# [REQUEST] Toggle "Highlight search terms in the editor" via menu bar

edited July 2021

Move the Preference setting "Highlight search terms in the editor" to the menu bar. Like the Preference setting "Show image previews in editor." This will expose it to having a keyboard shortcut. This will make it quick to remove highlighting like this. In this example, I searched for I Need A Frogs Tongue (Don't ask.). This is probably a dramatic example, but I daily run into overzealous highlighting, or maybe I should say overzealous searching on my part.

I understand this is meant to be helpful, and sometimes it is. When it is, it is indispensable. When it's not, it is an eyesore making it hard to read the zettel.

Will the new MMD editor have this same behavior?

Post edited by ctietze on

Will Simpson
“Read Poetry, Listen to Good Music, and Get Exercise”
kestrelcreek.com

• My searches are not so elegant:-), but we must be tuned into the same channel. I sent Christian a note about this topic a couple of days ago. Highlighting can become bothersome. Having the ability to turn it off and on from a menu would be very useful.

• I always thought that this was a thing that you would either want in principle, or not. So this is interesting. I wonder when you want this turned on, and when off. -- Am asking because simple "please do X" requests can hide way more interesting workflow details that are talked less often about.

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

• @Will said:
This will make it quick to remove highlighting like this. In this example, I searched for I Need A Frogs Tongue (Don't ask.).

But to the point. I think the issue is searching "I"s and "a"s in that case.

I am a Zettler

• I agree with Will. I would find this very useful. After I have conducted a search it is useful to see where a word is located in the text (particularly if the note is longer than it probably ought to be, but I am sure we all have those), but after that, the highlighting is a distraction I could do without. I not infrequently go to preferences to turn it off, then turn it on again when I do a search (or more frequently after I have done a search, realised I need to turn it on, then do the search again!)

When you get to be old and stupid like me, you have to do things that thirty-somethings don't need to.

• @ctietze said:
I always thought that this was a thing that you would either want in principle or not. So this is interesting. I wonder when you want this turned on and when off. -- Am asking because simple "please do X" requests can hide way more interesting workflow details that are talked less often about.

This is a similar request to how the image preview setting is set up.
This would expose this feature to automation. Some of us are more into automating our workflow than others.

In further testing for reproducibility, I find that what I search for matters. When typing in the OMNI bar and searching with specific terms, the highlighting works great. This is when I want it on! Where the problem occurs is when I use copy/paste into the OMNI bar to search. It defeats the speed of copy/paste to remove all the "I"s and "a"s and other trivial terms.

I swipe text with my curser and paste it in the OMNI bar often for quick ad-hoc searches. Often the search terms I'm targeting are separated by these trivial troublesome terms.

This is especially problematic using Keyboard Maestro. Many macros cut/paste the title of the zettel or highlighted text for an action, then that fragment of text is in The Archive pasteboard, and all the terms are highlighted. Not using this type of automation might keep this problem hidden from view.

As my titling skills change, I find I'm getting more verbose, making the titles into succinct, grammatically complete fragments. This is how the sample above came about. I saw the title to this note referred to in a structure note, and rather than click on the link, I swiped the title text and copy/pasted it into the OMNI bar. This reproduced the artifact but granted in a contrived way. If I refactored a zettel and swiped some text to do a quick search, I'm not careful to exclude the trivial terms. The results would be problematic.

In another scenario where highlighting is problematic is when typing in the OMNI bar and not completing the text before the target shows in the note list and is selected. All the search results have the partial text highlighted, and this remains so until we move to a new search or a default view.

In this example, I typed "frog t" then saw my target and selected it. All the "t"s were highlighted. Not only for this zettel but all the zettel in the note list.

I hope I've explained the predicament clear enough?

@Sascha said:
But to the point. I think the issue is searching "I"s and "a"s in that case.

Will Simpson
“Read Poetry, Listen to Good Music, and Get Exercise”
kestrelcreek.com