How to Query terms such as "ABCD-EFGH"?

I’m new to DEVONAgentPro.
I’m trying to structure a “Deepest” internet search query for terms that contain dashes or hyphens, such as the term ABCD-EFGH.
I understand DEVONAgent ignores case.
But I can’t seem to get it right.
No matter how I structure the search, I continue to receive returns for sites that contain ABCD and EFGH that are NOT conjoined with the hyphen or dash.

What’s the trick?



Dashes are part of DEVONagent’s search syntax. Try "ABCD-EFGH", does this work?

No it doesn’t.

If I type “ABCD-EFG” (with the quotes) in the query bar, I get no hits from the search, even though a simple google search will give me four correct hits with the exact same search term and syntax.

I’ve also tried:

  • “ABCD-” NEAR/1 EFGH (returns pages with EFGH regardless of whether they have ABCD)

  • ABCD NEAR/1 “-EFGH” (returns same as above - pages with EFGH regardless of whether they have ABCD)

  • “ABCD”-“EFGH” (returns pages with disconnected ABCD and EFGH)

  • ABCD?EFGH (returns no hits at all - same as “ABCD-EFGH”)

It appears that, for all its power, DEVONAgentPro cannot search for terms that have embedded dashes or hyphens in them even though google can.

Say it isn’t so!?!

Actually the Google results seem to ignore this too (at least over here). DEVONagent intentionally just matches the words and ignores spaces or punctuation.

That’s odd. When I type the search term “ABCD-EFGH” (with the double quotes) into google, I get four correct hits on sites/pages that contain the hyphenated term I’m searching for. I haven’t yet found a way to query with DEVONagentPro that duplicates that response…

Now of course, ABCD-EFGH isn’t actually the term I’m search for, but it is the exact syntax of the term I’m searching for…


And probably many other results containing e.g. “ABCD EFGH” or “ABCD.EFGH” too? At least that’s what I’m seeing here.

OK… I don’t confess to understand why we are seeing different google results. I need to go back and look at mine again.

But nevertheless, the question remains, is it possible for DEVONthinkPro to correctly execute a search for a term (such as ABCD-EFGH) that contains an embedded hyphen or dash? (By “correct”, I mean a search that ONLY returns hits on pages containing the search term in its exact syntax with the embedded hyphen or dash.)

It’s not looking promising so far…

Thanks for engaging with me on this. We appear to be the only two folks interested in this issue… :>(

That’s not possible currently, we might add an option to perform exact string searches to a future release.

After testing Google searches, it too ignores the hyphen in searches…

OK… I went back and looked at my google search results again.

The top returns (speaking in terms of order of presentation) were “ABCD-EFGH” in the exact syntax I specified. Then, there following many many hits with the terms ABCD and EFGH separated (as you said).

So google is giving me what I’m looking for, but it is embedded in a long list of stuff I’m not looking for.

What I need is ONLY what I’m searching for … “ABCD-EFGH”.

I do hope this search capability can be provided in a future DAP update.

Seems like it could be done now by having the DAP desktop app filter out all the unwanted hits from the raw search engine results. Might even be a way now for the user to program that if the user was sufficiently skilled with DAP? (I’m definitely not).

I’m disappointed, but I’ve learned a lot from the exercise.

Thanks for your engagement and your help!