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Filter in many ways

June 02, 2017

Pinker offers three types of filters to help you tailor a search and with that the files shown in the Results area: Topic Filters, File Property Filters, and Location Filters. Filters are arranged in a tree structure. You can simply browse your files by selecting filters, and you can combine filters to further shape the search result. Match counts next to the filters indicate how many files matching a particular filter exist in the current result set (shown in the results area).

Pinker offers the following filters:

Topic filters differ from file property filters in that you can define them yourself to meet your specific requirements. You can add, change and delete topics by right-clicking a topic and using the ‘Edit …’ option in the context menu. Explanations how to do this can be found further below.

Browse

Browsing by filter allows you to selectively view files that match a filter or filter group independently of where those files are stored. Browsing by filters is useful for obtaining a quick overview. The available left-click interactions to browse files matching any filter at any branch level are:

  • Left-click: Browse item. The effect of this action is shown in the results area.

Here are some illustrations of browsing by filter. Note that filters can be hierarchically grouped and that browsing by a filter includes files that match any of its sub-filters; an example of this is the “Documents & Media” filter below.

 

In all cases, the results area shows all files that match the browsed filter and also shows the count of files matching the filter.

Once you have found the files of interest, you can select a file for viewing or editing, or to view detail information about the file’s location as explained in “Understand the results area”.

 

Combine filters

You can combine filters to tailor search results. “Pinker set operations” allow you to specify filter combinations. Right-click on a filter to see the available set operations:

Require

Find all files that match the selected filter and display the resulting search result in the results area. Match counts for all filters are updated to reflect matches found in the content of the results area.  This set operation is applicable at all branch levels of any filter.

Exclude

Exclude all files that match the selected filter from the current search result. Match counts for all filters are updated to reflect the current search result.

Add also

Add files matching the “Add also” filter to the result set created by the “Require” filter. “Add also” is only available after a “Require” set operation has been applied to a topics filter; it is not applicable for File Property or Location filters.

It does not matter in which order you select and combine filters, the result set will always be the same.

Each set operation has an associated icon and colour. They indicate which set operations are applied to which filters.


 

Examples of using file property filters

The following examples illustrate applying a combination of the set operations to file property filters.

Example of using “Require” and “Exclude”:
Goal: Find all files that are text documents

Steps:

  1. Right-click “Text documents” to bring up its context menu, and
  2. Select “Require”

 

 

The results area now only shows the files that are text documents stored in your indexed locations. Note that once you have selected “Text documents> Require” all other filters under “Documents & Media” show zero matches while the “Dates” and “Indexed locations” filters have been updated to reflect the match count for these filters in the result set of 858 files.

 

Apply “Exclude” to the results of “Require”
Goal: Exclude all files from the content in the results area that are located in the Documents folder.

Steps:

  1. Right-click “Downloads” to bring up its context menu, and
  2. Select “Exclude”

 

Now the results area shows the 484 text documents from different file locations except from those stored in the Downloads folder. The new match count for each filter has been updated accordingly.  Note that the Downloads filter match count is zero.

 

Example of using “Exclude” and “Require”
Goal: Exclude all downloaded files from the content in the results area and find all PDF files from the resulting set.

Steps:

  1. Right-click “Downloads” to bring up its context menu, and
  2. Select “Exclude”

 Combine require exclude 2

The results area contains all indexed files except those in the Downloads folder. After using “Exclude” there is a total of 5853 files in the results area, and the Downloads match count is now zero. Likewise all the other filters have been adjusted to reflect their new match counts.

  1. Right-click “Acrobat PDF” filter to bring up its context menu, and
  2. Select “Require”

 

 

Out of the 5853 files there are 295 pdf files, now shown in the results area. The match count of each filter has been updated to reflect how they are matched by the files contained in the results area.

To reset the selection of a set operation use the option presented in the context menu (below). The “Don’t require” and “Don’t exclude” options appear once a filter has been set to “Require” or “Exclude”, respectively.


