Search a collection easily?

I have a couple of large (c 1000 pages) pdfs about the I Ching. What I’d like to be able to do is to have all the interpretations for each hexagram (there are 64) put together so i don’t have to switch from pdf to pdf and have to find and scroll as I do so. I’m guessing a smart rule? But searching for, say, hexagram 33 would throw up page numbers as well as instances where 33 is part of a larger number. Plus, it’s not just as simple as 33, because it can be called Gua 33 or just 33 or hexagram 33. Any insights, even if it points me in a direction I wasn’t aware of, would be most helpful

Put your search string in quotes, e.g., "hexagram 33". This will search for that exact phrase.

1 Like

A problem is that there is no internal consistency such that it is not always a reference to “hexagram 10” but could be written as “number 10” or “hexagram number 10”.

Plus, if I use search for the database, I can (eventually) find the place I’m interested in for one document, but then have to scroll and find thew right place in the next document. If I want to refer back or check something, I have to repeat the process which can be time-consuming as it loses the place I was last at.

What happens when you use that (above) as the search criteria? Do what yo want?

A problem is that there is no internal consistency such that it is not always a reference to “hexagram 10” but could be written as “number 10” or “hexagram number 10”.

That’s not a problem with the search engine; that’s an inherent condition of document content. This is no different than wanting to search for Robert, but sometimes it’s recorded as Bob and Bobby.

This is an absolutely possible search. It just requires search operators, in this case using an OR and a NEAR operator. You need to enable the Enable Operators & Wildcards option, logically.

And to further my example…

PS: You should read the Appendix > Search Operators section of the built-in Help and manual.

As ever, you are helpful, and I will give my attention to it. However, (and I realize this might be in the help and manual) I still have the issue of switching between the documents and repeating the long scroll to the previous place if want to refer back. How do i overcome this, if possible?

Is there a reason you wouldn’t leave the first document open in one window and the search open in a second window?

My basic problem, I know, is that I haven’t used devonthink in a long time and if i had simply taken the time to do some research I would have found the answers. So I apologize for wasting peoples’ time here and thank you for answering this idiot

In answer to MsLogica’s question: I could do that, or have both docs in separate windows.

Who knows what else I can accomplish by following instructions? (Plus, but you can’t see this, this keyboard is way too finicky and I keep hitting wrong keys and spending too much time going back and editing spelling mistakes. Hey ho! A little extra info at no charge!)

No worries and you’re definitely not an idiot :slight_smile:

Sometimes we see the forest; sometimes we see the trees :wink: