Where is the fuzzy search?

Has the fuzzy search been removed from DT2? I’m not seeing how to turn it on and I’m not getting fuzzy results when I search either (searching for mashroom doesn’t get me mushroom).

It`s not available right now but will be added to a future release again (either as an operator or as an option, not sure about this yet)

Fuzzy search isn’t currently implemented in DEVONthink 2, although there have been several requests for it and as Christian noted there will be some form of fuzzy search in a future release.

Note, however, that if you use the full Search window and search for “mushroom”, if there are documents in the database that contain “mashroom” you will find that word listed in the slide-out drawer if you click on the “Spelling” button. This is a good way to find word variants, including typos, so behaves a bit like fuzzy search. Click on a term in the slide-out and the Search results for that term are instantly available.

There’s also a “Context” button that will produce a list of other words that appear in documents about mushrooms.

Example: When I clicked on the Context button, the word AFLATOXIN appeared. Although in the related document aflatoxin was associated with peanut butter, there was interesting information about toxins in some mushrooms in a review of Bruce Ames’ research on naturally occurring toxins in foods.

Those features together with the fact that the query settings are all visible illustrate why I do all searches in the Search window, rather than in the search field in view and document windows.

Thanks Bill and Christian for the replies. I had spotted the Spelling and Context buttons and I agree, they provide some good fuzzy functionality. In fact, I wonder if Spelling bar is not potentially even more useful since you can see all the alternative spellings at a glance.

Still it would be nice to see the fuzzy search in a future version. I had been looking forward to using it in that humanities-scholar-searches-for-alternative-historical-spellings-of names scenario.

I wonder if it would be a good idea to add a note about this to the upgrade PDF.

May I just add a harumph, harumph to keeping fuzzy search capabilities in DT2. As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, as someone who works with late medieval and early modern documents-- before spelling conventions were set-- fuzzy search together with the AI are what make DT that extra powerful tool for me.

Keep up the good work guys.

I think it would be good in general to have a list of things in DTP that won’t be available in DTP2.

Add my vote for bringing back fuzzy search capability. Invaluable for the type of research I’m doing for next books.

I can think of a few things that were in DT Pro 1.x and not in DT Pro 2.0.

  1. Fuzzy search — but as noted, a form of this will reappear in the future.

  2. Groups in DT Pro 1.x retained (displayed in the Info panel) the Path to the external folder if they had been Import-captured from a Finder folder. That’s no longer the case in DT Pro 2.0. Therefore, in DT Pro 1.x the Synchronize command could be used to capture new content added to such a Finder folder, and the new content would be Imported into the group on which Synchronize was invoked.

I avoided that possibility like the plague, for several reasons. a) modification to any of the files within the linked external folder would not result in an update of the files in the database (unlike Synchronize on an Indexed folder). b) One has far more flexibility to move documents around in the organizational structure of an Import-captured database, than is the case for an Index-captured database. But invoking Synchronize on an Import-captured group results in two kinds of problems: duplicates are created for documents that had been moved out of the group; worse, this leads to the possibility of (unplanned) different versions of a document, especially if I had edited a document before or after moving it out of its original host group.

There are much better ways of updating a database with new content, than using Synchronize on an Import-captured group.

  1. There are some changes of scripts, Services, contextual menu options and keyboard shortcuts from DT Pro 1.x to DT Pro 2.0, although overall the working environment stays familiar.

  2. Individual Records are no longer available in Sheets. A number of users have asked for a return to Records, and this will be done in a future release.

Comment: If there’s some feature that has been dropped in the evolution of DT Pro to version 2.0 and it seems important, by all means ask for it.

On the other hand, there are many enhancements to DEVONthink in version 2.0. Reduced memory requirements for databases, multiple concurrently open databases, much faster and more powerful searches, major expansion of the universe of document types that can be searched and displayed within a database, tabbed browsing and tabbed views and documents, the Sorter’s ability to accept new content for a specified database or group, even if DT Pro isn’t running, etc.

Lack of fuzzy search is a deal breaker for me. I won’t be upgrading until it comes back.


I also rely on fuzzy search. Without it, DTPro’s “artificial intelligence” capabilities are meaningless to me.

For those to whom lack of fuzzy search is vital, can Devon give a rough estimate of when it is likely to reappear? I mean on the order of 3, 6, 9, 12, months? 2 years?

I also regard fuzzy search as a main feature in DTP(O): Even the best OCR is not perfect - since upgrading to DTPO, I have a hard time to find my documents!