Searching Documents With askSam
askSam Concepts in this Chapter:
Basic Search Options
Search Results Window
Using the Search Line
The Different Search Types
The Search Dialog
Counting Selected Documents
Searching Through Multiple Files
Searching for Selected Text
The Find Command
Search and Replace
Searching in askSam
askSam's strength is finding information when you need it and presenting it in a manner of your choice. Some examples might include:
What was the name of the sales prospect in Des Moines?
Show me the customers who have an outstanding account balance greater than $10,000.
I'd like to see all the documents where Bush and Gore appear in the same paragraph.
The ACTIONS menu contains the various search options, as well as, the Search Dialog which allows you to form a request combining the other search options. If you prefer, askSam's Search Line is the quickest, most convenient way to search. In this chapter you'll find a detailed description of askSam's Search capabilities.
Global versus Local Searches
Because askSam allows files that conceivably could span 16 Terabytes, finding the information you want in the minimum amount of time calls for defining the scope of search that fits your needs. Basically, there are two methods of looking for information:
Most of askSam's searches are conducted at the global level a global
search is conducted through ALL the Documents in the current
askSam file. The Search Line and the various searches in the Actions
menu are all global.
When a file contains long Documents, it is possible to restrict a search
to a SINGLE Document. This local search is called a FIND and searches
only for a text string. You can access the FIND command through the
This chapter covers SEARCHING on a global scale over an entire file, Searching through multiple askSam files, and FINDING in a single Document.
The Basics of Searching
Although askSam offers a wide variety of search commands, you'll find searching fast and easy. Using askSam does not require you to learn a complicated “query” language in order to search. Searching is as simple as entering the word your looking for into the Search Line or using the Actions menu to select one of askSam's search options.
To Search in askSam:
Enter your search request in the Search Line or choose the ACTIONS menu and select the appropriate search command.
After you enter your search, askSam will open the Search Results Window.
As you scroll through the items listed in the Search Results Window, the content of the selected Document is displayed in the top part of your screen. Hits in the Document are highlighted.
The Search Results Windows
After a search is executed, the Search Results Window will appear. The Search Results Window appears at the bottom of the screen and displays a list of the Documents retrieved by your search. Clicking on a document in the Search Results Window displays that document in the top Window of the screen.
From the Search Results Window you can:
Scroll through Documents retrieved by your search.
Edit retrieved Documents.
Delete Documents retrieved by your search (by pressing the DEL key).
See the number of retrieved Documents.
See the number of hits in each Document.
See the context of the hits.
Jump from hit to hit in the Documents.
Customize the field or fields listed in the Search Results.
The Search Results Window remains open at the bottom of your screen until you close it. You can close the Search Results Window by choosing VIEW -> SEARCH RESULTS or by clicking on
the Close icon in the Search Results Toolbar.
Pressing the ESC key will rotate you between the Search Results Window, the Search Line, and the window containing the retrieved Document. You can move directly to a specific part of the screen with the following keys:
CTRL+Q moves you to the Search Line.
CTRL+SHIFT+Q moves you to the Search Results Window.
CTRL+W moves you to the Work Space (into the Document).
You can customize the Search Results Window to display specific fields as well as the hit context, number of hits, or other document information. These customized views can be saved and easily accessed from a drop down menu in the Search Results Toolbar.
To Customize the Search Results Window:
Choose VIEW -> SEARCH RESULTS PROPERTIES or click on the icon in the Search Results
The Search Results Properties Dialog Box will appear.
Create a new View or select the View you want to modify.
Choose the Columns button.
The Define Columns Dialog Box will appear.
In the list of “Available Fields”, you'll find the items you can display in the Search Results Window:
Hits in Document
The number of hits that occur in the retrieved Document.
First line of the retrieved Document.
Sentence containing the hit.
Name of the Document (if a Document Name has been entered in the
Name of the author (if an author has been entered in the Document
Keywords for the Document (if keywords have been entered in the
Lets you enter a name of any field. This is useful is a field name is not
in an Entry Form.
List of Field Names
Field Names from all Entry Forms are listed. The contents of the fields
you select will be displayed in the Search Results window.
Add the fields you want displayed in the Search Results Window and choose OK.
Choose the Sort button if you want the items listed in the Search Results Window to display in sorted order.
Choose the Close button to exit the Search Results Properties dialog box.
You can create multiple Search Results Views. The drop down menu in the Search Results Toolbar lets you switch between these views.
The Search Results Properties Dialog Box lets you create, rename, edit, and delete Search Results Views.
You can modify the width of the columns in your Search Results by clicking and dragging the column headers. To do this, place your cursor on the vertical line separating the columns, press and hold the left mouse button, and move your mouse. The column will get wider or narrower (depending on the direction you move the move).
