Improvements to the search

The search functionality (search in current note, search in all the notes, go to anything) could all use some improvements.

Take a look at searching in the current note. You can press Ctrl+F and type "abc", then go through the matches which all get nicely highlighted. So far, so good. However, once the desired location of the string is found, there is no way to focus on it in the editor without using the mouse. The expectation is that once you press escape to hide the search, the latest match should remain highlighed and the focus should be on the editor. This is more or less a standard in every text editor, so it would really be nice to have the same behavior in Joplin.

Then there's searching in all the notes. Again, let's say you type "abc" and then if the match is in the note title, it gets nicely highlighted. However, when the match is in the body, the behavior is inconsistent. Sometimes when you click on a matching note in the note list, it jumps to the right spot and highlights the matching text, sometimes it doesn't.

Finally, go to anything is something that has potential, since it is so quick. Again, it does a great job finding the notes, previewing the matching line and even highlighting the matched text in that line. Unfortunately, once you select the matching note you always end up at the top of the note. The preferred way would be to focus on the editor and highlight the matching string. Another weird thing is that the note title previews in the search box get lower-cased for some reason while the note body preview is shown using the correct case.

I think that these things would make the overall workflow smoother.

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I'm quite OK with how searching within a note and searching all notes work.

But I do agree that Go to Anything is not that helpful. In fact, I'm not sure what functionality it adds over using the regular search box (I'd rather have Ctrl-P take me directly to the search box for all notes). I have two problems with it: 1) after I choose an item from the list of findings, the note opens without highlighting the word I was searching for. So I have to use Ctrl-F and do an internal note search. 2) I don't know if this is just on my computer, but if I scroll down the list of findings, I only see the note title and the notebook, not the search word in context. Maybe this is some sort of a processor-saving design and doesn't really affect function since I'd have to do Ctrl-F anyway, but it's another sign that this doesn't seem to be an optimized/fully-baked feature in Joplin.

Please someone let me know if I'm missing something about how to use Go to Anything properly. As it is, I see no use for it since the other search tools are perfectly adequate. So maybe this is a feature delete request. :slightly_smiling_face:

I prefer go to anything because it is a partial match search. For me I believe I am seeing the search term in context.

I also just discovered that if you type a colon in the GtA then you get a list of commands. Kind of cool, although I'm not sure how I will use that.

Please don't delete this feature :zipper_mouth_face:.

This is just a situation where a feature is designed for a use case that you don't need. Goto anything is not a popup search, it is what its name is, literally go to a note. The purpose is for rapid note switching, for example, I have a general purpose to-do list for myself, saved as a note in Joplin. I often switch to this note when I'm not navigating within the same notebook. The goto anything command allows me to quickly type "to-do" and navigate to the note much faster than using my mouse and clicking through folders.

So hopefully it makes sense that this feature is not meant to be a search, but instead serves a different (extremely valuable to some) purpose.

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Ah, I see. I guess I haven't needed rapid note-switching much (or if I do, I use alt-left and alt-right), but I can see its usefulness for that. I hereby officially withdraw my feature delete request. :slight_smile:

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The reason why I wrote that it would be cool to jump to and highlight the matched text in the found note is because this would allow for extremely quick note switching using goto anything feature.

Imagine you are writing something in a note and want to jump to another for a quick look. Then you:

  • Type "111" in your current note.
  • Use goto anywhere to find another note and look up some info there.
  • Use goto anywhere and just type "111", hit enter... and boom! You are back to the previous note and "111" is highlighted, so you're even at the correct position, ready to continue writing.

Then of course like @skim1124 said, you could even add alt-left and alt-right shortcuts for blazing fast finding and switching.

I think you should consider filing an "issue" on the GH page. There is of course a fine line between an issue and a feature request, but I would give it a try.

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