Improved Category Search for Contact Lookup Fast

Deja vu?

Contact Lookup Fast is the best tool for searching a large database of contacts. Want to find xyz in 15000 contacts in less than a second? Easy.

However, what if you want to search for a common term in those 15000 contacts? Perhaps you are trying to find contacts who work for ‘The Tree House’ and you search on tree. You’ll probably get way too many matches, as tree matches street. You could always add more search terms, like tree house but this only works if you change the search mode to AND or you’ll end up with more matches!

The old way

Previously, to handle this problem you could narrow down the categories to search in, as explained in this post.

However, this was cumbersome and prone to mistakes, as you would invariably forget to reset the categories. The next time you searched it probably wouldn’t find anything as the category it was in might be excluded.

The new way

Recognising these limitations, we’ve added the ability to search within categories by using category modifiers. For example, you can prefix the search term with a group category modifier, g:, and the term will be looked for only in the groups category.

You can add as many category modifiers as you like, and even mix in normal search terms too. Category searching even respects the ‘-‘ modifier for whole word searching. The only thing to remember is that category searching will automatically be done using an AND mode search.

Bah, sounds too hard

Yes, you’re right, We’ll get our coat.

But wait. What if we add a new screen to allow you to easily enter search terms in categories without the need to remember the modifiers?

OK. Here’s a new form based screen that does just that. Enter as many search terms as you like in any of the categories and press search. The screen then flips back to the normal search results screen and even shows you what the search query was in all it’s category modifying glory.

To get to the new category screen, just swipe from right to left. Simples, as the meerkat would say.

 

 

The category modifiers

If you want to enter the category modifiers by hand, then here is the complete list.

  • n: Name
  • k: Nick name
  • o: Organisation
  • g: Group
  • e: Email
  • w: Web site
  • a: Address
  • b: Event
  • m: Note
  • p: Phone numbers
  • s: SIP addresses
  • i: Instant Messaging address
  • r: Releations
  • c: Custom fields
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