The New FIND Feature

Voice Card  -  Volume 4  -  John Card Number 22  -  Fri, Jan 27, 1989 3:17 AM

I am pleased to announce a nifty new feature that will be a godsend to you voice card archeologists, or to any of you who ever hunt through old cards looking for a certain word or phrase. The FIND command allows you to search through multiple voice volumes in a matter of seconds!

To invoke the FIND command, type space to summon the HyperCard menubar and select "Find..." from the GO menu, OR BETTER YET, just type F (hold down the cloverleaf key and press F).

A dialog box will appear asking you to enter the word or phrase you are looking for. You will then be asked what voice volume you want to BEGIN the search in and what volume you want to END the search in (just hit return twice to search through the current volume). The search then begins.

The program can search through every single word of a typical voice volume in a few seconds. The search will continue from volume to volume until a match is found. If no match is found another dialog box will appear, informing you of the failure.

If a match IS found, HyperCard will scroll the field if necessary and draw a box around the matching phrase. A help message will appear at the bottom of the screen, informing you that you can continue the search by hitting the key, or, if you've found what you're looking for, you can just click the mouse anywhere to halt the search. If you continue until all the specified volumes have been completely searched, a dialog box will inform you that the search is complete.

The search includes all card titles, mastheads, and text fields of every voice card. If any matches are found on an index card, the program keeps searching (since every title in the index also appears on its own card). During the search the cursor will change to the wristwatch; when a match is found, an arrow cursor will appear until you either depress the command key to continue, or click the mouse to halt the search.

Normally the program will search for whole words only. Thus, if you ask it to search for "top cat" it will find every top cat but will NOT find "topheavy cat" or "top category." (It doesn't matter if any of the letters are capitalized.) You don't HAVE to search for whole words, however. If you hold down the OPTION key during the search, it will find your pattern regardless of word breaks, even if your top cat is inside a phrase like "sTOP CATching that." Holding down the option key while tapping the key to continue the search is easier than it sounds.

[Editor's note: I have since found it necessary to reverse this procedure. That is, FIND will normally hunt for ALL occurrances UNLESS you hold down the option key to constrain the search to whole words only!]

The FIND command has another feature which is subtle, but very powerful. If you SELECT a word by double clicking on it and then type F, the word you selected will appear as the default pattern for the search. You can then just hit return without having to type anything. This feature is especially important when used in conjunction with reference tags.

Reference tags are phrases of the form "Vol x Name y" which can be inserted automatically into your text. (For more information about this important new feature, See Vol 4 John 28). Because it is specially formatted, the entire reference tag will be selected whenever you double click on any part of it. And since selected words are automatically entered into the FIND command dialog box, you can quickly jump to any card by double clicking on a reference tag and typing F. Whenever the FIND command is asked to search for a reference tag, it dispenses with the search and jumps immediately to the specified card.

For example, to FIND John Card 28, just double click on the phrase Vol 4 John 28, type F, and hit return.

John Card 28 also explains the process of marking cards. If no text is selected, and if a card has been marked, that card's reference tag will appear in the dialog box whenever the FIND command is invoked. Thus you can also use the FIND command to find the most recently marked card!

The best way to understand this powerful new feature is to give it a try. Just type F and enter a word to search for. Begin the search in volume 0 and end the search in volume 4. Try searching for several different words until you get a feel for the procedure. Then try double clicking on a reference tag such as the one above. Finally, try marking a card, and then typing F.

Incidentally, you can search through any range of voice volumes you wish, but you cannot *invoke* the FIND command from inside volumes 0-2 (since this feature was not installed in those volumes). And if one of the volumes to be searched is not on your hard disk, the program will ask where it is; you can then insert a diskette or push cancel to skip that particular volume.

Play with this and tell me if you find it useful. Also please tell me if you have any problems or suggestions. Enjoy!