Search and Filter Failure

Not including build details etc. here as this is more of a negative feature.

When you apply a filter, it only appears to return events or items in the timeline. However, there are any number of possible items, all of which could contain important information which are not on the timeline - characters, locations, arcs and so on. If you’re trying to find a piece of information in, say, a summary field in one of these items, a filter will not find it - even though the filter is applied to summary fields.

A search does find it, but it seems only if you input the exact phrase you’re looking for. There seems to be no option for searching for all search terms not as an exact phrase.

For instance, in the Murder on the Orient Express timeline, you’re looking for the name of Mr Ratchett or perhaps a lot of additional information you’ve added about him in the summary or another field. You know he kidnapped and murdered someone but you don’t know exactly how you phrased it in the summary. Filtering summaries containing both “murder” and “kidnap” won’t find him because he’s not a timeline event. Searching “kidnapped and murdered” will find him, but you can’t remember that exact phrase, and searching “kidnap murder” doesn’t return anything. I assumed the default search would return all items containing both of those terms.

Can anyone please provide an existing solution to this if there is one? Otherwise, it could become difficult to retrieve potentially enormous amounts of work.

You are correct that filters will sometimes not find things like characters, locations etc. The filters are designed to filter the information that is shown on a specific view. If you don’t have your characters etc. displayed on your timeline or in your spreadsheet, then you won’t be able to filter the view to have them displayed.
However you can find characters etc. using the search window. In regards to search terms, you can deselect the option “Enable whole word match only” which is the icon next to the search bar with an Ab with an open box. This will increase the options that return when searching. To take your example, searching for “kidnap” or “murder” would return a character that had “kidnapped and murdered” in its summary, although currently not if you search for both at once.
We can see how a more exhaustive search tool would be helpful though, so will add it as a feature request.

Thanks for that. I think maybe such a feature would be more than just helpful though. I think, for some, increasingly essential. What we currently have is a search tool roughly equivalent to a word processor, which is perfectly fine for many purposes, and it will depend on how people are using it. But I get the impression, reading some people on this forum, that I’m not alone in having extensive drafts and background notes all over the place. And I’ve got to say, for me the app is an absolutely wonderful way of building notes and drafts. But what this means is, for me at least, most items on the timeline and many items outside it contain a substantial amount of text. Essentially, a single document contains the equivalent of a great many text documents. For this, some search functions more associated with a search engine - exact phrase, maybe a couple of logical operators - would be more appropriate. I originally posted this thread because I spent three quarters of an hour searching for a specific note in an off-timeline item. I knew what I was looking for, but couldn’t remember the exact phrase or vocabulary combination I used. A stronger search tool would have found it in a minute.