 

Examples using topic filters

The following examples illustrate the application of set operations to Topic Filters. A key aspect when combining topic filters is the difference of applying “Require - Require” versus applying “Require-Add also”:

Require-
Require

All files in the results area that do not match at least one keyword in each of the two topic filters selected as “Require” will be excluded from the content of the results area, i.e. every file displayed in the results area will contain at least one keyword from each of the two “Required” branches.

 

Require-
Add also

The content of the results area will be composed of files that match at least one of the keywords in the “Require” branch plus all files that match any keyword in the “Add-also” branch.

 

In contrast to file property filters such as file type (where a file can only have one type), set operations on topic filters deal with combinations of keywords. The following examples illustrate the application of set operations to Topic filters.


 

Example of using “Require”
Goal: Find all files that contain the keyword “Investment” in the “Finance” topic

Steps:

  1. Right-click “Investment” filter to bring up its context menu, and
  2. Select “Require”

 

 This operation shows the context of the set of documents that contain the topic “Investment” by indicating how these documents also contain the other topics and subtopics, reflected in the match counts of the individual filters.

 

Example of using “Exclude”
Goal: Exclude all files that contain the keyword finance and any of the keyword under “Finance” topic from the current results set.

Steps:

  1. Right-click “Finance” topic filter to bring up its context menu, and
  2. Select “Exclude”

 

This operation excludes all files that match the “Finance” topic, i.e. all files containing either the keyword “finance” or any of the sub-topic keywords.

 

Example of using “Add also”

Note that in order to use “Add also”, a “Require” set operation must have been applied to another topic.

Goal: Find all files that match the “Invoice” topic (any keyword of the “Invoice” branch) and add those files that match the “Travel” topic, i.e. contain at least one of the keywords found in the “Travel” branch and display them in the results area.

Steps:

  1. Right-click “Invoice” filter to bring up its context menu
  2. Select “Require”
  3. Right-click “Travel” filter to bring up its context menu
  4. Select “Add also”

 

The first step finds 59 files that contain at least one keyword from the “Invoice” topic, 16 of which do not have any reference to the content of the “Travel” topic. This can be inferred from the match count of 43 for the “Travel” topic (59-43). By applying the “Add also” set operation to the “Travel” topic, Pinker finds 212 files that match at least one of the keywords in “Travel” (and have not already been included because they contain one of the keywords in the required “Invoice” branch), hence the total files combined matching the two filters is 228 files (212 +16).

The combination of “Require” and “Add also” defines the set of files that match the two selected Topic filters. The match counts next to each topic filter indicate how many files in the result set match each specific filter. To reset the selection of a set operation use the corresponding opposite option in the menu:


 

Refine the specification of a set operation

Filters are defined in a hierarchical structure, and Pinker allows users to control which descendants in a filter branch participate in a set operation. This is done by toggling off/on descendant branches.

 

Example of using Toggle off/on with “Require” set operation
Goal: Find all files that are text documents except Microsoft Word files.

Steps:

  1. Right-click “Text documents” filter to bring up its context menu
  2. Select “Require”
  3. Right-click “MS Word” filter to bring up its context menu (Note that the option to “Toggle off” appears in the menu)
  4. Select “Toggle off”

 

There were 29 MS Word files in the content of the results area which are no longer included after toggling off the filter “MS Word”. The match counts of all filters have been updated to reflect how the content of the results area matches the filters. To bring back the Microsoft documents to the content of the results area right-click on the “MS Word” filter and select “Toggle on” from the menu.

Example of using Toggle off/on with the “Exclude” set operation
Goal: Find all files, except text documents other than Microsoft Word files.

Steps:

  1. Right-click “Text document” filter to bring up its context menu
  2. Select “Exclude”
  3. Right-click “MS Word” filter to bring up its context menu with the option to toggle off
  4. Select “Toggle off”

 

In this example, toggling off MS Word files brought back 115 Microsoft Word files to the content of the results area. These files had been excluded initially when the “Exclude” set operation was applied to the “Documents & Media” filter. All filter match counts are updated to reflect the content of the results area.

Toggle off and on filters from the Topic Filters work in the same way as with File Property Filters.



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