Can tag suggestions/prompts search whole field?

OK, I'm not technical so I'm not sure if I'm using the correct wording. Also, there could be a whole discussion about this, but I couldn't find it because I don't know the right terms to use for the search. So, please excuse me if this already exists as a discussion.

I love that I get a suggestion when I'm adding a tag so that I can use the same tag and not create one slightly different when I'm meaning to use the same one. What I don't understand is why the tag suggestions only search by the first word of the tag.

For example, say I'm adding the tag "Alfred B. Giles" in an article for the first time, and this tag already exists in my tag database from another article. In order for me to know the tag exists and use it, I have to start my tag with "Alfred". Why can't I type "Giles" and get suggestions for all of the tags that have "Giles" in them? This would make keeping the tag database clean and free of duplicates with slight variations much easier. Otherwise, I have to keep going to my tag database to see if I've entered that name before. It slows me down.

This does not seem to happen in the search function for overall tags in a document. If I type "Giles" there, it brings up all documents with the word "Giles", no matter what place it resides in the tag itself.

Am I missing a setting or something because I don't see why this wouldn't be an option?

  • This is done for performance reasons, but this is a fairly common request, and we can probably at least search individual words (if not the whole string). Issue created.
  • @dstillman, I see a ticket was created here with the comment that it will be limited to "individual words". I separate words in my tags with "." or "_" characters for various reasons. So if my tag is "Alfred.B.Giles_1963" will a search for "1963" find that tag or no? I have 100s of tags that would need to be changed so I am hoping it will.
  • No, this will likely be limited to individual words for performance reasons, which is pretty standard in searches.
  • I'd really like this as well, and fuzzy if at all possible, i.e. it would find our tag "Alfred.B.Giles_1963" if we started to type "1963", "63" or even "gyles" (heaven forbid). Tags are short strings, so even with hundreds of tags it's not a huge search space for fuzzy search, or? I know - demanding, but seeing as tags are a main way libraries are managed this would be very helpful. Also - and this is actually a bigger issue - could this search/auto-fill work when adding tags to items using the browser extension directly? At the moment we can add tags in the extension's 'pop-up' but it doesn't seem to search/auto-fill existing tags, and switching to Zotero to add tags adds significant friction to each item added to our library. Thanks!
  • Anyone else interested in this being developed? I'm wondering about setting up a bounty to have it developed.. any thoughts on how much time it would take, or how Zotero features/improvements like this are best funded?
  • I really like the notion of suggestion of tags that contain the string, and not necessarily start with it, when adding a tag to an item, @edonbike , thanks for making it an issue @dstillman
  • Yes please! I know I started this thread, but I'd like to reaffirm my enthusiasm for a fix for this issue. I would very much like to be able to, when adding tags, have an existing tag pop up as a suggestion based on any word in the tag, not just the first word. I can't remember what tag I used, plus many places that I am tagging have two names. I try to remember to put the common one first and the other second, but obviously this does not always happen, so I have to go back and edit my tags. I'm too old to remember what I did yesterday, much less what beginning word I used to create a tag a week or two ago. Thanks!
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