Simple Boolean Search Operators

Use case or problem

I use other software with a massive data set (much larger than my current Obsidian vault). That software allows the use of Boolean search operators in the search box. It’s very simple:

  • “quotation marks for specific strings”
  • Asterisks for ‘truncation/wildcard’ search (“mask*” yields results for “mask” “masks” “masking” etc.)
  • Question mark for single character wildcard (“ols?n” yields results for “olsen” and “olson”).

When I search for similar functionality on Obsidian, people are quick to point out that AND and OR boolean operators work. However, the above mentioned (*, ?) do not work. Answers eventually direct me to this page.
Unfortunately, I’m not a programmer, so the following explanation about “regular expressions” looks like complete gobbledygook:

/\d{4}-\d{2}-\d{2}/ matches an ISO 8601 date, such as 2022-01-01

This appears to have nothing to do with Boolean search operators.

Proposed solution

  • Include the asterisk “*” as a truncation/wildcard Boolean search operator
  • Include the question mark “?” as a single character wildcard Boolean search operator
  • Include other Boolean operators as simple symbols such as:
  • | = OR
  • & = AND
  • ! = NOT
1 Like

+1 - agree with the suggestion.