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Author Topic: How do I improve the search function in my own documents?  (Read 2634 times)

Offline cheryl j

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I'm bad at titling things, or end with too many similar titles, and often can't find something I've written, or have kept or excerpted from the internet. Searches for a particular odd word or phrase that I definitely know is in an article occasionally, but not do not always, bring up the document, and I waste a lot of time opening and closing them, looking for things.

I have windows 7, and word 2007 if that makes any difference.


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How do I improve the search function in my own documents?
« Reply #1 on: 02/01/2015 21:15:22 »
Do you use sub-directories and folders?  They can help with sorting some items, although one ends up with problems if there is too much redundancy in your directory tree, or if branches defy logic.

I wonder how effective the MSFT search functions are with text that includes format code?

You can filter your searches with file size and date ranges if appropriate.

Oh, on occasion I've dumped the entire directory tree to a file for reference.  It is a pretty simple DOS command using "DIR" and the file redirect ">".  I'd have to boot up Windows to figure out the exact command though.

« Last Edit: 02/01/2015 21:25:53 by CliffordK »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: How do I improve the search function in my own documents?
« Reply #2 on: 02/01/2015 21:59:04 »
Windows 7 has a pretty good file indexing system "built in". It looks inside common file types, and can quickly bring up a list of candidate matches:
  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Click on the part of the directory tree that you think may contain the file of interest (having directories structured into topics certainly helps here!)
  • Click in the "Search Libraries" box at upper right
  • Type in the keywords you want to find
  • Click on the magnifying glass to start the search
  • A list of files appears; you can sort them by name, date, etc, or click on them to view the contents.

When I was using Windows XP (I stopped less than a year ago), I found the Microsoft search function painfully slow, because it only looked into the files at the time of the search - plus, it didn't search inside PDFs.

I used a downloadable Google Search function, that indexes files in the background when you create the file (like Google does on the internet), so searches were incredibly quick.
Google has now discontinued support (possibly because a similar function now exists within Windows 7), but last time I checked, you could still download it for Windows XP.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: How do I improve the search function in my own documents?
« Reply #3 on: 03/01/2015 15:13:53 »
Windows 7 has a pretty good file indexing system "built in". It looks inside common file types, and can quickly bring up a list of candidate matches:
  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Click on the part of the directory tree that you think may contain the file of interest (having directories structured into topics certainly helps here!)
  • Click in the "Search Libraries" box at upper right
  • Type in the keywords you want to find
  • Click on the magnifying glass to start the search
  • A list of files appears; you can sort them by name, date, etc, or click on them to view the contents.

When I was using Windows XP (I stopped less than a year ago), I found the Microsoft search function painfully slow, because it only looked into the files at the time of the search - plus, it didn't search inside PDFs.



That is generally what I do. Although I didn't notice it wasn't looking inside pdfs, since it would bring it up if the word was also in the title.

What I can't figure out is why it will ignore a perfect match in one document that I eventually find, but bring up other documents with half-ass matches that contain only part of the phrase , or the word with a different prefix or suffix. Know what I mean?
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: How do I improve the search function in my own documents?
« Reply #4 on: 03/01/2015 15:24:05 »
Do you use sub-directories and folders?  They can help with sorting some items, although one ends up with problems if there is too much redundancy in your directory tree, or if branches defy logic.
No not really, not really, but it's probably just as well, because they would have those problems, I'm sure. I think what I need to really do is just sit down one day and start deleting stuff. I've saved a lot of things thinking I'd need it or go back to it, or temporarily just for editing, and then never deleted it, so a lot of weird stuff has the title of the first sentence.
Quote
I wonder how effective the MSFT search functions are with text that includes format code?

I wondered that too.
 

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Re: How do I improve the search function in my own documents?
« Reply #4 on: 03/01/2015 15:24:05 »

 

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