How can I search for phrase (not just single word) in OneNote 2013 For Desktop?

i love using onenote but one thing that truly bother me is the search function (control+F). If i try to search for single word, it works just fine. However the problem occur when I try to search for a phrase.

For example: If I search for "September", OneNote will highlight all the text "September" in my note. Thing is, if I search for "September 2014", OneNote will highlight each of "September" and each of "2014" instead of highlighting the phrase "September 2014" altogether.

This is annoying to me because i have a very long note and I need to manually scroll to find specific phrase that I need to find. How can I fix this in OneNote?

PS: I use OneNote 2013 for desktop version in Windows 8.1 (and not modern tile version)

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Put quotes around the groups of word you want to search for. It'll return only the instances of that word group you're searching for. See this website for some Tips and Tricks too:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/onenotetips/archive/2010/11/16/searching-for-notes-in-onenote.aspx

Granted the author is using OneNote 2010, these still carry over to OneNote 2013. You can even use Boolean keywords like AND and OR to fine tune your search results, however no wildcards.

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Hello Stanimal,

I hit this site via Google because of the exact same problem. I am running OneNote 2013 on Win8.1. I am using the quote marks and it is still giving result for each individual word in the phrase inside the quote marks.

Other thougts?

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I second it - although OneNote is full with bells-and-whistles, the search and find function is very weak in the Windows version of Onenote. It finds phrases only at the beginning of the word, but not inside. E.g. It finds "boy" in boyfriend but not in paperboy or tomboy. As OneNote is - as its name suggests - a notebook, a perfect search system (such as in Word) would be essential, IMHO more essential than embedding videos or whatever. In some foreign languages jolly more compund words are used than in English. Interestingly, the find and search works OK in the iPad version of OneNote.

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I also have the same problem. Quotes does not help 

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I found with OneNote 2010 that if you type a phrase in the search box, it will show a list of everything that contains anything in that phrase, i.e. the OP's problem.

However I also found that if you type Alt-O to open the search results pane, then you get only entries with the phrase.

Edit: I just realized the OP was using the find in page function. In my hands (OneNote 2010, not 2013) the quotes-approach is sufficient, i.e it actually works. I guess they broke it in 2013.

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I have the same problem with Onenote searching for partial word not beginning from the start of the word.

"E.g. It finds "boy" in boyfriend but not in paperboy or tomboy." 

Is this a common problem in version 2013? This is very frustrating as I tried deleting the cache version, rebuilding search index, without any luck.

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This is a true shot-in-the-dark but try rebuilding your Windows Search Index:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Change-advanced-indexing-options

I'm not sure if OneNote searching is powered by the Windows Search Index, but Windows Search Index does search with OneNote pages, so it could work. Also, make sure OneNote is included in your Search Index settings so it rebuilds it correctly.

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This seems to be a general Windows problems according to this thread:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2007-onenote/how-to-perform-wildcard-or-partial-word-search/31bce6ce-f73f-402e-8f4e-bc2f480dd70a

I didn't seem to notice this problem in onenote 2010 used in my previous company. 

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I am frustrated with same issue when trying to search for phrases in Word docs

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It finds phrases only at the beginning of the word, but not inside. E.g. It finds "boy" in boyfriend but not in paperboy or tomboy.

What an unbelievably stupid limitation. Even notepad does it. Wildcards (i.e. *boy) doesn't work either. Ridiculous.

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Last updated April 29, 2021 Views 29,617 Applies to: