Not seeing search options

so just went through the Academy’s tutorial on searching and I’m not seeing the same window they show. I don’t see where to select options by operator or comparison. If I bring up the search window, it goes from the “Search For” radio buttons directly into the drop downs starting with “State”. Operator and Comparison are not on the window.

What am I doing wrong?

I’m using DTPO 2.x.

Those probably aren’t updated yet. Check out the Appendix in the application’s Help… the syntax is actually rather simple.

Start with the full Search window (Tools > Search), as one can see all of the options in that view.

The search operators are now those of DEVONagent. The ones you will probably use most frequently include:

AND, OR, NOT, BEFORE/n (default if not specified is n = 10; same for the other proximity operators), AFTER/n, NEAR/n and Wildcards ("?" to represent a single character, “*” to represent multiple characters). To designate an exact string, enclose it within quotation marks.

Parentheses can be used to tell the search how to parse terms and operators.


(Jones NEAR/3 (Carol or John)) AND (“new house”)

would result in a list of documents that refer to John Jones’ or Carol Jones’ new house. The proximity operator specifies that either “Carol” or “John” will appear within 3 words of “Jones”.

So that proximity operator would be true for the occurrence of strings such as:

John and Carol Jones
John Jones
Carol Jones
Jones, Carol
Jones, John

and so on. In documents that contain those strings, the first part of the query, “(Jones NEAR/3 (Carol or John))” has been satisfied. But for the entire query to be satisfied, the string “new house” must also occur in order for a document to be to be listed in the search results.

Note that searches are now case-independent. Capitalization doesn’t matter.

See how much more powerful searching has become in DEVONthink 2? Such a query could not have been directly written in DEVONthink 1.

DEVONthink 2 searches are fast. With multiple databases open, one can choose to search within a single database, or any one of its groups, or across all open databases.

Often, a very simple search for a single word or phrase is all that’s necessary. But now one can write a query that filters down exactly to the documents that are needed.

Don’t be put off by apparent complexity. It’s really a very simple set of operators and syntax rules that can be put together with your search terms – a step towards natural language questioning of your database.

Bill, this is the problem I am asking about. In the full search window I am NOT seeing “all of the options”. As I stated above, I do not see the ability to select operators or comparison selections.

And yes, I am in the full search window.

I’ve attached a screenshot of what I’m seeing, we’ll see if it uploads.

That’s the way it should look in DEVONthink 2. Here’s why:

In DT 1, you could only use one operator in a query. So buttons for the choice between AND, OR, PHRASE, WILDCARDS made sense.

But in DT 2, you can use all those operators in the same query, plus others. In fact, a query could be written to use any one or all of them multiple times. So a simple toggle button choice of operators doesn’t work in DT 2.

In DT 1, you simply entered the word or words to be used in the query in the search field, and clicked on one of the comparison buttons.

In DT 2, you write out the query including the word(s) to be searched AND the operators. Those proximity operators, for example, may require definition. So the query “John NEAR Carol” means that the query will examine documents that not only contain the search words, but filters further to those that contain them within a “space” of 10 words maximum in separation. But you could redefine the proximity, as with NEAR/3, or NEAR/78. There are no comparison buttons (although there are still some buttons to click, of course).

And you also need to tell the query how to handle a string of multiple search words and operators.

“John NEAR Carol OR Tom” is ambiguous. It could mean either

  1. find documents that contain either “Carol” or “Tom” within 10 words of John, or 2) find documents that contain either “Carol” within 10 words of “John” or documents that contain “Tom”.

To clear up that ambiguity, we can use parentheses to clarify what was meant:

  1. John NEAR (Carol OR Tom)

  2. (John NEAR Carol) OR Tom

See how different those two expression are? The word “John” would have to appear in all the search results for expression 1). But “John” may or may not appear in the second search results.

So in DT 2, unless you are entering a single-word, or a multiple-word query without entering any operator terms (AND is implied in such a case), you need to spell out what you mean.

That’s enormously more powerful, though. You are used to expressing yourself in language, and would be hindered if you were limited to only, say, two verbs and four adjectives in your entire vocabulary. You are also used to syntax, rules that give structure and meaning to a sequence of words. DT 2 give you more ability to define what you want to accomplish when you do a search.

Yet it’s still a simple set of operators and rules, a small “pigeon-language” that can do useful things.

Bill, OK, got it. So to summarize what I hear you telling me, DTP2 eliminated those radio buttons because I can now embed their functionality directly into the query itself, and more. Makes sense.

What about the ‘comparison’ part where I can select exact or fuzzy matching?

Also, may want to make note in Devon Academy where there are distinctions between versions 1 and 2 to avoid this kind of confusion. But I understand, app first, documentation second.