Partial Word Issues

There are two very frustrating issues with partial words:

  1. If I know that many of my records (RTF) have something like the following in them:
    Problem 63.2
    Problem 63.3
    and so on, and I search for: Problem 63
    with ANY of the following options selected:
    “All Words” - “Exact”
    “All Words” - “Ignore Case”
    or EVEN “All Words” - “Fuzzy”
    the records I am looking for are not found!
    In fact, even using “Wildcards” and either “Exact” or “Ignore case” while searching for Problem 63* finds NOTHING.
    And yes, I have search for: ALL selected.
    So, it seems that something is seriously wrong with searching on partial words, which is very frustrating.

  2. I’ve reported (and received word it was being worked on) that there are some serious problems with Wikilinks where punctuation is around the text that should be a link. For example, if I have a record whose Name (or Alias, or both!) is Problem99, and I have an RTF record where I’ve typed: (Problem 99), the parentheses around the link prevent it from becoming a link. That is a big problem for me, and seriously breaks wikilinks. In fact, even a period breaks the link, so ending a sentence with a term or phrase that should become a link causes a failure. I have come to depend on wikilinks, and this bug makes them very untrustworthy.

I’m confused by how these bugs could have been missed in beta-testing, and I hope they will be fixed. When I search for something, I expect any occurrence to be found. Right now, DT is incorrectly telling me that nothing exists. That could cause me to make mistakes based on wrong information.

I hope both of these bugs will be addressed in the next update. Or, if I misunderstand something about #1, I’d be happy to know what I’m doing wrong.

Actually, those are not bugs. The behavior results, in some of those cases, from the default setting of the Concordance, which doesn’t track “words” of less than three characters in length. Also note that the Concordance uses many alphanumeric characters, but not all. Because the Concordance is “aware” of all the “words” in all of the documents in the database, and the AI features analyze the contextual relationships of word usage in any given document and compares those patterns to the patterns of all other documents (See Also), or to the patterns of the documents within groups (Classify), the default “word” length of 3 characters saves memory. But this is user-adjustable.

You might try a Wildcards search for “63” using this query string: “63” (without quotes).

DEVONthink 2 introduces faster and more powerful search operators and query syntax. The early beta of DTPO2 had some limitations in the case of a wildcard search where the explicit string was less than three characters. That limitation has been removed in the current beta. You will be able to play with DEVONthink 2 quite soon.