How to search for the tag "fiction" without listing "non-fiction" tagged items?

I have the tags “fiction” and “non-fiction”. I can easily find all non-fiction books via the search




lists in DTTG both fiction and non-fiction books.

How can I search just for the fiction books?

Did you try quoting it?

Yes, I did:


returns items with non-fiction (and without fiction).

In the full-text index, hyphenated words are treated like two words. Have you tried to search for tags:fiction NOT tags:"non-fiction"?

If I understand you correctly, you try to partition your data by using two tags describing opposite properties. In my mind, one of those tags would be sufficient for this partition: Something that does not have the tag “fiction” is implicitly “non-fiction”.

Or, putting it differently: Instead of using negative tags like “no invoice”, “no tax declaration”, “no abstract painting”, I’d only use positive properties like “invoice”, “tax declaration”, “abstract painting”. Most things have only a few properties. Listing every property they do not nave would lead to very long lists.

No, we are using the full-text index also for tags which gives full power over searching the tags string but also comes with drawbacks. We are currently redesigning parts of our search so we might also change how tags searches work.

This works. Thanks.

I was just hoping there is an easier, direct way to say “this tag is exactly” or “this tag starts with”…

From a logical standpoint you are correct.

But in practice I like labeling both: Maybe my tag names are not the best, but I don’t know a better English word for" books about topics in the real world" (in German I would use “Sachbuch” instead of “non-fiction”.)

Bottom line is: There are books, which I’d label neither fiction nor non-fiction, so both labels make sense for me.

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@eboehnisch, actually this could be a good thing for document names as well: Something like "This name is exactly ‘xxx’.

But I understand, this would add UX/Syntax complexity which might not be worth it in general…

Actually, searching for "non-fiction" should do exactly this while "fiction" might include “non-fiction” too because the item’s tag string includes both words.

Indeed, finding the “non-fiction” documents is easy, so it would be nice if finding the “fiction” documents were easy too.

Agreed. As said, we are just working on search so I’ve taken a note of this thread.

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my two cents, the proposed solution of having a token for exact match is a great idea.

The next release of DEVONthink To Go supports enclosing tags in the search field in double quotes to find exact (case-independent) matches.

How cool is that. DEVONtechnologies is always listing!