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Spell check
Harlan's right - Options > Spell check Thoughts.
Only Under Active not working for Advanced Search for attachments
I don't normally store any PDF files in my Brain, but I thought I'd try it anyway,  so attached several PDF files to a Thought. As you can see, it works OK for PDF files in XP, so maybe as you say it's a Spotlight issue for Mac users.


PB 5.5.2.1: Expanded Normal View options not working
Expanded View and [Normal View with Expand All turned on] are quite different. I run Windows XP and in Normal View with Expand All, the horizontal and vertical sliders work fine.

There are no sliders in Expanded View proper. You click on a blank area of plex and drag it up/down/left/right to position it according to your need.

Only Under Active not working for Advanced Search for attachments
PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows

Seems to work OK on Windows, as far as attached text files are concerned:



The text file General Information.txt (green notepad icon) attached to the child Thought of the same name was found by Advanced Search, even with Under Active selected, and the word "general" (arrowed) was also detected in the text.

I made sure that only "Search: Attachments" was selected.

Spell check
One way of doing this would be to display all Thoughts (or just a select bunch of them) in Reports, use Edit > Add to Selection, then Edit > Copy as Text Outline to paste the list of Thought names to the clipboard, then Paste them into any blank Note, then use PB's dictionary to do a spell check on that note.

We may have to wait for the developers to add other features to Thought names such as formatting and independent text and background colors before spell-checking them becomes a reality.

Customizable vertical distance between thoughts in outline view
I agree, it would certainly help to be able to stretch the Plex. Outline view is great for a nice compact view, particularly as there is no name truncation, but for displaying links clearly in order to switch them, I use Normal View (and sometimes Expanded View).
5.5 problem; can't use keybaord for search button
@zenrain, what I actually said was

Quote: I'd also like us to be able to turn it OFF so that it only works to activate a Thought in Instant Search

This was only meant as an option. I can understand that those who use Extended Search would prefer to have it switched on. So what I was suggesting would not interfere with your ability to use it.

Realistically though, I don't think there's much risk of this feature being altered in any way since habits are too ingrained and the PB team have better things to do with their time.

5.5 problem; can't use keybaord for search button
zenrain, I re-read your post referred to above. I can understand your wanting instant access to Extended Search. I'd like instant access to Advanced Search. My point is that either should be available. Or, more sensibly, just Advanced Search should be available, and if the user selects All, this turns it into Extended Search, which should be remembered the next time the user calls it up.

Quote: I would request that using Enter for search functionality not be changed.

Seriously, I'd also like us to be able to turn it OFF so that it only works to activate a Thought in Instant Search, otherwise it could end up activating an attachment or activating the Add Attachment page.

My attitude to it is, "If you can't make the meaning of a button intuitively clear, its interface should be redesigned, or else the button shouldn't be there at all." I'd love to know how many forum readers became confused by this button when they first encountered it.

I notice you say:

Quote: I've never used the Search button, so I wouldn't miss it if it was removed. From a new user standpoint I'm not sure if it would be more or less confusing if it was gone.

I couldn't agree more - that button is one of the most confusing controls in PB.


5.5 problem; can't use keybaord for search button
PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP

Pressing Tab, Enter has no effect in 5.5, but pressing Enter does. So all you have to do if you want to invoke Extended Search is to press Enter (after adding appropriate wildcards).

I seem to recall that pressing Enter like this also worked in 5.0, though I may be wrong. I can't recall ever finding it was necessary to press Tab beforehand.

Quote: This made for a very quick transition from instant search to advanced search (e.g. TAB - ENTER), leaving one's hands on the keyboard.

Quote: Performing an Extended Search (p135, 5.0 User Guide)
To perform an extended search: Type what you’re looking for in the Search field, then click the Search button Your Search results will appear in the Search tab.


What you were getting was not Advanced Search at all, but Extended Search, which is Advanced Search with all the stops pulled out. Sure, more convenient to hit Enter than pressing F9, but less useful since my results got overloaded with false positives, including matching terms found in Thought labels, attachments, etc. If that's what you want, fine. But unless you designed your Brain to take advantage of Extended Search by deliberately avoiding using attachments, including text files, and deliberately leaving Thought labels blank, any extraneous material in there that matches will be included in Extended Search results.

On top of this, you have to be so careful when going from Instant to Extended Search to remember to add wildcards. For example, if I have Thoughts named object 1, ... object 4, all these are instantly findable in Instant Search if I type ob, but if I press Enter I get "No results found". That is, not until I add the asterisk wildcard, making the search term ob*. Even then it's not 100% reliable, IMO not entirely due to the vagaries of word expansion.

