Searching notes in ZSA

I love using Zotero standalone but have one comment, for what it's worth, about a feature that hasn't carried across from the browser extension: searching individual notes (as opposed to searching through all notes & fields in a collection).

In FF, I can search individual notes by clicking in the note pane and using the Ctrl+F search. This helps as I've got some notes panes which are 3,000+ words.

I don't think that this function exists and I'm just not finding it. If a future version could have this search option it would be a great benefit to me - hopefully to others also.
  • In FF, I can search individual notes by clicking in the note pane and using the Ctrl+F search.
    You can't do that currently in Firefox either. Do you mean by generating a report from the note and then searching that? It does appear that that isn't working in reports in Standalone.
  • Thank you for the reply Dan.

    I CAN do that in Firefox: I need to open a new tab, press Ctrl + F in to open the search box at the bottom of the screen, then return to the tab that Zotero is running in and the search box remains at the bottom of the screen and is functional within the note pane once I single click in the notes. It can find, move to next & previous, and even highlight all instances of the search term. I can do a screen shot if you would like.

    I am running Firefox 9.0.1 and Zotero for FF 3.0b.3. And Windows 7 Home Premium.
  • Ah, you're in tab mode. That does seem to work (I don't even have to open a separate new tab first), but the same does not work with Zotero in pane mode. That it works in tab mode is just a fluke.

    Real support for find/replace in the notes pane will come in a future version.
  • Thanks again Dan. A search function for notes in a future version is good enough for me! All the best.
  • Thank you, Ben Carver!

    Until that facility will run in Zotero, this is a very good solution!

    P. S. I'm sure at some point I saw some grey highlights in the notes, based on the Zotero's integrated search engine. I don't remember how that worked. Could have been in the standalone edition.
  • Hi guys!
    We are still waiting for this new version that allows researches within individual notes... Is anybody knows something about the new version?
    Thank you!
  • No, there's been no development here.
  • Do you know something about it? Is someone's workin' on it? Just as Ben, I have notes pans with a high number of words. Please, if you can do something on Standalone, go forth!
  • I'd also appreciate a simple search feature within the notes in standalone. I think it is a great drawback of Zotero currently. Any hope for the (near) future?
  • not in the near future, no.
  • dear adamsmith: i share the same concern. the ability to search within notes (with highlights for all the search hits; or better still, an independent listing of every hit and surrounding text within the advanced search window) is essential for zotero to act as a quotation manager, as well as a reference manager.

    is there a reason that this change isn't planned any time soon? it seems so critical.

    I would be willing to donate a small amount (50 USD) to make that happen; perhaps other users would be too.

    grateful for your fantastic work so far; I look forward to your reply.
  • colleagues: in the absence of the requested change, here's a useful tip to adapt your working style to make your notes more searchable: one note per quote/thought
  • is there a reason that this change isn't planned any time soon? it seems so critical.
    just that there are lots of critical issues. Right now most of the energy is going into revamping the sync infrastructure so it works more reliably and scales up better. Once that's done, Zotero needs to add fields and item types - one of the most frequently requested issues. That will be a major undertaking and may also likely require GUI changes and improvements. The next big thing is batch editing of fields (i.e. change the same field on multiple items at once), which is also being requested constantly.) All of this will almost certainly take up the entirety of the year that has just started.
    Obviously Zotero is open source, so it's possible a third party could provide a patch, but especially a fully fleshed out search feature with text snippets and all is going to be a very solid amount of work. To be clear, it's certainly not off the menu and Dan (who is the one who'd likely implement it) has made clear that he wants it to happen.

    (note that I don't work (nor speak) for Zotero, except as an occasional independent contractor for workshops)
  • HI!
    I've just downloaded the new version of ZSA (4.0.18). Is there this new search feather within notes that we are all longing for?
  • no. Changelog is here:
  • Perhaps a workaround for Standalone would be possible in the near future? As TinyMCE does have a search/replace function (which is not implemented in Zotero), this seems to be a solution that can be added without too much trouble?
    While not very 'neat', it would be far more convenient than my current technique, which consists of copying my notes into Word to search them...

    Anyway, keep up the good work :).
  • there has been talk about updating to the next Tiny MCE version, but IIRC there were still a couple of obstacles. If someone is interested in taking this on, post to zotero-dev. I have no insight into when Zotero devs would be able to do it, but afaik they're mostly occupied with other issues at this time.
  • This needs fixing! Really surprised this function has not been provided.
  • I wish I could code...

    I think it would be worth a try to set up some kind of crowd-funding-system for specific, important feature requests, which are acknowledged by the official Zotero crew but cannot be handled due to more important work. I imagine that Zotero-users would be willing to pitch in.
  • Dan says they're open to that:

    I like Zotero rather over all of its competitors... but it did not make sense to do research GLOBAL if not then you can not identify WHERE the info is (inside a note or pdf ...)
  • If you're only interested to know if your search query is in a Note or PDF, then look at which one is _not_ grayed out. Items that match your query exactly will be displayed in black text, those that are shown only for context (e.g. parent items or sibling attachments) will appear in gray.
  • Thank you, but I'd like to see higlighted INTO the note (or pdf..) the string I searched!!
  • Just to add a plea from me too that creating this facility (searching for a term within a note) could be prioritized. It would be hugely helpful, and save lots of time. (At the moment I too have to paste numerous long notes into temporary Word docs so I can search them. I thought I must be missing something until I tried to look up a solution but came across this thread instead.) The work-around suggested above (devoting one note to each thought) is just not an option for the kind of work I do. Zotero is wonderful -- I'm a great fan, and really grateful to those who've developed it, but this is its one big drawback so far as I'm concerned. I appreciate you have limited resources and a mountain of tasks, but if this one could be pushed up the mountain I'd be even more grateful.
  • Please Dan Stillman...
    Help us!
    Just a word from you and the great multitude that we are will be granted of a highlighted search feature for notes and PDF... and you will make all this world smile! :o)
  • things don't happen faster if you keep posting about them, sorry.
  • But by the look of things this probably won't happen in 2015. There are a number of more pressing bugs/features that need to be addressed first.
  • Which of the two things do you mean? Search in individual notes or searchword highlighting in global searches?
  • Highlighting
  • oh, yeah, agree with that. The within-note search is a bug that I'd like to see fixed sooner rather than later.
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