[Search] Facilitate search by tags + other keywords

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Clairvaux
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[Search] Facilitate search by tags + other keywords

Postby Clairvaux » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:02 am

One of CN's best features is the ability to search notes. However, I find that the current search functions are not exploited to the full.

One type of search I find particularly useful is using one or more tags, and narrowing the search by adding one or more keywords I expect to find in the text, title or other fields. This is not very easy to do because (unless I missed something) :

  • If you search by tags in the search field, then any other words you add will be tags, too.
  • If you select tags in the left pane, and add, in the search field, words to be found elsewhere, then it takes a long time, because you need to scroll down the left pane and wait till you find your tags (if you have many).
My suggestion would be to speed up access to any tag on the left panel, by one or several of those methods :

  • Allow typing a tag to jump to it.
  • Allow direct access to tags through an A-B-C-D index.
  • Allow faster scrolling through a full-fledged scroll bar.
Another welcome addition would be to display a few hints relative to tag selection in the left panel.

One very powerful feature is the ability to make an AND or OR selection of tags, through use of the Ctrl or Shift keys.

I realise there is a visual indicator (the tag is highlighted in white or yellow), but I never remember which is which (and I usually get it wrong).

It would be most useful to display an explicit status indicator stating exactly what type of search is selected. Also, it would be helpful to display a reminder of the available shortcuts and their effect, since this type of search cannot be done through mouse and menus. For instance, it is very easy to forget (or ignore) the ability to exclude a tag through Alt + left click.

Generally speaking, I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to ease search I haven't thought about. Also, beefing up the online help on that subject would be welcome.
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Re: [Search] Facilitate search by tags + other keywords

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:30 am

Hi Clairvaux,
Sorry for a (very) late reply! Thanks for your interesting points.

Clairvaux wrote:his is not very easy to do because (unless I missed something) :
If you search by tags in the search field, then any other words you add will be tags, too.
If you select tags in the left pane, and add, in the search field, words to be found elsewhere, then it takes a long time, because you need to scroll down the left pane and wait till you find your tags (if you have many).


You indeed have missed something. You can select "All" search scope, then type both tags and words into the search box, and then press enter.
CN will recognize all tags from the query and select them to the tag sidebar. The words which are not tags will be left in the search box and will filter the notes further.

Does this fit the bill for you?

Clairvaux wrote:One very powerful feature is the ability to make an AND or OR selection of tags, through use of the Ctrl or Shift keys.
I realise there is a visual indicator (the tag is highlighted in white or yellow), but I never remember which is which (and I usually get it wrong).


This is a good point. We plan to add more visual cues for this function in the new UI.
Alex
Clairvaux
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Re: [Search] Facilitate search by tags + other keywords

Postby Clairvaux » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:18 pm

CintaNotes Developer wrote:You can select "All" search scope, then type both tags and words into the search box, and then press enter.
CN will recognize all tags from the query and select them to the tag sidebar. The words which are not tags will be left in the search box and will filter the notes further.
Does this fit the bill for you?

Thank you. This is indeed helpful and I wasn't aware of that.

However, this does not solve the problem completely, because :

1. A quick way to browse all tags is still needed, if only to edit them and prune the list from time to time. (There is no total count of tags either.)

2. This will probably look like nitpicking, but this method does not allow searching for a word within the text if that word is also a tag. Both types of search are necessary for different results.
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Re: [Search] Facilitate search by tags + other keywords

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:01 am

Clairvaux wrote:1. A quick way to browse all tags is still needed, if only to edit them and prune the list from time to time. (There is no total count of tags either.)


I agree that a quick-filter for tags wouldn't hurt, but it should only be visible on demand, to reduce visual clutter.

Clairvaux wrote:2. This will probably look like nitpicking, but this method does not allow searching for a word within the text if that word is also a tag. Both types of search are necessary for different results.


Valid point, but is this a real problem or a hypothetical one? I ask because I haven't been struck by it, and I'm a heavy CN user.
For this case, you can always resort to entering tags first, pressing Enter, then entering the text query.
Alex
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Re: [Search] Facilitate search by tags + other keywords

Postby Clairvaux » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:04 pm

CintaNotes Developer wrote:
Clairvaux wrote:2. This will probably look like nitpicking, but this method does not allow searching for a word within the text if that word is also a tag. Both types of search are necessary for different results.

Valid point, but is this a real problem or a hypothetical one? I ask because I haven't been struck by it, and I'm a heavy CN user.
For this case, you can always resort to entering tags first, pressing Enter, then entering the text query.

Great ! I tried it and it works.

Yes, it's a real problem. Suppose you tag web pages or documents according to country, but you make it a rule to only attach the Russia tag when Russia is a major theme of the document. Some day, you might be looking for a document where Russia was a major theme, but Belarus was mentioned only incidentally. You would then need to use Russia as a tag and Belarus as a word within the text.

Let me give you another, real-world example. You're tagging an international economic study by the World Bank on agricultural production. It might cover 50 countries. You're certainly not going to attach 50 country tags one after the other ! However, some day, you might be researching dairy production in Belarus. That day, you want to be able to look up Belarus in the text. If you can't, you'll only fetch some particular study only relating to Belarus, missing the wider World Bank survey.
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Re: [Search] Facilitate search by tags + other keywords

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:48 am

Thanks for the examples. Still I think they are rare enough so that the workaround that I described should be working ok for them.
On the plus side, we'd be keeping the UI simpler, which is a bonus for much more frequent use cases.
Still you can rest assured that adding a quick filter for tags will be on our todo list.
Alex

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