Bug: Search does not search in all fields

I have a directory indexed. one of the files is named “Tokenizer.md”

==== begin content ===
This is a bug test


why not?
==== end content ===

=== begin name ===
=== end name ===

now when i search for this:
“tokenizer.txt plusplus

the screenshot happens.

hi korm,

“why not” is the content of the file.

add “why” to your search string and all of a sudden you find nothing. right? at least that is what happens here.

why is that? i explicitely say to search for all.

shouldn’t this work too

"why not" AND "tokenizer.txt"

or in other words: are you saying that it has to find all the keywords in a single field? and if so, why?

edit: as to my last line, i was looking it up in the manual now but cannot find it.

It’s not a bug. As korm noted, a Boolean search involves a conjunction or disjunction of query terms.

DEVONthink searches several “fields” of possible text content: Content, Name, URL, Comment, Metadata.

Scenario: An All query such as black AND white will return a result if BOTH terms exist in any one of the above “fields”. It will return a null if that isn’t the case but, for example, if “black” exists in a document’s Name and “white” exists in the document’s Content.

hm, where in the specs does it mention this behavior? because if it doesn’t I still vote for this being a bug :wink:

that aside, does that mean i have to manually type this into a search query if i want a multi-field search:

Please tell me i am wrong or searching for all fields just became useless for me. nobody is wasting his time doing that, hence all you will ever search for is content…

Korm, you sure? Considering that I get a different result.
With my Screenshot I actually find the file, since I can have a combination of various fields.
With your Screenshot I have to find black and white in the same field.

No disrespect but after your last reply UT seems you agree with me… Dt did not think hard about this search feature and does not deliver what is needed.

Maybe I am thick today but could someone please tell me how I can search for 3 words and they can occur in any field. Each word can theoretically occur in a different field.

I thought this is the feature “all” but it doesn’t work, as showcased above. I don’t see how the specification disagrees with me, hence I called it a bug.

Thanks in advance for the solution.

An OR search using All will list all items that contain one or more of your three terms in one of more of the “fields” of the item:

term1 OR term2 OR term3

DEVONthink search syntax and operators differ from those of Spotlight in several respects, especially in the full Search window, which allows not only use of the Advanced button but other criteria or variations including fuzzy searches and ‘similar words’ results.

If the option to provide indexing to Spotlight is checked in DEVONthink’s Database Properties, items in the database can also be searched in Spotlight.

OK. I have re-"read your replies and korm’s replies.
I am still not sure if I have a bug or not.

Can I search for “black white” and option “all” and find a file with title black and content white?
If not, how do I search for said file if I don’t know in which field the content is but it might be spread over multiple fields?


You might first try an All search for black AND white. If no results, try a search for black OR white.

Suppose I want to find the documents that contain black in one “field” and white in a different one. I could do an All search for black, replicate the results to a new group, then an All search of that group for white. (An approach that’s illustrative of the search logic.)

It’s not a bug. It’s search logic. The All search simply searches each of the “fields” for the criteria. If the criteria are black AND white, each “field” is searched for the criteria and results will be null if no “field” contains both terms.

Some of the operators available for searches wouldn’t make sense if they involved terms that could be distributed across multiple “fields” by the All setting, such as NEAR, BEFORE and AFTER.

You need to use the Advanced Search features to accomplish what you’re trying to do.

That is unfortunate but thanks for clearing it up. thank you.

I truly think it’s intended behavior, but what I believe happens with the searchField is (even in the Full Search dialog)… once a hit is made with one field, it is considered a hit a no subsequent searching on other fields is made (though Criss would have to confirm or deny this).

Also, don’t forget there’s an implict AND if no boolean is specified.

fair enough. i read the manual on page 72-75 and to me it didn’t imply this behavior. it just seems odd to ipmlmeent it like that because the user solution requires about N*5+2 clicks in the advaned search panel (N being the number of phrases to look for), which makes it impracttical for every day use :confused:

sure, though that doesn’t mean (logically speaking) it must be limited to the same field. that is just how DTPO implements it. it could easily be implemented differently.

Actually, I think it’s far more logical in its current state.

If you specify “ALL” because you don’t know what field might contain a hit, ANY hit in ANY field would logically disregard subsequent queries on the same hit since it’s already registered as a positive. This is not only pretty logical but also provides faster results than if every hit was checked for every field on a search… and again, that’s what the Advanced Full Search function provides.