.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you.

doug

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Doug, sorry you are having trouble searching.  I have seen a lot of search issues reported recently, but your search for "Anthem" should work properly.  Please let us know the versions of EN Mac and Mac OS that you are running.

 

Here are some things you can try:

  1. Make sure you are updated to the latest non-Beta ver of EN Mac, which is 5.5.2.
  2. Conduct the same search using EN Web client.
    1. ​If it provides the correct results, which are different from EN Mac, then I would definitely submit a BUG report using the EN Support Ticket (see below).  Start the title/subject of the Ticket with "BUG:" so it's clear you are reporting a bug.
  3. In the Note note NOT found where "Anthem" exists, add a new line at the top or bottom of the Note with the word "Anthem", and try the search again
    1. ​It is possible that although the text appears correct, that "Anthem" contains some hidden special characters.  Evernote looks for words that start with the text you enter in the Search box.
    2. If the Note is now found, you can try deleting the new line, and deleting the original "Anthem" text then re-enter it.  Now try the search again, and if it is found then you know that somehow the original "Anthem" was corrupted in some way.

You say this type of search failure is happening often.  If so, then please document as many cases as you can and submit as a BUG report.

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Hi.  I also reported it as a bug report, with screenshots.

 

The version of EN Mac is 5.5.2 and upgrades says this is the latest version. Mac OS is 10.9.4 - also the latest version.

 

The result using the EN Web Client finds all occurrences of Anthem. In other words, the correct, expected result.

 

In the note not found, the word Anthem appears at least 4 times in plain text, and one time in a photo (all of which are highlighted in the EN Web search).

 

Actually, I can't find that note again in the EN Mac client, even when I search for "1955" like I did before! It's degrading even as I watch!

 

It happens all the time lately. Is there a way to rebuild whatever search index is being kept? Maybe that got corrupted somehow.

 

doug

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I created another bug report to add to what I wrote above with more test results. I posted this:

 

I filed a bug report on this. I also posted at https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/66997-frequent-problems-with-even-simple-searches-anything-i-can-do/?locale=en.

It was suggested I document as many as possible.

Here is another example.

Via EN Web a search for "hirokazu" gives 4 results, which is correct.

Via EN Mac I only get 2 of those results.

Via EN Web a search for "spillum" (a friend's last name) finds 3 results.

Via EN Mac only 2 of those show up.

Via EN Web a search for "cathy" (my sister's name) finds 27 results. Via EN Mac only 6 of those are found!

What can I do to fix this?

Thank you,

Doug

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Seems to me your best option would be to clean uninstall/ reinstall Evernote and to backup/ rename your database and allow Evernote to rebuild it (and your index) from the server.  More instructions on both are in the forums.  BEFORE you consider that however,  you might like to look at the Ctrl-Help options that appeared in recent updates (don't know if this will include your current version).  There are two new options to rebuild the text search index and the type-ahead index.

 

If you opt to rebuild your database,  beware that you must export any unsynced notes and any local notebooks to ENEX files.  (Check the options for export and tick to include tags.)  After a rebuild,  re-import those notes.

 

Backup your database before you do anything!

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you might like to look at the Ctrl-Help options that appeared in recent updates (don't know if this will include your current version).  There are two new options to rebuild the text search index and the type-ahead index.

 

If you opt to rebuild your database,  beware that you must export any unsynced notes and any local notebooks to ENEX files.  (Check the options for export and tick to include tags.)  After a rebuild,  re-import those notes.

 

I don't think those options are available to the OP since he is running EN Mac.

AFAIK, the rebuild database feature is available only on EN Win.  Would be very nice to have them on the Mac.

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Well, guess what. I found a working solution (though I still think it's sort of a dumb thing to have to do).

 

In the search field no "notebook" tag was set, so I just assumed it was searching all the notes. But it wasn't. What you have to do is first click "Notes" in the left-most panel. Then your search is of all the notes. Otherwise it isn't. Not only that, you have to do that prior to every single search or the results are not reliable.

 

If no notebook is set to search within, and the search field is blank, it seems it should automatically search all notes. But it doesn't. I can replicate this any number of times.

 

So until Evernote fixes this behavior I'll just have to remember that each full search is a two-step process: (1) click notes and (2) then search.

 

doug

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Thanks so much for that tip, douglerner. I've been having trouble with searches too. I thought if I deleted the name of the notebook that Evernote puts into the search bar that I was searching all notes. Sometimes it seems to search everything, and sometimes not. I probably need to absorb some tutorials on search techniques anyway!

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Gaiagraphics, that's exactly what I thought too. It makes logical sense. If the notebook name is there you assume it means search within that notebook. Without it you assume it means search everywhere. But it just isn't so. I hope they fix that!

 

doug

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Gaiagraphics, that's exactly what I thought too. It makes logical sense. If the notebook name is there you assume it means search within that notebook. Without it you assume it means search everywhere. But it just isn't so. I hope they fix that!

 

doug

 

Doug, it's actually very simple:

  • IF you want to search within a NB, first click on the NB in the left panel.
  • IF you want to search across ALL NB, then first click on the button "All Notes" at the top of the Note list.

I find this works very consistently.

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Explorer,

 

Consistent perhaps, but definitely not obvious. For example, I usually use the Control+Command+E shortcut to jump into search. To have to then "first click on something else" to do a complete search just adds more to do. And you have to admit if you clear the notebook selection from the search field you would expect it to be a global search.

 

doug

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Doug, my UserName is "JMichael".  "Explorer" is my forum title, which has no meaning or significance at all.

 

I have to agree with you that Searching in Evernote is NOT obvious.  Many things in Evernote are NOT obvious and are NOT intuitive.  To make matters worse, searching in different EN clients works differently.

 

The UI designers at Evernote seem to value being cool over being intuitive and following long established UI standards.

They don't seem to understand one of the primary principles in app design:  form follows function.

 

This is one of my long-standing issues with Evernote.

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