Jan 16, 2014 David Lang

In the Beginning Was the Word

EnterWords1 This week, I've been encouraging you to explore the various options in the Search menu and its corresponding contextual menu. Today I want to look at the most obvious place to start when constructing a search: with selecting the words you want to find. Most of the time, of course, you're simply going to type the words you have in mind, but sometimes it is helpful to select from a list of all the words in a text. At those times, you'll want to choose the Enter Words… menu item.

When you do, a dialog will open with a list of every word contained in the text.


The cursor is automatically placed in an entry field labeled "Go to." If you begin to type in this box, the list will automatically be scrolled to the word closest to the letters you type. For example, type L-O-V and the list will be scrolled to the word "Love." You can then single-click any words in the list to add them to the list labeled "Words to enter."


Here you can see I've clicked the various forms of "love": "love," "loved," "loves," etc. When I'm finished, I can simply click OK to close the dialog box. (I could also double-click the last word I select.)

The words I chose from the Select Words dialog will now be entered into my search field as a series of words separated by commas and enclosed in parentheses. This search syntax (which you can also type yourself) will look for every occurrence of any of those words. It's essentially the same as using the OR command between each word.


There's still one part of the Select Words dialog I haven't explained yet: the Use exact word checkbox. I'll tell you what that is for in my next post.

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