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how do i use the search feature RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I am used to the explorer search feature on windows XP and am having a great deal of trouble on windows 7.

    specifically I am trying to search my E:\ drive for all files named *.pdf

    I tried navigating to the E: drive and typing *.pdf in the search bar but this also returns files called pdf.gif etc even though i have turned off automatic wildcarding

    When i am typing in the search box, a drop down menu appears with an entry called "add a search filter" but clicking it does nothing

    in the help it suggested i use the search folder. when I open this, it gives me a blank screen with a search box at the top. This time when I start typing and the menu appears, there are entries at the botom of it for type, name and folder path but I can't get this screen to return any results no matter what i type in - is there some kind of 'go' button i have missed?

    i'm a big fan of windows 7 compared to vista (which i used for 6 months and couldn't understand the search feature on that either) but I can't believe it's so difficult (maybe impossible) to do something so simple

    BTW if the solution does involve using the 'search folder' can anyone tell me a quicker way to get to it than going through the help, because I can't find that either
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 4:01 PM

Answers

  • tim,

    The correct syntax you're looking for is type:=.pdf.

    Hope this works!
    -Alex
    • Marked as answer by Nick FV Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:19 PM
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:18 PM

All replies

  • First, check what search options you have.
    I have a French version so for me click Start and enter "index" and the first program showing up is "Options d'indexation".
    Here you will see which drives and folders are included in the indexing, and also which file types, eventually Outlook etc.
    But still, theoretically you should get results with your search even if the folder is not indexed, the search is just much slower. This still supposes the file type is chosen for that directory.
    Last but not least: Why turn of wildcarding?
    You can enter the search from many places
    - within the explorer, limit to a particular directory if necessary
    - from the start menu search box
    - from most programs  when you go through "open file" in the File menus.
    - shortcut LogoWindows+F
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 8:14 PM
  • i can find the search screen, but I can't figure out how to search for files of type *.pdf on the e: drive

    i guess there is some specific syntax i can type in but i can't find the documentation about what to type
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 8:52 AM
  • tim,

    The correct syntax you're looking for is type:=.pdf.

    Hope this works!
    -Alex
    • Marked as answer by Nick FV Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:19 PM
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:18 PM
  • Holy ____, seriously!?   WHY?  Why can't *.pdf work?
    Users are supposed to type type:=.pdf ??  That's a horrible User Experience.
    Thursday, May 28, 2009 3:23 AM
  • Holy ____, seriously!?   WHY?  Why can't *.pdf work?
    Users are supposed to type type:=.pdf ??  That's a horrible User Experience.

    *.pdf works fine.
    I lack the extended search options I had in Vista, allowing to fill in search for file size etc.  It is still possible but you need to go and learn somewhere what to type - e.g. searching a mail from a particular person, type:
    From:email@domain.com
    Etc.
    I also regret I can't force search only to email or documents etc.

    Edit:
    I realize that there are some options to specify
    - extension (="type" in my French version)
    - name
    - size
    - date modified
    - type (errounously called "sorte" in my French version) = Calendar, Contact, Folder etc. etc.

    But these options are well hidden - you only get them when you start typing.
    Thursday, May 28, 2009 8:50 AM
  • thanks Alex, putting "type:=.pdf" or just "type:.pdf" both worked. is this documented anywhere? I couldn't find it in the help

    i have a couple of other anomolies which made it difficult for me to get this far:

    1. when I fire up the search window from "windows-f" or from the help, it never returns anything (or even says "searching...") no matter what I put in the search box. having said that, a friend with windows 7 does not have this problem, so it may be just down to my installation

    2. when you try to search from the find box in explorer, you only get filter prompts for date modified and size, not for type or folder path. however, typing into the box does work

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 12:50 PM
  • Holy ____, seriously!?   WHY?  Why can't *.pdf work?
    Users are supposed to type type:=.pdf ??  That's a horrible User Experience.

    *.pdf works fine.
    I lack the extended search options I had in Vista, allowing to fill in search for file size etc.  It is still possible but you need to go and learn somewhere what to type - e.g. searching a mail from a particular person, type:
    From:email@domain.com
    Etc.
    I also regret I can't force search only to email or documents etc.
    guppy,

    my original post said that while *.pdf does return pdf files, it also returns files which have pdf in the name e.g. "some pdf files.zip"
    Thursday, May 28, 2009 12:51 PM