New in Devonthink. When I click "Search Inspector" in a Word-file it is greyed out and I am not able to search for anything within a document


I am new to Devonthink and I am reading the book “take control of Devonthink”. There it states that if you want to search within a document, you can click “search inspector” to search within a document. However, when I try this within a Word-document, it is always greyed out and I can’t search within the document.

However, if I do a general search within all databases on a keyword in a Word document, it does find that specific word and from there I do can search with “search inspector” by deleting the found word and replacing it with another word for example.

The key question is: how do I solve that I can search within a Word document with search inspector?

Thank you so much for helping!

Hi @Joris2112 and welcome :slight_smile:

I can confirm exactly that behaviour (in my test case: macOS 11.1, DT 3.6.1 Pro, indexed Word document). @BLUEFROG I have never noticed this before - is this a bug?

Thanks Blanc!

I’ve been exploring a bit more, and it seems that if I click on “Text alternative” the docx.-document becomes searchable within the document itself. However, I would like that it becomes searchable within “Best alternative” given that this keeps the original formatting of the .docx document.

To continue on the “Best alternative” vs “Text alternative” in combination with the search function, it seems that when I start a search in the general search function and it finds a match in a .docx-document, it previews this document in the “Text alternative” mode. From thereon, I want to click “Best alternative” (as explained, due to the fact that it has the original formatting), but this is not possible. The “Best alternative” does not respond.

It all seems really weird to me. Given that this is my first time using DevonThink, I don’t know if (i) I am doing something wrong, (ii) I want to use DevonThink in a way that is not possible, or (iii) it is a bug and that this problem hasn’t occurred in previous versions.

To summarize:

(i) search within a .docx is not possible when “Best alternative” text is selected; and
(ii) selecting “best alternative” is not possible when a document is selected as a result from a word search of the general search function

I really hope someone could help me with this, given that this is probably a function I would use a lot!

Welcome @Joris2112

This is not possible. You are looking at a QuickLook preview of the document in Best alternative. We can’t modify the behavior of that QuickLook view.

Text Alternative shows a view of the raw text of the file and is searchable.

Thanks Bluefrog for the quick reply!

Then the best option is probably to find the (exact) match within Devonthink, and then opening the document in Word to find the exact location within the right format.

You saved me a lot of time trying to figure this out!

You’re welcome.
You should still be able to see search hits in the Text Alternative view, e.g.,…

But yes, you could also open the document externally.