You can modify the order of the columns displayed in the Search Results Window by dragging and dropping the columns.
askSam allows you to use the wildcard symbols * and ? in searches.
The * character represents multiple characters (up to eighty).
The ? character takes the place of a single character.
will find: German, Germans, Germany, Germanic, German-made
will find: Germans and Germany - but not German, Germanic, or German-made.
Case Sensitive Searches
Normally, when askSam searches for a word, the letter case (upper/lower case) is irrelevant. For example, a search for WHO finds "Who", "who" and "WHO".
To Turn on Case Sensitive Searching in a File:
Choose FILE -> PROPERTIES.
The File Properties Dialog Box will appear.
Turn on the “Case Sensitive Search” option.
All searches in this file will be case sensitive until this option is turned off.
To Turn on Case Sensitive Searching in the Search Line:
Click on the Case Sensitive button
in the Search Toolbar.
Searches entered in the Search Line are case sensitive until you click the Case Sensitive button a second time, or until you close and reopen the file.
Fuzzy Searching helps you locate information when you're not sure of the spelling, for example, if you were looking for Documents containing the name "Kathy". You could use askSam's fuzzy search and find Documents with "Kathy", "Kathi", or "Cathy".
Click on the Fuzzy Search button
in the Search Toolbar.
Searches entered in the Search Line are fuzzy until you click the Fuzzy button a second time, or until you close and reopen the file.
Select the type of search you wish to execute.
Enter your search.
Select the Fuzzy option in the dialog.
askSam will retrieve the first document containing the words or a fuzzy equivalent of the words you entered.
The Numeric and Date searches in the Actions menu do not offer Fuzzy Search capabilities.
The Fuzzy Search overlooks a single error in a word. An error can be a missing letter, an extra letter, an incorrect letter, or a transposition (two neighboring letters in reverse order).
Index Searches (only available in the askSam Professional version)
Full-Text Indexing greatly speeds up searching in askSam files, especially in large files. With full-text indexing, you can search through a several hundred MB askSam file in a matter of seconds. Full-Text indexing is only available in the Professional version of askSam.
The search procedures are the same for indexed and non-indexed files. If you choose to index an askSam file (see the Working with Files chapter for details), askSam will automatically use the index when searching the file. This will dramatically increase the speed of your searches.
When you index an askSam file, askSam creates a list of all the words in the file and records the Document where these words were found. When you search, askSam can quickly search the list of words (the index) and jump to the appropriate Document in your file.
This is a much quicker way of searching large files than askSam's non-indexed search method. When an askSam file is not indexed, you can still search for any word or phrase. askSam will start at the beginning of the file, examine every word in the file, and look for Documents containing the word or phrase you entered. This non-indexed search is a quick and convenient way of searching through smaller askSam files.
askSam does not require an index in order to search a file. Depending upon the information you manage, indexing may or may not be advantageous.
The Advantages of Full-Text Indexing:
Speed - When searching large databases, an index search will be significantly faster than a non-index search.
Number of Hits - When you search an indexed file, askSam can immediately display the number of documents containing the word or words you enter.
Word List - When a file is indexed, askSam maintains a list of all the words present in the file. It is often convenient to search using the word list. It simplifies finding words when you are unsure of the spelling.
The Disadvantages of Full-Text Indexing:
Indexing Time - Although the indexing routine used by askSam is extremely fast, indexing a file takes time. If you have a file that you only occasionally search, or if you are searching a small file, it may not be worth the time required to index the file.
NOTE: The time required to index a file is a one-time investment. Once an index is created, askSam will maintain the index
Index Size - An index requires space on your hard drive. The index contains a list of all the words in a file and the document addresses of where these words are located. Generally, the index will from 10% to 30% of the original file size.
The Word List (only available in the askSam Professional version)
When you index an askSam file, askSam creates a list of the words in that file. You can search using this Word List:
Choose ACTIONS -> WORD LIST
The Word List dialog box will appear.
Start typing the word you wish to find.
The Word List will scroll as you type.
Choose the Go To button when the word you want to find is selected.
The Search Results Window will open at the bottom of the screen. The Documents containing the word you selected will be listed in the Search Results Window. The first Document containing the selected word will be displayed in the top portion of your screen.
The number of hits displayed in the Word List indicates the number of Documents containing a Word. It does not count the total occurrences of the Word in your file. Use the ACTIONS ->
COUNT WORD OR PHRASE command to count the total occurrences of a word or phrase in your file.
After a file is indexed, a Word List button
will appear in the Boolean, Search In Field, and Proximity Search dialogs. If you select this button, the Word List will appear.