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PaulBran

Search works online but not in Mac desktop app

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Problem:   I find that I can search effectively for text in PDFs and images using the online service.  However, many attachments do not appear when searched for using the Mac  App, even though the same docs can be found online.

 

Many PDF attachments in the Mac App state "1 PDF has not been indexed" when clicking the "i" icon.

However, these SAME documents ARE searchable and findable using the online site.

 

These same docs stated as "not indexed" on the desktop can be searched within the document for text, even though they do not appear in a database-wide search for specific text.

 

As far as I know, the problematic PDFs do not contravene the criteria for indexable PDFs as stated by Evernote.

 

There seems to be little pattern to those that can and cannot be searched using the Mac app.  The performance appears random.

 

In short, it appears to me that my PDFs ARE being indexed and can thus be searched for online.  This indexed information for SOME docs however is not accessible to the desktop app.

 

I am a Premium customer.

 

I sent this query to Evernote support four days ago but so far have received no reply. 

 

I've seen this discussed elsewhere on the forum but never a solution offered.

 

Will someone from Evernote please take notice and provide us with a definitive answer to this problem which many are concerned about and which appears to be spoiling the effectiveness of an otherwise excellent and highly valuable service.

 

 

 

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I have an identical issue with indexed/ OCRed images. They all come up in an online search, but not on Windows desktop. I also find that my iOS clients do a whole lot better in that respect than the desktop client... not as many search results as the web client - but a heck of a lot better than the Windows desktop client. I have a database of 18,000 comic strips which yield amazing results on Web/ iOS - but a minuscule fraction of those show up on Windows desktop. A huge discrepancy. I just supposed that maybe it had to do with my machine's capacity, and resigned myself to an online/ web search for accuracy. That's my workaround - but it sure would be nice to understand if in fact this is a normal limitation on desktop. 

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There are several differences between the various Evernote clients,  a significant one of which is how search works - I've always assumed that's largely because they run on different OS's with very different capacities and processor speeds,  so it would be impossible to duplicate results quickly and exactly.  I've adjusted my Evernote use accordingly and do most of my admin work on a Windows desktop,  with other data gathering and lookups on an Android phone.

 

I doubt someone from Evernote will appear here with a "definitive answer" because they tend not to do that - I'd suggest you wait for the outcome of your support request;  it may take a few days,  but at least you'll be talking to an Evernote person rather than us users...

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Sorry Gaz, but this is a real BUG, not just a search difference.  Not only *can* Search be made to work the same in ALL EN clients, it MUST work the same, or the usefulness and credibility of the app is significantly reduced.  It's like having multiple clocks with different time -- which one is right?

 

EN Mac has been correctly searching PDFs for a long time now.  It appears that this BUG may have been introduced with the complete rewrite of EN Mac in Ver 5.6.

 

@PaulBran:  You may want to contact Evernote via Chat to get a quicker responseSee Evernote Chat Support., available 9am-4pm US PST. (Chat option appears AFTER you click “Continue” on initial “Evernote Support” page.)

 

 

 

There are several differences between the various Evernote clients,  a significant one of which is how search works - I've always assumed that's largely because they run on different OS's with very different capacities and processor speeds,  so it would be impossible to duplicate results quickly and exactly. 

 

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I must point out that for me on Windows desktop, this has been an issue since forever, no matter the computer and no matter the release. This is nothing new. Usually we are accustomed to less robustness on the mobile clients... but it seems to be reversed. The desktop does not find OCRed images as well as the iOS and Web apps for me. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, the iOS apps seem to have gotten better in this regard. It's over my head.

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Frank, are you saying that the EN Win Search engine has been flawed for a long time?

Is it just with PDFs, or other stuff as well?

 

I must point out that for me on Windows desktop, this has been an issue since forever, no matter the computer and no matter the release. This is nothing new.

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Frank, are you saying that the EN Win Search engine has been flawed for a long time?

Is it just with PDFs, or other stuff as well?

 

I must point out that for me on Windows desktop, this has been an issue since forever, no matter the computer and no matter the release. This is nothing new.

 

 

I haven't tested it out with PDFs, but I'm specifically talking about a sizable database I have of comic strips, which I can search with Evernote's OCR technology. I have almost 18,000. That's a lot. But... it's only just a tad bit over 2GB. I get very few results returned on Windows Desktop compared to when I use the web client. I always assumed it had something to do with the speed of the processor of my Windows desktop or whatever other factors (and the results have been the same no matter the desktop I have installed on). As I mentioned, this has been a persisting "phenomenon" across all (Windows) releases since I created my database many months back. I just thought that perhaps the Windows machines I've used could simply not deal with that large a database. 

