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abdu

When is partial word search going to be supported?

Idea

There are many times when I can't remember the full word I am searching. Just a part of it. I really wish Evernote supports searching for partial words, regardless of which part.

I have to export all notes and search them outside of Evernote.

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14 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

It is possible to search for partial words, but only if you know the start of the word. From the article https://dev.evernote.com/doc/articles/search_grammar.php:

So if I type in "creat*" as a search term, it will find "create," "created," "creates," "creating," "creator," "creative," "creature," etc. But if I type in "*reat" it won't find anything. In fact, when I start typing, it searches for words beginning with all the characters I've typed as I type them. Putting * at the beginning of the search term is the same as putting nothing; i.e., "*rea" and "rea" will both find "real," "reality," "read," etc., but will not find "create," "treat," "breathe," etc.

Evernote needs to support searching for any text regardless if where the part resides. All text editors can do such searches. I use Evernote to recall any kind of text. So let me be able to do it!

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3 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

Finding information quickly and efficiently is one of Evernote's strengths. There are several techniques to enhance search results.-  for example:

  • detailed consistent structured titles
  • YYMMDD date prefix in title for date ranges
  • tags (lower case only, no spaces, singular - not plural)
  • intitle: search
  • key words in text
  • good understanding of Evernote's search grammar

In the example mentioned - if I realized that I could remember localdb, but not sqllocaldb, then I would add localdb as a keyword assist for future searches. I'd also add a tag.

I would be concerned with the work required to index every possible sequential group of letters in every word in my 40,000+ notes and still be searchable with my phone. I doubt partial internal character or partial number search will be supported anytime soon.

No No. This is a very poor workaround. If I am pasting a note of 500 words, I am not going to create 500 tags. Evernote should be able to search like a text editor search. Just go through all the words. Indexing is used for instant searches. Machines are very fast now. Character by character searches is a none performance issue. All text editors do it and results is almost instantaneous. I would rather wait for a couple seconds to get a result than a non searchable software.

Saved indexes and plain dumb searches can go hand on hand. They compliment each other. Not replace each other.

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7 hours ago, rafavalor20 said:

In conclusion: it does not work properly though it's an essential functionality.

Yes, it's not a full feature search index
It is what it is; that's the way search works

To date; Evernote has given no indication they intend to change the search indexing

You are welcome to add your support to this request using the voting buttons in the upper left corner
So far, this request has 5a7d39f34b475_ScreenShot2018-02-08at22_03_30.png.64464d4b166dcaa3016c4a59e43e16b2.png votes

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Aside from missing this feature, searching in EN is actually pretty good and you should hopefully not have to export your notes to search them.  Can you provide an example of this and maybe we can offer some suggestions or work arounds. 

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It is possible to search for partial words, but only if you know the start of the word. From the article https://dev.evernote.com/doc/articles/search_grammar.php:

Quote

A wildcard is only permitted at the end of the term, not at the beginning or middle for scalability reasons on the service.

So if I type in "creat*" as a search term, it will find "create," "created," "creates," "creating," "creator," "creative," "creature," etc. But if I type in "*reat" it won't find anything. In fact, when I start typing, it searches for words beginning with all the characters I've typed as I type them. Putting * at the beginning of the search term is the same as putting nothing; i.e., "*rea" and "rea" will both find "real," "reality," "read," etc., but will not find "create," "treat," "breathe," etc.

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@Dave-in-Decatur 

1 hour ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

So if I type in "creat*" as a search term, it will find "create," "created," "creates," "creating," "creator," "creative," "creature," etc.

That is what I've noticed as well, beginning word partials seems to work AFAIK ok.  I leave off the trailing asterisk, it doesn't seem to matter.  I did some additional testing after posting the response above and interestingly if I search for some characters within a word without the asterisk it would sometimes work, but appears to be very inconsistent and incomplete.

