How to search for checkboxes?

Hi, I apologize if I am missing something obvious, but it looks like using the search box for anything that is MD code itself doesn’t work.

My goal is to quickly search all notes for the set of unchecked checkboxes within the body of notes. Tried wrapping ‘- [ ]’ in various delimiters, single-quotes, double-quotes, etc., but no luck.

Is there a syntax that does this?

Using Windows 10, Desktop client 1.0.170. Also tried on MacOS.


1 Like

This is not currently supported. The search engine builds a simplified index of the notes with things like commas, dots and other special characters stripped off, so the - [ ] is not in the index.

Thanks for confirming. My workaround will continue to be to insert a little codeword that I can search on, which is OK.

I don’t know how difficult it would be, but the ability to search for the note body checkboxes would be very helpful.

Use case: I often capture large walls of text as notes, and then imbed sporadic todo items inline as they occur to me. Searching later for the unchecked boxes would be a very convenient way to retrieve and track these. With my current process, I must edit my codeword within the notes to mark these items “done.”

I have an idea, as an alternative to messing with the database: What if we had an optional feature that would convert Notes to Unchecked Todos whenever unchecked checkboxes were found in the body? Probably performed upon saving a note?

You could improve that idea further by optionally making a Todo “Done” when its body contains checked checkboxes and no unchecked ones.

Anyhow, that idea/request isn’t urgent for me, but it would be tres cool if that was easy to implement.

Thanks for the quick response! J

Can we vote for features? I’d love to see this realized.

I could be wrong but I don’t believe this is something currently implemented but it has been talked about. Many features here that are getting added are based heavily on how much the core devs would use that feature (so that they enjoy maintaining it) and how active the discussion is about it. This is a passion project with devs that want to keep it within their ability to keep it maintained and functional across multiple platforms (which is an insane feat that is highly commendable).

Tldr; if enough hype gets made for this kind of feature and the devs feel capable of making it reality without breaking other things in the process, it may eventually get added.

The closest thing to voting currently is using thumb emojis on github issues. Issues (and feature requests) with more thumbs on the first comment get a higher priority, you can see these issues sorted using this link


And indeed also based on how much thumbs up a feature have on GitHub. I often check it to get a sense of what feature it would make sense to implement next.

1 Like

Thanks for the correction. Although, I did partially account for this here:

I agree entirely with this. I currently have a hacky workaround to tag things as “actionsdone” if I have manually checked there are no outstanding actions, but being able to search for unchecked boxes would be excellent.

You can now do this! Type iscompleted:0 in the search box (Use latest version)

For more details about the newly added filters, go here

Edit: It doesn’t search for unchecked check boxes in any kind of note, just uncompleted todos.
You could try doing a basic search for that, like this.
/"- [ ]"