Quick format bar returns irrelevant items

Apology if I'm posting this in the wrong place. Could not find a relevant thread.

Since I upgraded to Zotero version 5.0 (I'm now on 5.0.33), I'm quite often getting irrelevant results from searches while working in MS Word and using the red-framed Quick Format bar. (Apologies too, if I'm not using the correct technical terminology.) Often when I type in an author's name, Zotero offers me references by a whole lot of authors with different names. For example, I wanted to cite a work by Bennett. When I entered that name in the Quick Format bar, Zotero responded by offering me a slew of 35 references by authors whose names start with B, beginning at Bea, so I had to scroll down until Bennett appeared.

Trouble is, when I tried to replicate this so as to log the error, Bennett popped up immediately. However, here are two examples; the first a search for Kotei, and the second, two searches for Amartya Sen (ignore first attempt, which was not clever, and unsatisfactory result was to be expected). The Error ID is D420193375.

It is an intermittent fault, and does not always happen. On a few occasions, observing carefully what happens, I discovered that the reference I need sometimes does appear very quickly at the top of the list, but is then grayed out and disappears almost immediately (before I can grab it), to be replaced by the irrelevant items, so that I have to scroll down to find it. This wastes a lot of time. The search can be refined by adding the date of publication -- if I can remember it.

My Zotero database is approaching 7,000 items, and runs on a Windows 7 laptop.

Question: Is there some setting I should change?
  • edited January 2, 2018
    Any chance it's this problem?

    TL;DR: in recent versions of the citation bar, messy typing causes non-matches to show up because not the final string but intermediate partial strings are matched.
  • edited January 2, 2018
    Happy New Year to all of you!

    I do have the same problem as Peter. Searches just show wrong results from "cited" and the one I am looking for somewhere in between or even below the "cited" section if not yet cited in the paper...
    Writing and editing a paper has become really a pain at the moment, especially because the search in Word is also so slow and scrolling down makes all results disappear for around 20 or more seconds.

    I have all newest versions installed and use Win7/Word 2010.

    Thank you for your support.
    PS: Okay, I see that it doesn't seem to always bring up the wrong search results. Sometimes it seems that spelling the author with a first capital letter and adding a space at the end helps.
    PPS: Sometimes, if I delete the last couple of characters and add them again, the search results improve...
  • This does sound exactly like the problem in the thread I linked to above — basically, problems are due to messy typing, and this is a bug introduced in a recent version since none of us reported/experienced it before summer 2017.
  • Yes, potentially, Mark.
    Saw your link but wasn't entirely sure...
    Seems that the new update mentioned there is not out yet. Hope this also improves performance largely. Even though I very much like Zotero and the good work of the team, it really is more waiting than working at the moment...
  • This should be fixed in the latest 5.0 Beta, and the fix will be included in 5.0.34 within a few days.
  • Great, thank you Dan! Will this also bring performance improvements of the simple search in Word, besides postponing the citation updates to manual updating?

  • The change that Dan just posted only concerns the search results issues being discussed in this thread. The delayed citation updating feature (and the major update to the word processor functionality overall) hasn't been released yet.
  • If I'm understanding @dennisdd's question, there could be a minor performance improvement from this change, in that Zotero will no longer bother processing search results from searches that started due to previous keystrokes. But the actual search currently isn't cancelled, and that would be the biggest factor in performance (here and in the items list). We might be able to actually cancel searches that are started, but that will take more work.
  • A belated thank you for the vast improvement in the search function I now experience when using the citation bar. It makes a big difference and is much appreciated.
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