OneNote search working like it should?


M

MickL

I'm trying out ON 2007.

I have some notes from other programs I've imported. Some with text like
"meeting:" and "email:" insterted so I could serach for those strings to
find that kind of todo.

When I search in ON for "meeting:" or "email:" it finds them but also finds
every other note with "meeting" or "email", even when I put the search in
quotes (example = "email:").

The manual says "Use quotation marks to find an exact phrase". Well, that
isn't working.

As a test, I tried some other searches like "-em-", without quotes it finds
all instances of em and with quotes it finds <space>em<space> .
"@email" with or without quotes finds any string with "email".

So much for the exact phrase. I think there's a bug here or ON is ignoring
special or non-alpha characters.

Am I missing something?

Thanks,

Mick
 
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Y

YouBetcha

I've asked before for a list of rules that search does, but haven't gotten a
real answer. It seems more sophisticated than people are expecting. But
they all seem like features intentionally designed, instead of bugs. But MS
doesn't seem to want to tell us what it is doing, we just get unexpected
results, which looks like bugs.

It seems like you ought to have a way to do a "dumb" search for a string, in
addition to the search features they provide.

Here's what I can summarize so far, from my own experience in observing
OneNote searches.

1) OneNote seems to generally try to search for words. It will find
different forms of the same word. So if you seach for 'apply' [single quotes
here not implying an exact phrase quote], it will find: 'apply', 'applies',
'applied' -- even though they don't all have the same ending, they are the
same word -- yet it knows to not find 'apples'.

2) In exact searches with quotes, OneNote will still only search for words,
but won't search for the alternate forms. searching for "apply" only finds
the whole word "apply" in the document.

3) OneNote ignores all symbols, in either the search string or the text,
whether it is an "exact phrase" search or not.

4) If you search for a string of letters, it will match your search string
to text, but it only highlights words that START with the string you are
searching for. So if you search for "abc", it will find "abcde" but will not
find "xabcd", since "xabcd" doesn't START with the search string "abc."

5) There doesn't seem to be any ability to use a wildcard inside a word.
 
Y

YouBetcha

In thinking about this, I think a lot of the search "features" are due to the
fact that OneNote is piggybacking off of the MS Desktop Search. This means
it isn't really "searching." I think it works by going through everything in
advance as things are entered into OneNote, and indexing all the words into a
big database. When you search, it actually looks it up in the database,
instead of going through, character by character. My guess is that part of
the pre-indexing includes stripping out symbols, etc. But this probably also
explains the inability (previously attributed to a bug by some of the MVPs)
to search for strings in the middle of words.

Again, because MS doesn't seem compelled to put this information in their
help file, which limits our ability to use it effectively.

Of course, I'm just speculating on how the technology works, but it seems
plausible enough.

YouBetcha said:
I've asked before for a list of rules that search does, but haven't gotten a
real answer. It seems more sophisticated than people are expecting. But
they all seem like features intentionally designed, instead of bugs. But MS
doesn't seem to want to tell us what it is doing, we just get unexpected
results, which looks like bugs.

It seems like you ought to have a way to do a "dumb" search for a string, in
addition to the search features they provide.

Here's what I can summarize so far, from my own experience in observing
OneNote searches.

1) OneNote seems to generally try to search for words. It will find
different forms of the same word. So if you seach for 'apply' [single quotes
here not implying an exact phrase quote], it will find: 'apply', 'applies',
'applied' -- even though they don't all have the same ending, they are the
same word -- yet it knows to not find 'apples'.

2) In exact searches with quotes, OneNote will still only search for words,
but won't search for the alternate forms. searching for "apply" only finds
the whole word "apply" in the document.

3) OneNote ignores all symbols, in either the search string or the text,
whether it is an "exact phrase" search or not.

4) If you search for a string of letters, it will match your search string
to text, but it only highlights words that START with the string you are
searching for. So if you search for "abc", it will find "abcde" but will not
find "xabcd", since "xabcd" doesn't START with the search string "abc."

5) There doesn't seem to be any ability to use a wildcard inside a word.


MickL said:
I'm trying out ON 2007.

I have some notes from other programs I've imported. Some with text like
"meeting:" and "email:" insterted so I could serach for those strings to
find that kind of todo.

When I search in ON for "meeting:" or "email:" it finds them but also finds
every other note with "meeting" or "email", even when I put the search in
quotes (example = "email:").

The manual says "Use quotation marks to find an exact phrase". Well, that
isn't working.

As a test, I tried some other searches like "-em-", without quotes it finds
all instances of em and with quotes it finds <space>em<space> .
"@email" with or without quotes finds any string with "email".

So much for the exact phrase. I think there's a bug here or ON is ignoring
special or non-alpha characters.

Am I missing something?

Thanks,

Mick
 
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Joined
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I was not able to search for a phrase using quotes (eg "this is a phrase") in onenote until I made the following changes.
Considerations:
1) There are many types/version of onenote. A solution for one may not be a solution for another. For example, desktop versus cloud based.
2) For this example, it was on Win 10 and onenote 2013 desktop.
3) I believe using quotes in search worked at one point, but I found one day that it no longer did. I'm not totally sure.
4) As noted on the web, onenote does NOT use wildcards and ignores most special characters. This is normal behavior. Quotes in this version do work however.
5) Use MS Word to see if you can find phrases. In my case I was able to find phrases WITHOUT using quotes. Apparently for Word, if you put two or more words in the search box, then it is assumed to be a phrase.
6) This test lead me to think that something different was occurring for onenote... but what, if they are using the same indexing engine?
7) If the following steps do not work, then consider using GEM's search option. GEM for onenote is a great set of features, as well as Onetastic.

Steps:
1) find the Indexing Options in the Control Panel.
2) Use the Advanced Options to rebuild your index.
This alone may fix the problem. If not, continue on.
3) I also changed the various files are indexed. On Advanced Options choose the File Types tab.
4) Scroll down to the file types that begin with 'o', and such as 'one', 'onepkg', onetoc', etc. and change the index type to Index Properties and File Contents.
Step four in my case will cause an index rebuild, and I'm NOT 100% sure that is was this step, or simply step 2 that fixed my problem.
5) Restart your computer after the index rebuild is complete. You can see the status of the rebuild on the Indexing Options window.
 

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