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16 hours ago, s2sailor said:

Aside from missing this feature, searching in EN is actually pretty good and you should hopefully not have to export your notes to search them.  Can you provide an example of this and maybe we can offer some suggestions or work arounds. 

I have a note on sqllocaldb, a computer command. I couldn't remember the command but remember localdb. Searching for localdb returned nothing.

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6 hours ago, abdu said:

I have a note on sqllocaldb, a computer command. I couldn't remember the command but remember localdb. Searching for localdb returned nothing.

 
 
 

Finding information quickly and efficiently is one of Evernote's strengths. There are several techniques to enhance search results.-  for example:

  • detailed consistent structured titles
  • YYMMDD date prefix in title for date ranges
  • tags (lower case only, no spaces, singular - not plural)
  • intitle: search
  • key words in text
  • good understanding of Evernote's search grammar

In the example mentioned - if I realized that I could remember localdb, but not sqllocaldb, then I would add localdb as a keyword assist for future searches. I'd also add a tag.

I would be concerned with the work required to index every possible sequential group of letters in every word in my 40,000+ notes and still be searchable with my phone. I doubt partial internal character or partial number search will be supported anytime soon.

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1 hour ago, jbenson2 said:

I would be concerned with the work required to index every possible sequential group of letters in every word

and the slow down in performance that would occur.  I echo this concern as well since there are already concerns with how Evernote will scale over time with increasing databases.

7 hours ago, abdu said:

I couldn't remember the command but remember localdb

Not remembering the exact words has happened to me as well and when I do eventually find the note I just add the first couple of keywords that I first tried to the title so that next time I'll find it quicker.  I could probably avoid this even more with more careful tagging but it happens so seldom and finding the forgotten note never takes that long, that, at least for me, the keyword approach is the way to go.

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26 minutes ago, abdu said:

I would rather wait for a couple seconds to get a result than a non searchable software.

Well, this request for internal partial character searches has been mentioned in this forum a few times over the past 7 years. Honestly, I think you will be waiting a long time for Evernote to re-write their multiplatform software codes for a request that does not seem to have a lot of support from the users. 

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I can certainly understand the desire for this type of searching. If it were just a matter of searching the local version of the notes database ("like a text editor"), it probably wouldn't be hard to implement. But with devices other than desktop or laptop computers, it might get more difficult. My understanding is that on smartphones, the database is not stored locally, so that searching has to be done on the Evernote servers. (Or perhaps on a locally-created index? Someone please correct my ignorance here!) I presume the "scalability reasons on the service" to which the search grammar article so cryptically refers have to do with this limitation.

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I am suggesting that we consolidate this request to get the votes up… I am suggesting mine because it already has a number of votes replies… The post is here, https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/88379-feature-request-improved-tag-functionality-for-ios/

This request keeps popping up but I believe it is getting ignored because it doesn’t get a critical mass of attention at any one moment, I’d like to see if we can get everyone on board to bring this up the list and to Evernote’s attention.

Thank you!

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8 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

Well, this request for internal partial character searches has been mentioned in this forum a few times over the past 7 years. Honestly, I think you will be waiting a long time for Evernote to re-write their multiplatform software codes for a request that does not seem to have a lot of support from the users. 

There's no need to rewrite anything. Evernote already can export all the notes into a single file.  A simple use of  like Javascript's or C#'s indexOf string function can find any character or string in any text collection. Really.. it's not hard. I am a software developer. 

Evernote is about saving and syncing notes across devices. Searching and retrieving notes should be very flexible.

I won't wait for anyone. I will just export into a single file or files into an empty folder and search manually.

Most people don't have gigabytes and terabytes of notes for Evernote to depend on indexing only.

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17 hours ago, Yipeedog said:

I believe it is getting ignored because it doesn’t get a critical mass of attention

I think you are correct. The majority of Evernote users don't have a recurring need to search for an internal partial character stream.

Also, the variety of requests on the post you mentioned don't relate to this OP's request.

EDIT: I see that you are using the same request on the last dozen of your posts. SPAM is not permitted. I will report this.

