Searching for notes can be impossible because it gives equal search priority to attachments

It is really difficult to find a note based on its name for two reasons:

  1. Quick Switcher is limited to the 10 most recently opened entries
  2. Search will find attachments

I would imagine that 99% of the time when a user types:
file:someKeyword

They want to find their markdown notes and not attachments such as embedded images. Quick Switcher has an option to “Hide Attachments”, regular search desperately needs an option to hide “attachment search results”.

For example, I have a note called “Image Tips for HDR”, but if I try to search this note in the “Search”, I get TEN THOUSAND entries in the following manner:

Pasted Image 239489284.png
Pasted Image 139489284.png
Pasted Image 235489284.png
Pasted Image 139489284.png
Pasted Image 739489284.png
Pasted Image 039489284.png
Pasted Image 139489284.png

It is made even worse because Obsidian defaults clipboard images naming like this, “Pasted Image 192381298321.png”.

And before you say, oh well you can use Quick Switcher. Nope, Quick Switcher is arbitrarily restricted to the 10 last opened entries which means there’s no guarantee you’ll see the desired note in it.

You can disable attachments in quick switcher

As I said in my post:

I don’t completely understand your problem. Yes, if you open the Quick Switcher, it will list your 10 most recently opened notes. But as soon as you start typing anything, it will give you any result that exists in your vault. So, if you start typing “Image Tips”, it will show the expected result.

In regular search, you can put “Image Tips” into quotes, so it won’t give you any result that contains the word “Image” but not the word “Tips”. Also, you can use a couple of search operators in order to exclude certain results - check the documentation. For example, you can write:

file:image -file:.png

Yeah it was hard to articulate, I will explain again. If I have 10 other notes (non-attachments) with names like:
“Image Formatting”
“Image Structure”
“Image Styles”
etc.

and the document “Image Tips for HDR” has a “T” after Image, alphabetically it will be the last to appear in the Quick Switcher - therefore it WILL NOT APPEAR in the first 10 notes.

The use case is that (and I bet a lot of other people who use Quick Switcher to navigate around their notes), if I don’t remember that I wrote a note called “Image Tips for HDR”, in Quick Switcher I will just type the search term “Image”, and then assume that the note does not exist because I don’t see it in there.

The only way to find this note (without knowing its exact file name), is to use regular search and type “Image”, but then you have to deal with massive file attachment clutter of all the PNG images appearing in your results. As you said, you can use filter operators to hide them, but having to use them all the time makes searching slower and more cumbersome.

I’m coming from Evernote and currently have about 6000 notes, and about 4000 related embedded attachments (images, audio, etc), and search capability is one of the few areas that I feel like Evernote does better (for now).

Just putting this here for others as a PSA. I was fortunate to find an alternative Quick Switcher plugin called, “Another Quick Switcher” in Community Plugins that solved all my problems. It lets you use Quick Switcher sorted by File modified date and not limited to only 10 results.

Shout-out to tadashi-aikawa for writing this plugin!

But as soon as you search for “Image Tips” in quick switcher, it will surely appear before “Image Formatting” or “Image Structure”. If you don’t remember the exact file name - yeah, in this case, of course, the quick switcher won’t know what you are looking for. You could open a feature request for the quick switcher showing a scrollable list with more than 10 results. Or use the community plugin, of course.

yeah the use-case here is when you’re working with thousands or even tens of thousands of notes, sometimes you only remember part of the note name (aka I remember it starts with the word “image”). If part of the note name clashes with names of attachment files (embedded images, audio, etc), it’s hard to find in the regular search without using some kind of GLOB wildcard pattern matching (which is a bit cumbersome), and won’t show up in Quick Switcher (which is limited to 10 entries).

It’s not that you can’t ultimately find the file, it’s more a question of the speed of information retrieval. With the plugin “Another Quick Switcher”, I can find the file in seconds.

Part of the issue is a UI/UX thing, when you first open Quick Switcher it defaults to showing you the 10 most recently accessed notes, but then it switches behavior to strictly alphabetical matching when you start typing. That initially confused me, particularly since Evernote first finds desired keywords then sorts by last accessed.

Side note: Thank you so much devs for opening up the SDK to allow for this kind of plugin to have been built in the first place!

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