 

The only reason I'm bringing this up now is that @PaulBran also mentioned discrepancies on different platforms as to search results. I.E. - missing/ partial results on his Mac desktop client. I imagine that indexing and OCR-ing happens in a similar fashion for images and PDFs.

 

It's interesting to observe that I now see identical search results on iOS (iPhone and iPad) when compared with the web version. It wasn't always like this. It's much more improved now - perhaps owing to the last couple of releases.

 

Without understanding the dynamics of the technology behind it, I imagine that the iOS/ mobile apps interact directly with the Evernote cloud in any search - since, when I put my phone into airplane mode and the internet connection is cut, there are no search results (as to be expected, since I have chosen not to download any notebooks). When there is a connection, I get identical results on iOS to the web client. 

 

I'll copy some of the screenshots of tests I've just done. As I have already mentioned, both iPad and iPhone search results are identical to the web client results - so I won't include any iPad screenshots.

 

With the search phrase, Dark and stormy night, (no quotes):

  • 40 results on the web and iOS clients
  • 0 results on Windows desktop for even just the word "Stormy"
  • 3 SCREENSHOTS BELOW...

With the search phrase, "Dark and stormy night", (with quotes):

  • 26 results on the web and iOS clients
  • 0 results on Windows desktop

Dark%20and%20stormy%20night%20%28no%20qu

 

 

 

dark%20and%20stormy%20night%20%28no%20qu

 

 

 

Stormy%20-%20desktop%20-%200.PNG?dl=0

 

 

 

With the search phrase, Give up, (no quotes):

  • 191 results on the web and iOS clients
  • 4 results on Windows desktop 

With the search phrase, "Give up", (with quotes):

  • 64 results on the web and iOS clients
  • 1 result on Windows desktop
  • 3 SCREENSHOTS BELOW...

 

give%20up%20%28quotes%29%20-%20web%20bet

 

 

 

Give%20up%20%28quotes%29%20-%20iPhone%20

 

 

 

Give%20up%20%28quotes%29%20-%20desktop%2

 

 

I get slightly better results with other keywords/ phrases on desktop... but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the discrepancy. All of my images should have long been indexed - just as is evident on other platforms. 

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Sounds like the indexing isn't making it to your desktop, whatever that means.  Web and two IOSs returning the results would lend some credence to your theory of the web search.  Probably not worth the effort, but I wonder if you made some of the notes offline on the i devices if the results would change.

 

Shots in the dark.  No data to support any of the above.   :)

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Frank, so the issue you are having is with searching the OCR of images, right?

 

Since the searches seem to work using EN Web (which means searching on the EN Cloud servers), but not in EN Win, that would imply that the database index on your PC is corrupt or incomplete.

 

So you might try using the CTRL-Help menu to reindex your Win DB:

Select "Recreate Full Text Search Index"

Warning!  This could take a while since you have a large EN Win DB.

 

EN-Win-564-Help-Menu.gif

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The thing that I do know about those images that don't show up in a search is that none of them are shown as indexed (under note information on desktop). Originally all of them showed to be indexed. What changed that was when I transferred them all to a new notebook way back. Until now I had no idea how to force them to get re-indexed. It certainly hasn't happened automatically. 

 

 

I selected a year of those comic strips - 365 strips... copied them to a new notebook (duplicated them)... synced them to the Evernote servers... and immediately upon the second sync, absolutely all of them showed as indexed, while the originals are still stuck in "indexing limbo".

 

What I tried with individual non-indexed notes is chose the "Fix Current Note" option from the help menu shown above. Immediately upon a sync, the note was indexed. Then I went ahead and ambitiously clicked on "Fix All Notes"... because there was no option to choose a specific group of notes. That has my Desktop client crashing every time I try to manually sync... or whenever it auto-syncs every 15 minutes. I'll try to figure that one out later. I have no idea whether the indexing is going on in the background or not. Everything seems to be real slow (which may indicate indexing in progress - even upon restarting the app)... but then crashes again on sync. I'll try to disable the auto sync and give it some time...

 

The question now is why notes need to be "fixed"/ re-indexed whenever they are moved to a new notebook (at least one scenario).

 

That hidden side of the help menu seems to deal with all manner of evil. Is that covered in the Knowledge Base somewhere?