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4 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

EDIT: I see that you are using the same request on the last dozen of your posts. SPAM is not permitted. I will report this.

Yeah, that's useful... You've got a weird functionality gap (multi tag search, not any partial character string), that used to be available, is still available on some versions of the system, users are confused and repeatedly wondering why this is or when it might be remedied, then I come along proposing that it is because of the numerous disconnected feature requests not getting enough traction, I post to a variety of threads asking people to hop on board one particular request so that it can gain some momentum... and you are going to report me for spamming?

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Ugh, this is so frustrating. Just noticed after 1 year of using EN with over 1000 notes that this is not possible. I just assumed it would be. Stupid me huh?

And no, being "optimized" (whatever that means) for speed is not a good argument. As others have mentioned, it's fine if I have to wait a couple of moments if I do a demanding query, but it's not fine if EN cannot do what a text editor or a simple python script could do, and what I have come to just expect from computers. Now I feel like my data ist locked in.

Also, it could be an option to have this 1) only on desktop and/or web and 2) only for the text content or even only for titles (I just hit it when trying to do an "intitle:" query). That should be fast enough!

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I agree with all the others. It is ridiculous that you cannot do a partial search. I have thousands of receipts in my system, with long sku numbers. To be able to do partial number look up is crucial. 

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Also agree. I always preach the benefits and power of the Evernote search engine among my clients and discover this has been surprising.
That's how I found this lack:
I was searching for a car plate license (8827HCB). I did not remember the first numbers, but was sure about the letters, so I looked for HCB with no results. I was sure of having that particular note inside my database!!

When at the end I found the note... nothing special suggested me something was bad written or misspelled... No no... Just searching 882 it works, but HCB not.

For my total bewilderment, then I did another test. I searched for len and got many notes that contained words like AllenLength or pollen ...
All the notes involved (including the license plate of the car) have been in my database for years and I do not see any apparent technical or syntactic difference in them.
I explained the case to Evernote support but they sent me to the well-known advanced syntax page.

Moreover. The program does not cheat you because in the search results a legend stays that results... "contain words starting with:". (look the attachment). Starting. Not containing.

In conclusion: it does not work properly though it's an essential functionality.

Please, Evernote engineers...

 

Evernote bad search.jpg

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38 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Yes, it's not a full feature sort index
It is what it is; that's the way sort works

 

I don't know what sort index is exactly. Evernote needs to find EVERYTHING. Just like any decent text editor does. Give me the option to do a text search without using any indexes. Just go through ALL the text. I don't care how slow it will be. I would rather wait 3 more seconds than not finding what I want. I don't have hundreds of thousands of notes where I am going to worry about performance and even then I would rather wait. Computers are very fast these days. People want to find notes. Let me worry about performance, not Evernote.

 

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If I know for sure that the note exists and I can't find it because Evernote's search is unable to find it, is exporting all the notes to HTML format and search that file using a text editor.

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7 hours ago, abdu said:

Evernote needs to find EVERYTHING. Just like any decent text editor does.

I intended my post to refer to the search index that is built and used by Evernote. 

I support the request, and have added my vote.  I'm trying to solicit more votes.  
We're up to 5a7db01c674f1_ScreenShot2018-02-09at06_28_14.png.a87a23f560650a3325faf9858d6d63e4.png  votes now

7 hours ago, abdu said:

If I know for sure that the note exists and I can't find it because Evernote's search is unable to find it, is exporting all the notes to HTML format and search that file using a text editor.

I actually maintain an html copy as part of my backups; yes, it is also useful for searches using the OS search feature (Mac)

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Call me crazy, but I find that perhaps the most important thing that a note-taking app can do is provide the ability search those notes. Not the search speed. The lack of partial search means, that Evernote is useless for technical notes.