However, I'd welcome it if they changed the design so that pressing Enter while in the Search Edit Field couldn't invoke Extended Search, but obliged one to press the Tab key first. The two search engines are so different in their requirements, it's best to make a clear distinction between them. One of my first truly baffling experiences with PB was working out why clicking Search always produced "No results found". Until I studied the manual closely, this seemed to be completely counterintuitive.
Menu option with thought-facts, summary active thought with all the related thoughts.
This concept raises some interesting challenges.

Quote: Paste Thought-facts in notes

I gather you're suggesting that PB incorporate a feature to extract the information about all thoughts (name and link details) linked to the currently Active Thought, and present this as a text file or outline that can be pasted into that Thought's note.

Unless the database remained fairly static, information in this format might very quickly become outdated. I don't see this as a big advantage when the Plex is supposed to be displaying this. I tend to put into my Notes material which is not displayed in the Plex.

However, you've highlighted the great importance of directionality in links. Without innately displaying directionality, the concept of direction has to be worded into the link description, making it much bulkier than it needs to be. There is just no satisfactory workaround at present.

Although it can be useful to store such information in Notes, it means I do have to look away from the Plex at the Notes pane to take in what is there. If this information is in the link label, I can see it directly below the thought without having to move my eyes - much quicker. I don't have to keep looking all around the screen as I do to connect Thought and Note. Improved, multi-line link and Thought labels won't replace your idea, but would have their own place in PB's design.

Opening a thoughts link in a new tab
Quote: This is still the biggest request from our client and customer using our WebBrains. They like the interface, but they would like to open resources in a New Brow(s)er Tab.

That's interesting to read.

Are you thinking about a separate Note pane for each tab or a common Note pane displaying the Note for whichever pane happens to be currently selected? Either way, it's a good idea IMO, a bit like a 3-pane file manager. PB's existing design is now getting a bit old, and there's a limit as to how much you can build onto it without reaching the point where it becomes necessary to tear it all down and start with a fresh design.

For example, Ctrl-clicking a Thought adds it to the narrow, cramped Selection Box instead of opening a new Tab as you suggest. If the Selection Box was turned into a Tool, just as Reports is, it could just occupy another tab, be hidden behind docked Reports till needed, and could be made as w-i-d-e as needed. Hey, I might just submit that as a Feature Suggestion.

I use FireFox a lot and regularly open links in new tabs, but Ctrl-click is so useful for what it does now, a totally new control is needed. Shift-Ctrl-Click might be a good choice. Not Alt-click as that's what I reserve for my macros.

I know this is the WebBrain section of the forum but the same features should apply to the domestic version of PB. I have never tried WebBrain and have no idea whether a selection box exists in it or not. If not, then I say, go for it, or add a new toolbar icon for a new tab, and give the public controls with which they're already familiar.
WebBrain site is undergoing scheduled maintenance
I agree it would be polite of them to let us know how long they expect webbrain to be down. Same with this forum. When it's down, there's no message from websitetoolbox. Might have disappeared off the face of the earth forever, for all I know.
Utility for capturing lost thoughts/attachments
Wow! Thanks Daniel, nice to have a utility like this. I'm sure it will come in handy, maybe even for forensic purposes. What you don't know is in there can hurt you too.
Cutomized thought placement
This has been discussed many times here. I suggest you use the forum search engine a bit more. Search for it under terms such as custom ordering, manual arrangement, etc.

It's remarkable how many newcomers to this forum seize upon this shortcoming as their first major annoyance with PB. I know I did, about a year ago. It was one of the first things that puzzled me. I couldn't believe PB didn't provide a function as basic as this, and naturally assumed I had overlooked the fine print somewhere that would explain how to do it. Now I know better.

Well, I've ceased to worry about it, now that I've got my Number and Replace script to do it all for me, at least until maybe one day the developers find a way to build something like this into the program. I'm all right, Jack, though I wish I knew enough about other OS to provide similar workarounds for Mac and Linux users.

Here are a couple of forum threads about this situation. There are plenty more.

http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=2985613
http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=3848357


Utility for capturing lost thoughts/attachments
You could also try looking in your Brain's trash folder for wayward Thought folders. No, seriously...

Does the problem go away when you rebuild your Database? That should give you an answer. Sounds like a corruption problem to me.

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