Task Property Search

What I’m trying to do

I recently updated a bunch of scholarly article notes to make better use of the new Property mechanics for sorting, searching, and tracking. I have a checkbox/task property called “Downloaded” to record whether I’ve downloaded a PDF of the article yet (along with other Properties like a List property type for “Author(s)”, etc.).

I’d like to be able to search/filter these notes based on whether or not that “Downloaded” task property is true or false, but don’t seem to be able to get results in the search panel checking for a value–only whether a note has the “Downloaded” property at all.

Things I have tried

Using the “All Properties” Panel, I can see I’ve got 96 notes with the “Downloaded” task, and when I click that, the Search panel populates with “[“Downloaded”]” and shows all 96 notes. Further context in each of those notes reveals whether the task is “true” or “null” as expected, however, to actually search “[“Downloaded”:null]” or “[“Downloaded”:true]” yields no results.

By comparison, using the “Author(s)” property that’s also listed on all those same notes, I can search “[“Author(s)”:Nebel]” (where Nebel is an author’s last name) and get 2 of the 96 notes in particular, which is correct.

(These results appear to be the same with or without the inner quotations around the Property name within the brackets.)

This syntax is in keeping with the Obsidian documentation which states:

Use brackets and a colon [property:value] to return files with that property and value:
[aliases:Name] returns files where the aliases property value is Name
[completed:true] returns files where the completed property value is true

Am I just really bad at the search mechanics (plausible haha) or are tasks/checkboxes still a little wonky with the new Properties rollout?

Searching only ["downloaded"] brings up the true and empty (null) values:

Screenshot 2023-09-14 070327

And searching ["downloaded"] true (with true outside the brackets as a text search), returns only the true values.

Screenshot 2023-09-14 070345

There’s work to be done on Properties search option, but give that a try for now.

1 Like

Thanks for taking a look!

I’ve since gone through and actually downloaded all the articles en masse (so now all boxes are checked) and when I tried searching w/ “true” outside the brackets, now I actually get multiple "true"s per note. But your method does seem to work!

Screenshot 2023-09-13 182604

Interestingly it’s not a steady 2 for all of them, some of them have 3 or 4 regardless of the text “true” appearing to be present

The # of total “downloaded” properties in the all-properties panel still shows the true full # versus a double, so this is a good workaround for now at least to search for which boxes are checked regardless of the double returns.

Thanks again!

No worries. I was curious as well.

I only checked in the Sandbox with a few test notes (as you can see from my screenshots), but the doubling I think is because it’s returning Downloading and true as text in the Search results area.

Like I said, a bit rough around the edges, but the team is aware of the [property] match property search issues.

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