 

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strongly suspect there are many, many, more none-technical people who could use this feature, but either don't know the correct technical jargon required to find the forum post, or simply don't realize it's a feature they could ask for.  Most of my technically... let's say "inexperienced", older coworkers and many other professionals I know don't even realize that poor search performance is a design decision rather than just evernote "not working that way".  
 

That said, my workaround has always been to make notes with multiple identifying words at the top (not tags, just like a brief summary at the top).  Sometimes when I forget one word I can find the note in question by searching for related terms and sorting through the hopefully brief list of results.

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The frustrating thing about this is that partial word search already exists within Evernote, but it only works for search within note (Ctrl-F).  They simply need to allow this pre-existing search engine (or whatever programmers call it) to search the entire database. 

Or am I barking up the wrong tree? 

In regards to what someone else mentioned, I think it is not necessary to have this capability on all platforms, Windows/Mac should be more than enough, besides we are all used to crippled versions of Evernote on our portable devices. 🙄

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Tried OneNote, but just found out that OneNote doesn't support wildcard at the beginning either.

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/onenotetips/2010/11/16/searching-for-notes-in-onenote/

This issue is quite frustrating because after using Evernote for ten years, there are just too many notes to search.

I simply don't get the idea of how hard to scale on my local machine to support full-text searching.

 

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17 hours ago, fengkan said:

I simply don't get the idea of how hard to scale on my local machine to support full-text searching.

As I understand it, the standard search grammar (the one that allows for tag, notebook, reminder, etc. as well as literal text) runs its text search against an index that's created specifically for matching word prefixes in all of your notes. This makes search a lot faster, but doesn't really scale to infix searches. 

That being said, it would be nice to have the ability to override that behavior in the search language (example: the presence of a leading '*' in the text string would be an easy case, since '*''s aren't matched literally), and let the user take the time penalty. For large note databases, that would be a lot slower., since they have to access the text for each note, rather than the pre-built indexes. Searching individual notes in parallel would probably help some with that.

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Yes we need something like that. I would rather wait a couple seconds for such a search to complete. I am not sure how many notes and note size a typical user has for Evenote to make a decision that only an index search should be implemented otherwise it would be very slow. Some of us use SSDs and lots of memory. I don't like software which doesn't take advantage of users' hardware capabilities. A one second index search vs a 3 second scan search which gets me all the results. I would take the 3 second search any day. It's not like I am doing a search tens of times every day.

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1 hour ago, abdu said:

I would rather wait a couple seconds for such a search to complete.

To get a more realistic sense of how long it would take, have a large number of files of different types spread through multiple Windows folders (text, office, pdf, zip, etc), then disable Windows indexing service, then try a word search inside of files across subfolders. 

It may take between 3 to 15 minutes (maybe a little less with SSD), acceptable for occasional searches, painful for daily use (based on actual experience when I discovered Windows indexing was disabled).

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4 hours ago, Don Dz said:

To get a more realistic sense of how long it would take, have a large number of files of different types spread through multiple Windows folders (text, office, pdf, zip, etc), then disable Windows indexing service, then try a word search inside of files across subfolders. 

It may take between 3 to 15 minutes (maybe a little less with SSD), acceptable for occasional searches, painful for daily use (based on actual experience when I discovered Windows indexing was disabled).

3-15 minutes is absolutely ridiculous. I use a tool called File Locator Pro and I just used it now. It searched 44,284 files, in maybe a few hundred folders (6.36GB total size) and it came back with results in 3 seconds.  That's pure sequential scanning throughout all the files. No indexes used. It includes all partial matches. For example, if I searched for 'ney', I got all the files that had the word 'money' in them.

Do this little test. Export all your notes as a single xml file. Open it in a text editor like Notepad++. Do a search and you will get instant results.

Windows might be slow because it's scanning thousands of folders and hundreds of thousands or millions of files, depending on your system. But of course Evernote is or should be putting all its notes in a few folders so the search area is a ton less. 

