Zettelkasten Forum


[REQUEST] Search for file name only & regex

This discussion was created from comments split from: Does the UID need to be in the body of the note?.

Comments

  • @ctietze said:
    Most apps do full-text search in both file name and file contents.

    This brings up a feature request. If you follow the redundancy guidelines and include the title and UID in the file contents, it seems redundant to search both file names and file contents in the Omni Bar (full-text search). What I am looking for is a way to do a search for filenames only. Maybe a custom Boolean operand that limited searches to titles (file names). As my zettelkasten gets larger and larger I'm looking for ways to refine my search capabilities. @ctietze, I don't know how hard it would be, but have you considered adding regex capabilities to the Omni Bar?

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • Hmm maybe the need to refine search is itself a sign that you could make use of more meta-notes about your existing notes, like structure Zettel, overviews, etc?


    File name search is on my list; regex is a tricky topic. It's super easy to get wrong, and it's painfully slow to execute on a huge note archive. We'll revisit that later in development.

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • I would also find the option to search titles only very helpful – that is (and would be) my default search mode. It happens quite rarely in comparison that I want to look at all the notes that have a certain term in their content.

    I'm currently using a KM macro to search zettel titles, but this has the limitation that the results are not displayed in the note list – I have to pick one of the results and the others are gone again.

  • Here are some other search operations that would be helpful.
    1. A way to get a specific note and its child notes populated in the note list
    2. * as a wildcard in a search for a word or letter
    3. Be able to gradually add search terms, testing the results until a hit
    4. Date range search
    5. Revisit search history

    As my archive grows, I find searching being the only way I can confidently navigate.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • One of my favourite tools for finding things is HoudahSpot. It is very easy to set up templates and smart searches. If you want to search for name only, it would be a good temporary solution until The Archive can do it.

  • Like @Vinho, I await the morning I'll wake up to Christmas in May and discover The Archive's note list populated with the results from an "intitle:" search. Keyboard Maestro works for in title searches. The biggest drawback is that the search results aren't persistent "pick one of the results, and the others are gone again." You have to search again to get the list back, which is a pain if you want to check several notes.

    @MartinBB, is HoudahSpot different?

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • @Will said:
    @MartinBB, is HoudahSpot different?

    I suggest you give it a trial -- https://houdah.com/houdahSpot/

    It has been called Spotlight on steroids, and it would take a long post to describe what it will do. But in short, if I know something is on my hard drive somewhere, often the first thing I will do is conduct a HoudahSpot search (often by invoking it with Alfred -- there is a workflow for it). It comes recommended by Brett Terpstra, who knows his stuff. I wouldn't be without it. It is my main tool for finding anything in the file system. And it is so fast it will often find things before I have finished typing the search terms (if I use it to search on the fly). Smart searches and templates make it even easier and quicker. I have a template that searches only in my Zettelkasten folder on Dropbox. You can see a sample search in the screenshot. Note the handy QuickLook preview on the right. And right clicking on any item brings up the usual contextual menu, with reveal in Finder, open with, etc. A very handy adjunct to The Archive.

  • I would very much like to see this functionality.

    This script that @ctietze put together depends on a specific way of structuring your note’s content - which I believe is antithetical to the identity property of zettelkasten. If The Archive supports file name-only search, you can simply OR the IDs together, and not have to search for “# ID” (which you will not find in my notes).

  • I'd like to see something as simple as

    Boolean Searching is a start but doesn't fit all situations.
    Can this be made to work? Is this the kind of thing that can be created in the "User Space" when The Archive implements scriptability?

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

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