How to limit a search to parent group but NOT child group?

Hi All,

Is there a way to limit a search to a parent group, but not include any documents in child groups?

To explain what I want: I like to dump documents into a “parent” group with the broadest category, say “Agriculture”. Then, I create child groups within that group, say “Beef”, “Bananas”, “Sugar”. I then move any documents in the Agriculture group that discuss bananas into the Bananas group.

The problem arises when I want to run a search for the word “banana” in the parent “Agriculture” folder. It shows me all files with the word banana that are in the parent folder, but ALSO in the child “Bananas” group. This is annoying when I’m using search to help me sort files.

What I want is a way to search in the “Agriculture” group, but NOT in its child groups.

The solution for me is NOT simply to keep these folders as separate parent folders (unless that is the only clunky work-around), because this also happens to me when I am sorting in the global inbox: if I create groups in the global inbox to pre-sort (before moving files into the right database), I can’t search JUST the inbox without searching all of the groups within the inbox too.

For anyone who uses Leap or Yep, I’m looking for the distinction between a “Go Deep” search and a “Browse” search.

There must be SOME way to do what I want, but I can’t quite figure it out. (The “in selection” option gives both parent and child results).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Yes, a search on a selected group will also include all subgroups. That’s the normal and expected behavior.

For optimum performance of Classify and See Also, we recommend that a group that contains subgroups should NOT contain documents. True, I often get sloppy and break the rule, intending to come back and properly file everything “one of these days”.

Here’s a kludge to help you file those documents from the top level of a group.

  1. Create a new group that will temporarily hold the documents from that top-level group. Move the documents into the new group.

  2. Exclude the new group from classification, so that it will not be recommended by Classify.(See it’s Info panel.)

  3. Select the new group as the target for queries and file the search results. Or select a document and invoke the Classify assistant.

I can see that. However, if a group is selected an “Exclude from Search” is checked for that group in the Info panel for that group, then it should be excluded. However, “Exclude from Search” does not seem to apply to groups, only records. “Exclude from Search” should either work for groups, or not be selectable for groups. If the setting worked for groups, then @emmmmma would have a simple solution: make all of the subgroups of the target group excluded from searching.

In the Info panel one can exclude a group from search, classification, See Also or tagging.

I suggested excluding the temporary group from classification, so that the option of using the Classify assistant instead of filing based on search results would be more meaningful. We wouldn’t want Classify to suggest the temporary group location.

For example, if a document is about both bananas and kumquats, a search based on the query for bananas would miss the potential filing into the kumquats group, while Classify might well suggest filing it into both groups.

Aside: Those exclusion options can come in handy. For example, I had a database into which I had imported the owner’s manual for my car. That document was big, and covered such a range of subjects from weather, to pollution, to tires and so on that it became a ‘magnet’ for See Also and the group in which it was located became a ‘magnet’ for Classify suggestions.

I put the owner’s manual into a group that was excluded from classification, and excluded the document itself from See Also. Problem solved.

Thanks! That gives me a bit of insight into how DT is using its software-brain, too. It sounds like I should be creating a “to file” groups rather than dumping files into “named” groups. It’s also helpful to know about the exclude function. I’ll definitely play around with that! I appreciate the help!