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31 minutes ago, abdu said:

I use a tool called File Locator Pro and I just used it now. It searched 44,284 files, in maybe a few hundred folders (6.36GB total size) and it came back with results in 3 seconds.  

I may give your program a spin sometime (though Windows 10 search and Google Desktop are plenty for my needs, and are free), but my observation when doing searches is that other programs seem to benefit or take advantage of Windows indexing if they are using the file system.  I would have to delete the indexing files to get results like I used to get, since I use indexing most file based searches are very fact on my computer. 

I do sometimes use a web browser if I export everything as an html,  but not often since I tend to work mainly with most recently changed notes.

Maybe I had a bug before, but I would say 3 minutes is not a stretch without indexing, at least with 96 GB  worth of files on my storage drive alone.

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11 hours ago, Don Dz said:

I may give your program a spin sometime (though Windows 10 search and Google Desktop are plenty for my needs, and are free), but my observation when doing searches is that other programs seem to benefit or take advantage of Windows indexing if they are using the file system.  I would have to delete the indexing files to get results like I used to get, since I use indexing most file based searches are very fact on my computer. 

I do sometimes use a web browser if I export everything as an html,  but not often since I tend to work mainly with most recently changed notes.

Maybe I had a bug before, but I would say 3 minutes is not a stretch without indexing, at least with 96 GB  worth of files on my storage drive alone.

Searching across all your drives vs Evernote few folders and files are comparing apples with oranges. Evernote should be able to use non indexed searches and get results in a split second. There's no excuse at all. Some engineers over there thought searches must be indexed for good performance. The average Evernote user doesn't have a number of notes that will make a search take seconds.

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3 hours ago, abdu said:

Evernote should be able to use non indexed searches and get results in a split second.

Pray tell what technology does that?

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5 hours ago, CalS said:

Pray tell what technology does that?

A program is as smart (or as dumb) as the programmer who programmed it. I am a software engineer. How would I have created Evernote's search functionality? Search is a very important feature for documents. A note is considered a document. I will have two search implementations. One index based and one isn't which supports regex, boolean, DOS expressions and so on. I can make the default one the indexed one. The user has the option to make the other one the default. If I am smart, I can let Evernote decide which one to use based on the number and size of the user's notes. If Evernote can return result results in less 2 second or less in scan search mode, maybe I'll make the scanning search the default. Imagine I had a note with a password I entered 2 years ago like airplane123. Today I remember and I am certain that there's a password that had 123 in it but I can't remember the full password. I search for '123' and get no results back. I hate you Evernote!
My workaround is to select all the notes, export them into an enex file and open it in a text editor and let the editor find it in a split second. Well darn it, why can't Evernote do the same thing?? Because it's using an index search as its only search method and it doesn't give the user any other choice to search inside Evernote. Well that's dumb you say.

 

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13 hours ago, abdu said:

A program is as smart (or as dumb) as the programmer who programmed it.

Is there any consideration for technical limitations or funding?

>>My workaround is to select all the notes, export them into an enex file and open it in a text editor and let the editor find it in a split second.

Does this work with embeded documents; pdfs, images, office/iwork documents, ...?

In my backups I maintain an html export on my Mac.  
It's also searchable but thats via the Mac index process.

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13 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Is there any consideration for technical limitations or funding for development costs?

>>My workaround is to select all the notes, export them into an enex file and open it in a text editor and let the editor find it in a split second.

Does this work with embeded documents; pdfs, images, office/iwork documents, ...?

In my backups I maintain an html export on my Mac.  
It's also searchable but thats via the Mac index process.

 

Not with the enex format. I am on Windows. I can export into a single or multiple html files and the pdf files will be exported as pdf files. Then I can use File Locator Pro to search through text, pdf and Office documents. It's a commercial product which I purchased. I can't live without it and use it on daily basis in my work. It's very fast and very capable. It can also build an index and use indexed search. You're on Mac so I guess this app won't help you but I think there are similar Mac apps.

Only EverNote guys can explain why they haven't implemented search within words.

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