 

Thanks JMichael.

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Frank, perhaps we should move this discussion to a new thread, since the OP's issue is about MAC search, not WIN search.   ;)

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Frank, perhaps we should move this discussion to a new thread, since the OP's issue is about MAC search, not WIN search.   ;)

 

No problem... I just thought the issue of getting partial search results on desktop (connected to the indexing of attachments, whether PDFs or images) would be relevant to both Windows and Mac - especially since in both cases, our web clients yielded complete search results. The OP's predicament, in fact, seems to be identical to mine... I wouldn't be surprised if @PaulBran's solution is one and the same. So I guess that wraps this up then. Thanks though  :)

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EN Mac does NOT have anything like the database fix tools of EN Win as shown in the CTRL-Help menu.

So the solutions are likely to be quite different.

Also, the OP's issue is with PDFs not images.

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EN Mac does NOT have anything like the database fix tools of EN Win as shown in the CTRL-Help menu.

So the solutions are likely to be quite different.

Also, the OP's issue is with PDFs not images.

 

Thank goodness Mac does not have the same database fix tools. It just crippled my PC... had to uninstall Evernote completely as a result.

Still, I believe our problems are - for all intents and purposes - identical. Specifically since the files excluded in the search results on desktop (in both cases) were attachments which were not indexed. 

Additionally, since Evernote's OCR system can also process PDF files, there is not a total disconnect here.

Thanks once again.

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Well, I've followed the interesting discussion above.  Sadly 'though no one seems to have an answer.  On the Mac program there appears to be no menu option to re-index or fix a database.  

 

My question submitted to Evernote support on 23 Nov has not produced any response except an automated reply telling me I am a "valued customer".   Hmmmm !

 

Meanwhile the problem persists.

 

I'll try the chat support option later today and see where that gets me.

 

Paul

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My question submitted to Evernote support on 23 Nov has not produced any response except an automated reply telling me I am a "valued customer".   Hmmmm !

If you post your ticket # here, we may be able to get someone to look at it.

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Ok, thank you.  Below is the content of my original support ticket.:

 

= = = = = = = = = = = = = 

 

On my Mac app I find that some scanned PDFs are not searchable. Others work fine and there seems to be no obvious pattern as to which can be searched and which cannot.

 

The docs I cannot search on the Mac however, can be searched successfully on the web site. So it appears they ARE being indexed by Evernote but for some reason the Mac app cannot access this data.

 

On the docs that cannot be searched I also find that the individual text is not selectable and clicking on the doc turns the whole screen blue as if selecting a complete image.

 

I am using Yosemite with the latest update.

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Ok, thank you.  Below is the content of my original support ticket.:

 

Your ticket number would be far more useful. You should have received it in the automated email that you got, and it's how your issue is being tracked.

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I believe this has been fixed in the latest version of Evernote for Mac ( version 6.0.3) .   I  had the same issue with Mac client not finding search terms in PDF docs and being different from Web search.  I got the following response from Support and it has fixed my problem 

 

====================

 

Thanks for contacting Evernote support. My name is Evan and I'm going to be assisting you.

I understand you're having a sync problem with Evernote for Mac. Our team is aware of an error that could cause problems syncing notes with attachments. This has been fixed in the latest version of Evernote for Mac which was released today.

To uninstall and reinstall Evernote for Mac, follow these steps:

  1. If Evernote is running, press Command + Q to quit the Evernote application
  2. Open the Applications folder and drag Evernote to the Trash
  3. Right-click (or Ctrl + Click) on the Trash and select Empty Trash
  4. Reboot your computer
  5. Download and install Evernote for Mac from www.evernote.com/download
  6. Drag the Evernote icon into your Applications folder
  7. Open Evernote and login to your Evernote account

If your issue is still not resolved, please send us an activity log.

Click the Sync button, then follow these steps:

  1. Open Evernote for Mac and select Help > Activity Log…
  2. Select Save As… > Desktop > Save
  3. Reply to this email and attach the saved log file

This Activity Log contains a detailed list of the steps the Evernote application performs and will help us diagnose the problem you are experiencing.

The Activity Log contains information about your account, your device, and location information (if enabled). The titles of your Notes, Note tags, names of Notebooks, names of files attached to Notes, and, if your account was having network syncing errors, some of your Note content, may also be contained in the Activity Log. You may edit the Log file to remove anything you do not want to send us. We treat Activity Log data as confidential information, and the terms of our Privacy Policy apply.

Regards,

Evan A.

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