Limiting folders prior to search

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Limiting folders prior to search

Postby dougsilver » Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:37 am

I posted this in the General section but figured it should be in feature requirests.

I still have not figured an easy way to do what I want so I find myself frequently using Magellan in a Dos box rather than X1. Here is what I am trying to accomplish.

I have all my reports on a partition on the hard drive that is named e:. Within E: I have directories, named "concrete", "steel", "woodframe", etc. that represent reports for different construction types. Within each of those I may have subdirectories to further refine, so the path e:\steel\pre1976 would contain my reports having to do with pre-1976 constructed steel frame buildings. Magellan, like X1, indexes the entire E: drive. But Magellan lets you define explore paths so that instead of listing all files that might include words that I am interested in, I can limit the displayed files to those in a particular directory of subdirectory PRIOR TO THE ACTUAL SEARCH rather than needing to go through all sorts of files after the search.

I believe the same type of thing could be accomplished with X1 if there were a path box next to the search box that had a drop-down where you could pre-select the path to search (i.e., limit the search path to certain directories).

Was I clear enough about what I am trying to do?

Thanks,
Doug
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Postby Kenward » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:01 pm

I am probably misunderstanding what you want to do, because I already do something very similar to what I think you want to achieve.

If you know the folder you are looking for, "\pre1976", say, then just enter that into the "path" slot in X1. For frequent searches, save them, or a part that you can later refine.

I have an ever descending array of folders for PDF files from various journals. I can use any number of ways to restrict the search.

I agree that it would be nice if X1 handled paths more efficiently, but I can't see that you need to plough through lots of hits as you suggest.

Of course, it does help to tweak your folder structure to help X1, but I am happy enough to do that. After all, most of us end up with folder trees that just happened rather than were planned.
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Postby dougsilver » Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:59 pm

I guess I'll have to play around with X1 more. One of the nice features of Magellan (defunct Dos program) was the ability to name searches, where each search can include a variety of search paths (each separated by commas). There as also a shortcut way of including all subdirectories within a particular path.

Regarding X1, an elegant way that I would envision this working is to start with the path dropdown box and build a search by essentially pointing and clicking directories (folders) and then saving that search as some name. Instead of having to remember the names of the various directories, an Explorere-type tree can pop-up where you would do the pointing and clicking to build the search.

The way the program is set-up now is sort of reverse. You enter the text to search for first and then you can sort on directories after the search to screen out what you do not want.
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Postby BillChapman » Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:52 pm

No, Doug you can specify the path (or file name, type, combination thereof, etc.) first, save that as a named search, then open it whenever you want and type in the text to search for at that time.
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Postby dougsilver » Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:21 am

Do you do the specifying of the path in the search box or in the next series of boxes in the toolbar below the searchbox? What I am suggesting in terms of ease of use would be two adjacent search boxes--the first box would be to map out the path (or retrieve a saved path) and the second would be like the current search box (to find the content you are looking for within the search path that is chosen). This is also the approach that Magellan takes--there is a left side pane where search paths are listed (or you can even create a new search path on the fly by navigating a directory tree), and the right hand pane is where you enter the search terms.
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Postby BillChapman » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:19 pm

The limiting factors (path, file type, file name, etc.) are in the row beneath the text search box. Specify the limits you want on the search in the boxes on that row, save them as a named search that is meaningful to you, then call them back whenever you want to do a search limited in the same way. Once the limits are there (either by calling up a saved search, or entering new limits) you can enter text to be searched for in the search box, and X1 will search for your text using the limited specs you've made.
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Postby dougsilver » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:24 pm

Does the path box allow you to put in multiple paths (separated by commas) or are you limited to entering a single path?
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Postby BillChapman » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:36 pm

I don't believe so. At least I've never done so and wouldn't know how to do so.
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Postby WaltJo » Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:59 pm

You can "or" two paths by using the expression "n:|c:" in the path column. This example will limit the search to drive n:\ and c:\, you can use more complex path name is the same way.
I am pretty sure this has always worked and I just tested it in Version 5.5.1. Worked fine. Omit the " marks!
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Postby WaltJo » Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:21 pm

In my post the forum software put a smile face where I typed the "vertical bar" aka "or operator" aka "shift \". For some reason the word "or" doesn't seem to work?

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Postby Kenward » Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:22 am

One of the strong points of X1, and one that can be a weak point because it is hard to grasp, is that you can refine a search in countless ways.

Putting various buts in the multitude of "Refine Search" slots can include and exclude all manner of things.

I have found that it helps to devise a folder structure that assists you in creating those searches. There are lots of ways to organise your files. It often comes down to taste. Thinks about how you want to find things, file them accordingly, and X1 works more easily.

And do save any searches that you might want to reuse. Create a "tree" of searches and you can make life a lot easier.

For what it is worth, I have many thousands of PDF files that I save and search, anything from press releases to complex scientific papers. X1 handles them all pretty well. Then again, I have had my problems with the sluggish behaviour introduced by 5.5.
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Postby WaltJo » Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:27 am

[quote="Kenward"]One of the strong points of X1, and one that can be a weak point because it is hard to grasp, is that you can refine a search in countless ways.

Putting various buts in the multitude of "Refine Search" slots can include and exclude all manner of things.

I have found that it helps to devise a folder structure that assists you in creating those searches. There are lots of ways to organise your files. It often comes down to taste. Thinks about how you want to find things, file them accordingly, and X1 works more easily.


-I find that the flexibility of constructing searches in x1 is very important. And (for me) it reduces the need for carefully creating and using directory trees. I use directories with broad meanings and let x1 find the file I need.

The "Advanced Search Tips & Tricks" section in HELP is easy to follow and can be used to quickly construct a search that will target only those files that are relevant.
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Postby dougsilver » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:34 am

After my last post I tried playing around with the path entry box and also discovered (as posted by WaltJo) that I can build search paths using the OR operator. This gets me pretty close to what I have done in Magellan.

I still recommend to the X1 developers that being able to build paths by pointing and clicking (rather than typing in the path names) would be slick
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