Find "tea" but not "teacher" or "teaching"?

Is there some way to limit the results? As it stands now I often have trouble finding relevant results.


Could you elaborate a bit, Kerim, ideally with examples? No way to limit results (at least that I know of) but with more details I might be able to make a suggestion and/or ask the team.

I think he means that he doesn’t want the search to return results of which the word he typed in is a substring but explicitly only that word.

That’s right. I do work on education so I have hundreds of documents with “teaching” in the title which makes it impossible for me to find the one document about tea drinking culture unless I can remember more about that title (which I don’t). In the end I had to search for it all over again via Google and then after locating it give it the tag “tea.” However for this workaround to work I would need to anticipate all titles for which this could be a problem and tag them in advance of having the problem, which seems ridiculous for a research tool. It would be much better if I could limit my search to whole word matches only.

I run into this problem too. It’s also a problem in the Find function within a paper. It doesn’t recognize a space as a character. If it did, "tea " would not return “teacher”. But right now, adding a space isn’t a workaround.

I use DocFetcher for full text indexing and advanced search/filtering of my reference library.

For that I’ve set up an index for the “All Papers” directory.

In DocFetcher you can then use search filters like “tea” AND “temperature” OR “sugar” to filter results.
If you put search strings in quotes, it’ll only look for those full words.

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Thanks for the details (@Daniel and @captglasspac as well). I’ve switched this to ‘Feature request’ for other users to add their +1 so the team can consider over future reviews. Searches are a tricky topic which we have yet to optimize, but it’s on the roadmap and hopefully we’ll be able to prioritize it soon.


Related to some other search improvements I suggested a couple of years ago and which have been mentioned in other threads.

Progressive search simply isn’t very efficient for a number of standard use cases. Field targeting and advanced search operators are essential features for the future, IMO.


Ugh. Now I’m trying to find a work by the famous scholar Aihwa Ong and Paperpile gives me several hundred hits for articles with the word “ongoing” in the abstract…

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I’ve changed the status to “started” as we have been working on search improvements for quite some time now.

Please remind me in January, I can share a public preview version of our new search interface for testing. It will allow you to search specific fields and to look up authors.


Looking forward to seeing the search improvements! Thank you for your hard work.

@stefan Reminding you.