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Implementing Boolean Operators in Searches.

Explorer | Level 4

Is there any way to use Boolean operators when using the search function in DropBox ?

When I used the search I usually get too many hits, so a simple way of narrowing down the results would be very beneficial.

16 Comments
Super User II
Super User II

No, Dropbox has no such functionality. The search function on the Dropbox website is very lacking. If you're syncing your files to your computer, just use your operating system's search function. You'll have much better results.

Explorer | Level 4

Thanks Rich. 

I agree with your suggestion.

Its a real shame, the Dropbox search which is an embedded word search is so fast.  The problem is that You get too many file hits and it’s hard to discern the one your looking for.  

Best Regards 

PC 

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Please add this feature.

Explorer | Level 3

Yes, a boolean search feature would be a great help in eliminating a response for every word in the search.  Please implement this feature.

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Hi,

I have a large archive of scanned documents in PDF format and I'm testing the (new to me) OCR search functionality. The recognition quality seems good and I can find items using specific unique terms easily. However, I can't figure out how to do anything more than enter a basic search string - and even that isn't always interpreted the way I want it.

Here's a simple example. I see a charge on a credit card statement of GBP 31.34. I'd like to find the receipt document that includes that value. So I search for 31.34. The result set is large, and it includes documents named "2017-08-03-15-31-34.pdf" or similar. When I access documents from the result set, it is very hard to see if "31.34" even appears in them anywhere - there's no highlighting of the search term, and I'm pretty sure some of the result documents don't even contain that term. Btw, the actual document I'm looking for is part of the list - but it takes 30 minutes of manual browsing to identify it.

Now, this is a simple example. It seems impossible right now to specify an exact search string - when I say "31.34", I don't mean any document that contains either 31 or 34 (which is what Dropbox seems to be doing at this time). In reality I would really like to be able to combine terms:

"Customer Ltd" AND (invoice OR quote)

"Customer Ltd" AND (NOT "Project Beta")

This kind of stuff is rather standard and I don't think further examples are needed. I'm impressed by the document recognition and indexing capabilities, but without a search engine that supports more than the most basic auto-interpreted search terms, the value of the entire feature shrinks drastically.

 

Maybe I'm missing something? 

Thanks

Oli

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey @OliSturm, it’s my understanding that your inquiry has been similar to what we’ve discussed here previously & that’s why I moved your post under this thread. Maybe my post in the previous page helps you narrow down the results, however I’ve also included your meticulous explanation in my report internally, as your constructive feedback helps us better understand your needs. 
 
Once you have a bit of time to check back on how these pointers work for you, please let me know if you have any follow-up questions or observations & it’ll be a pleasure to touch-base with you here. Thanks again for taking the time to drop us a line on the Dropbox Community & enjoy the rest of your day until we talk again! 
New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Hi @Jane,

I've read the thread, but I'm afraid the topic is quite different - this thread is largely about file name search patterns, while my concern is about searching file content. Perhaps you are correct that both topics are related to "advanced search", but the title of the thread really has nothing to do with the topic of my message. I would appreciate it if you could reinstate my message as a separate thread for discussion.

Thanks

Oli

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Sure thing @OliSturm, I’ve seen a connection between the two threads, since you were describing that you’d wish to narrow down Search results using Boolean operators, however I understand where the differences lies. 
 
Following-up from your request however Oli, I have now made sure to disconnect the two threads & I’ve moved yours on the Share an idea section, so as to give it a small push & let other users upvote (👍) this functionality.
 
Thanks again for choosing Dropbox & I'm always here in case you'd like to share your thoughts!
Explorer | Level 4

Can you plz add/allow advanced search queries in your web interface (eg. boolean operators) ? WHY IS THIS CRUCIAL? Since you've introduced "Smart Sync" not all files are on my drive anymore. I used to be able to search them with my OS search engine, which is way better equipped than the dropbox search and find what I need. Now I am depending on your online search, but I can't filter in any way the massive result list anymore... :-( Anybody else having the same, or similar needs? (I found some old threads, but was not allowed to follow up on them. E.g.: https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Accounts-billing/Fulltext-search-syntax/m-p/258941#M17933

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey @BramD, welcome to the Dropbox Community!

I'd be more than happy to help, I'll just need a bit more info on this. For example:

  • Are you having trouble searching for file names of online-only files through Finder or Windows Explorer?
  • Are you trying to search for keywords included in the contents of files via the website and your desktop?
  • Do you see a difference in behavior when you revert files from online-only to local by any chance?

Let me know what you find!

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