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Search for EXACT word?

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ACFairbanks
 
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Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 9:44 am

Hello,

I use TB V52.9.1.

I am eager to learn if it is possible for me to search for a particular word in my collection of messages, but do it with precision.

Here's what I mean:

I just used the search field in the Upper Right of my screen, the CONTROL+K field. I searched for the word "informative" (without the quotes) and immediately saw a ton of messages that satisfied the search because they contained the word "information." (without the quotes).

Is there a way that I can find what I'm lookin' for in this sort of situation? And, if so, what's the secret?

Sincere thanks,

A.C.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 10:03 am

Control+K uses global search. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/global-search talks about using the wildcard character "*" at the end of your search item and that if you enclose multiple terms within quotation marks, Thunderbird will search for the words as a phrase. It doesn't mention the possibility of search results that have close but not exact matches for a word. I don't know if this is a bug or your search index is corrupted. The search index does sometimes get corrupted. Try exiting Thunderbird and deleting the global-messages-db.* files in your profile. It will rebuild the search index when it restarts. That might take a while if you don't have offline folders enabled (they are by default) for all of the IMAP folders.

Do you have the same problem if you use the quick filter bar (ctrl+shift+K)?

ACFairbanks
 
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Joined: April 23rd, 2011, 5:51 pm

Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 10:15 am

Hi again,

Thanks for your speedy response.

But, I am a bit confused.

When I did no search for the word informative it looked just as it does in this line, that it, it had no quotes around it, and there was no asterisk either.

I just tried the Quick Filter idea, and something happened that confuses me further. I entered the word informative in the Filter bar, and got no hits. But I was certain that the word informative was in the very first message on the screen, because, before, and after using the Filter bar, I could see it when I read the message.

I delete the global message db and get back to you.

All the best,

A.C.

ACFairbanks
 
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Joined: April 23rd, 2011, 5:51 pm

Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 10:22 am

Hi again,

I deleted the file as you suggested, and tried running a search as the file was being re-built.

Only a few messages were found, but in those, I saw the word "information" was highlighted, but, I was searching for "informative."

All the best,

A.C.

ACFairbanks
 
Posts: 252
Joined: April 23rd, 2011, 5:51 pm

Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 10:28 am

Hi again,

I just read the search article you suggested, but could find nothing in it relating to the specific issue I'm having.

I'll continue to look for the "Search Carefully" button that I apparently need.

All the best, and thanks again,

A.C.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 11:04 am

"I just tried the Quick Filter idea, and something happened that confuses me further. I entered the word informative in the Filter bar, and got no hits. But I was certain that the word informative was in the very first message on the screen, because, before, and after using the Filter bar, I could see it when I read the message."

After you type in the word to search for you have to click on the appropriate filter buttons underneath it. Body might not have been selected by default.

ACFairbanks
 
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Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 11:22 am

Hi,

I have no buttons beneath the Quick Filter Bar. It's just a white field, in an otherwise blank gray header band.

Might this be a version thing? I'm using TB V52.9.1.

Thanks again,

A.C.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 11:24 am

The buttons only appear after you type something into the search field.

ACFairbanks
 
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Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 11:46 am

Hi,

When I start to type in the field, a drop down appears with a few "possibilities" for my intended search. There are no buttons anywhere near the search field.

But, experimenting further, I discovered that I could see the buttons if I started my search with no messages listed on the screen.

Now this is going to get really interesting -

I clicked on my Inbox folder, selected BODY when the buttons appeared, and searched for the word informative, across all folders.

One message came up, rather than hundreds as happened when TB was also finding the word information. So, for a moment, I thought we had a success. It certainly appeared that TB was searching for the word informative, but not including other words, such as information, informatics, etc.

But I checked manually, and, in fact, I have at least two message that contain the word informative.

So, we seem to be making some progress, but there is still some weird stuff happening behind the scenes.

Sincere thanks, as before,

A.C.

ACFairbanks
 
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Joined: April 23rd, 2011, 5:51 pm

Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 11:53 am

And it just got weirder.

I searched, and it found one instance of the word informative living in my Inbox Folder. Then TB asked if I wanted to continue the search to include all folders, and I clicked to make that happen, but nothing was found.

I know, with certainty, that I have two messages that contain the word informative.

TB finds one such message when I search my Inbox, but finds no such messages at all when I then search All Folders...!

All the best,

A.C.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 11:56 am

Possibilities? That makes me wonder if you're using a different search mechanism. I know about global search, the quick filter bar, and classic search (edit -> find -> search messages) plus a few add-ons that enhance search. There is also open search, which searches the selected text in a message (it defaults to using Bing, and returns the search results in a browser tab).

"Then TB asked if I wanted to continue the search to include all folders, "
The quick filter bar doesn't know how to search child folders. Classic search lets you search child folders. Only global search can literally search ALL folders.

ACFairbanks
 
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Joined: April 23rd, 2011, 5:51 pm

Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 12:19 pm

Hi,

Well, I'll experiment further, and will let you know if I learn more,

A.C.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 12:32 pm

I found https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=752844 (have global search support exact matching (disabling stemming). ex: Searching for 'wedding' finds 'weds'). The SUMO KB article didn't mention that global search used stemming. Neither does http://write.flossmanuals.net/thunderbi ... -messages/ (old but semi-official documentation). Sigh. There is no solution yet.

One of the comments mentioned that the expression search/GmailUI add-on that enhances the quick filter bar seems to be better, but doesn't explicitly say whether it supports stemming or not. Classic search doesn't.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=544580 complains how the stemming in global search could do a better job when searching numbers.

http://www.ideaeng.com/stemming-lemmatization-0601 describes the differences between stemming and lemmatization . Both are ways of getting words to match each other even if they are not in the exact same form. You're trying to disable this fuzzy matching (not to be confused with support for wild cards or regular expressions).

I'll do some testing and than write a KB article (at MozillaZine, not SUMO) in a couple of days about the different ways to search in Thunderbird.

makaiguy

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Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 12:43 pm

Try via classic search that tanstaafl mentioned: Edit |Find | Search messages (or Ctrl+Shift+F)

It giveS you a more robust dialog for controlling your searches.
Doug Wilson, "The Makai Guy"
Win10 (64bit): FF 52.9.0 ESR (64bit), TB 60.3.0 (32-bit) ║ Android 8.0/7.1.1: FF 62.0.1 No TB for Android available, dammit!
What a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away - Doobie Brothers

ACFairbanks
 
Posts: 252
Joined: April 23rd, 2011, 5:51 pm

Post Posted October 8th, 2018, 1:43 pm

Hi Doug,

I experimented with that function, it seems to have the same problem as does the CNTL-K Search function.

Specifically, I am certain that I have at least two message that meet a particular search criterion. But, when I search using either technique, it finds only one of 'em.

Thanks,

A.C.

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