Weird question: excluded documents

Is there a way to search for files you’ve excluded from search? I know that’s a silly question, but it would be cool if I could do an advanced search or something and locate documents even if I’ve excluded them from search. :confused:

Finding something you have not searched for? Err…? You have lost me!

As it turns out, in some cases you can indirectly find excluded items. For example, if they have tags, then searching for one or more of their tags will result in the excluded item appearing in the Search dialog.

IMO, this is a defect not a feature and defeats the purpose of exclusion.

Doesn’t answer the OP’s question head on – the answer to that is “No”.

Thanks for the replies.

The finding by tag thing is helpful.

To clarify, a usage scenario would be this:
Lets say I want to exclude all my .pages documents from search. The pages documents are in hundreds of different groups. No problem, I can do a search for them, select the documents and ‘exclude from search’ in one foul swoop.

BUT let’s say I want to undo this and re-include all these pages documents in search, I would have to go into each of the hundreds of group and uncheck ‘exclude from search’ on the documents manually.

Easy to exclude, no so easy to undo the exclusion.

Am I still missing something, but why not just do the original search again without any exclusions?

@Allsop - the OP is describing a situation where certain documents have the “Exclude from search” property set in Get Info. The OP is not describing a search predicate.

@eiff I can think of several workarounds. First, open the Search panel do a search (use Advanced settings) for, say, a “Filename is .pages” predicate. Select all of those, and add a tag to them all – say “findme”. Then do a new search and include in your Advanced settings a predicate “tag is not findme”. When you’re tired of this, then just repeat the first search and remove the “findme” tag from all of those documents. I think this approach or one of the numerous variations on it might be more flexible than using setting the “Exclude from search” property, which is, as you’ve discovered, a bit difficult to undo on a wholesale basis.

Difficult, but not impossible. The “exclude from search” property is accessible in DEVONthink’s scripting definition and a clever AppleScript might be written to set/unset it for a category of documents.

BTW, I suspect that “exclude from search” is probably more useful in cases where one has no need to ever see particular files – like in the case where a website was imported and you don’t want to bother with certain bits and pieces of the site’s component documents.

Ahh now I see what you mean. I wasn’t being clear. :slight_smile:

Love the idea of adding a tag instead of ‘excluding from search’. Might be cumbersome to include the search predicate in all standard searches, but this gives me some good options to play around with.

I could also exploit the defect you were talking about before where I could tag the files prior to ‘excluding from search’ and then accessing them all through that tag. I could even make a tiny script to do this.

Anyway, thanks so much for your help as always! You’re one of my internet heros!

You inspired me to look for a way to list which documents/groups are excluded from Classification, Searching, See Also, and Tagging. Couldn’t find one.

RFE: Make that Dt-specific metadata available at least for Smart Group usage, similarly to Tag, Flag, Unread, Locking, and Label.

OT: Any idea why some identical apps (with same Version and Path) are displayed multiple times in AppleScript Editor’s Open Dictionary window? Seems limited to those installed/updated with App Store, with Spotify being the lone exception here. Maybe resetting the Launch Services db will clear the dups.

@sjk I think that’s an excellent feature request – seems like an obvious gap

I usually use ScriptDebugger and don’t see the duplicated apps problem there – even when Launch Services database errors produce duplicates in Open With… dialogs, etc. (which happens with some frequency on 10.8.x).

Thanks, korm. Seems it would be useful for eiff’s issue, i.e. making it easier to locate and toggle search exclusions.

You’re savvy enough with AppleScript to deserve ScriptDebugger, which probably helps increase your savviness with it. :slight_smile: