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* is Wild — Wildcards in DEVONthink

February 4, 2014 — Jim Neumann

In DEVONthink and DEVONnote you have the ability to use use wildcards in a search term to do partial string matches.

  • *: The star (asterisk) is most commonly known and it matches zero or more characters.

    This is not per REGEX rules which matches the previous character. This matches in place.

  • ?: The question mark matches one character.
  • ~: The tilde (yep, that’s what it’s called), is a special character that matches the string as if you entered *myString*.

If Preview While Typing is on, this treats the last search term as having an asterisk at the end of it. For right now, turn this option off under the magnifying glass.

Say you had a text file with this in it:

Aches Pachyderm Bach Bash

Searching for:

  • ach would match nothing. (This would only match if there was a word ‘ach’ in the document.)
  • ach? would match nothing. (Since there’s more than one character following ‘ach’ in ‘Aches’.)
  • ach* matches Aches.
  • *ach matches Bach (as would ?ach).
  • ?ach* matches Pachyderm or Bach but not Aches. (Remember, “` matches **zero** or more characters and ?“` matches exactly one character.)*
  • ~ach matches Aches, Pachyderm, and Bach(It’s like entering ach.)
  • *a?h (or ?a?h) matches Bash*.
  • ~a?h matches every line.

I hope this gives you some better ideas about how you can use wildcards to help your searches be more productive.