Make alias field searchable

Im afraid I continue to be dissapointed by the primative search facility on DT - it seems just about any other application these days is more sophisticated.

One problem thats driving me to distraction: I deal with lots of aliases, people with more than one name, so I enter the data into the alias field. Turns out this is useless because that field is ignored by search.

Could this be tweaked, along with the major upgrade to search that we are all waiting for? Thanks.

Wow – never noticed that.

Could you use the comments field as a temporary workaround? I agree that this is kind of shortsighted, although understandable at least to me since I see the alias field as a field for WikiLinks only.

There’s probably a very easy way to make a little applescript that’ll append all your aliases from each article to the comments of that file.

Sanadori, your problem is that the Alias field is intended to hold aliases for Wiki link terms, and is therefore - correctly - excluded from searches. The purpose and use of that field in the Info panel is covered in online Help.

Language can be a tricky thing! I can see a term and presuppose that I know what it means. The dictionary has several meanings for “alias”. That term as applied to use of an alternative name for a person is substantially different from the use of the term in OS X as a “pointer” to a file. If you were using Wiki links for your persons’ names, the Alias field would work properly to link to a file for each person, whether the link string was the actual name or an alias name. So perhaps you could use the Alias field in very powerful ways, but not in the way you first attempted.

The Info panel’s Comment field should be used for what you were attempting. Note that text in the Comment field can be included, excluded or made the only target for searches.

As kalisphoenix observed, if you are using DT Pro or DT Pro Office (but not DT Personal) there is an example script that will allow one to batch process addition of text to the Comment field of multiple documents.

Suppose you turn on automatic Wiki links. You create a document named for one of your persons, Harold Smith and type in information about the person. Suppose Harry Smith (oops – this is an alias – is a pro wrestler known professionally as The Kansas City Bruiser (another alias). If you’ve made Harold Smith the Wiki link to that document, you would add in that document’s Info panel Alias field two aliases: Harry Smith and The Kansas City Bruiser.

Now, whether you type “Harold Smith” or “Harry Smith” or “The Kansas City Bruiser” that string will be underlined, marking it as an active Wiki link to the document you created for Harold Smith.

Isn’t that neat?

You should also add the list of aliases into the Comment field of the document for Harold Smith, so that you can search for all or any of the aliases pertaining to him.

Thanks for both your replies. I should have said that, yes, I understand the point of wikilinks - thats mainly why I use the alias field. I just assumed that I wouldnt have to duplicate the alias data into another field for it to be picked up by search. Seems clunky. Obviously I am the only one here creepy enough to be keeping heaps of files on people to find this important :slight_smile: