Search papers match Tag 1 -or- Tag 2?

I know you can combine tags using shift click. This will show all papers that match all of the selected tags. But what about selecting papers that match Tag1 or Tag2?

Tag1 & Tag2

Tag1 | Tag2

Both of those could be useful, right? Until then, I guess the thing to do is to manually make my tags nested (Tag > Tag1, Tag2 ~ TagA, TagB > Tag1A, Tag1B, Tag2A, Tag2B). Perhaps there’s a reason most programs don’t do it this way, and I’m just not thinking about it correctly.


The reason is mainly technical and the data model we use can provide results for AND very fast but not for OR.

Also I would not know how to include that in the UI without making things complicated. You can select two labels at the same time but how would you specify whether it’s an AND or OR?

I could see at some point offering an advanced search where all these things can be specified including negative searches which are not possible at the moment either (

But the demand is extremely low and we are extremely vigilant not to introduce complexity for features that don’t really add value to most of the users most of the time. I’m aware that’s not what you want to hear but I guess that’s part of my job :wink:

I understand your points, thanks.

I would have something like Gmail’s inbox search using labels:

  1. “label:tag1” (single tag)
  2. “label:tag1 label:tag2” (2 tags, AND)
  3. “label:tag1 | label:tag2” (2 tags, OR)

I’m used to | & ! for booleans, so that’s my perspective.

This is not an essential feature for my workflow, so np.


How about handling complex searches as a chain? I essentially do that right now with folders. I create a folder for one search, move all the results into that folder, and then do another search. The second search is either a filter on those results (useful when I want to run multiple filters on the same results), or a new search which I then merge with that search by dragging the new results into the same folder. PP could facilitate this with the ability to create a temporary search folder on-the-fly.

The way I see it, there would be an “add terms” command (maybe just a “+” sign like in the Apple Finder when doing complex searches, but with functionality more like what happens when you option-click on that button). When clicking this, a temporary folder would be created with the current search, and a new search box would appear below the current search. There would be some kind of “and/or” switch on the left side of the search box as well. For me it would be important to allow filters to be used here as well, so that one could also do complex filtering.

It seems to me that this has several advantages - the interface is hidden from users who don’t want it. It works essentially the same way it does now if you were to create a folder and do multiple searches, but simply facilitates that process by creating a temporary folder and showing both searches together, along with an and/or button.

I hope this idea makes some sense, since it would be great to have the ability to do more powerful searches. (I would also like to be able to save these complex searches with something like a “Smart folder” in OS X.)

I would be very happy with AND alone :wink:

For instance I have a label for papers that were sent to me by my supervisor which for example I would like to combine with the ‘unread’ label.

EDIT: Oops, sorry for not RTFM :blush:

Use shift-click on multiple labels and/or folders:


I, too, would very much like to see a Gmail-style search system where I can search for “label:tag1 OR label:tag2”
Paperpile is great but the limited search/sorting options are quickly starting to limit its usefulness.

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Is there a way, workaround, or planned feature to search by multiple tags? This is an extremely frustrating feature right now to not be able to select more than one tags to search.

I’m afraid I don’t have a workaround to suggest here. Like I mentioned earlier on this thread, although this won’t be part of this year’s updates it’s on our radar to consider later on.

If I could upvote this by 100, I would. Being able to see a list of the union of a set of labels (i.e., OR) would be incredibly helpful.

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OMG I didn’t see THIS. This should be highlighted. This is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thank you @stefan!!!

@vicente Perhaps you can highlight this feature when people ask for multi tag search. Even though there isn’t AND/ OR etc part of the search, this multi tag select using Shift is AND and is what I was looking for.

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Apologies, @snehesh – it was indeed mistaken of me to assume you had already seen @stefan’s advice on the thread, although to be fair the same is also mentioned by the OP :pray:t4: