Category Search for Contact Lookup Fast

UPDATE

This section is made redundant by the new categories search option. You can still use this, but it is not as flexible as the new category search screen. As of v3.4.0 we’ve taken this feature out.

Wait, doesn’t it already search categories?

Well, yes and no. Unlike Contact Lookup Pro, the category selection in the preferences menu is used to control which categories are included in Contact Lookup Fast‘s index. Every search will be across the categories in the index. For most people this is fine and not a problem.

However, there is a small group of users that have huge contact databases with greater than 8000 contacts. Searching this many contacts means that there will be many matching results across all categories. The only way to narrow these down would be to include more search terms with an AND search or rebuild the index with less categories. Rebuilding the index every time you want to narrow the categories is just too time consuming and defeats the point of having a fast contact search.

Introducing a category filter

With the latest release of Contact Lookup Fast there is a new menu option that lets you specify which categories are to be included in the search results. This is easy to change and affects the results without affecting the contents of the index.

So now, if you want to find Mr. ‘Smith’ without including everyone who works at Smith’s Industries you restrict the categories to just names.

Performance implications

There doesn’t appear to be any search performance implications with this change. Although the size of the database will be slightly bigger.

Tips

With category search you can now do some interesting searches. For example, if you want to find out which contacts have notes, then you can restrict the categories to just include notes and do a search for ‘%’. This will return all categories with notes, as the percent symbol is a wild card.

For more details on Contact Lookup see this post.

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