[kdepim-users] Improving the "Search" feature in Kmail?

Ingo Klöcker kloecker at kde.org
Wed Aug 12 22:10:50 BST 2009

On Wednesday 12 August 2009, r bartlett wrote:
> Thank you very much, Ingo, for these answers.  The suggestion to cut
> and paste is a good one, but perhaps it would be better to upgrade my
> KDE.  I don't suppose I can do this just for Kmail, can I?  :-)

Just the other day I gave the following answer to this question:
Yes and no. KMail 1.9.10 was the last KMail in the KDE 3 series. All 
more recent versions of KMail are based on KDE 4. In theory, it is 
possible to run a KDE 4 application (e.g. the most recent stable 
version of KMail) in KDE 3.5. In practice, it is not easy to set this 
up correctly. Unless your distribution allows you to install KDE 4 
applications while using KDE 3.5 I advise against doing so.


> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Ingo Klöcker <kloecker at kde.org>
> To: kdepim-users at kde.org
> Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 3:14:36 PM
> Subject: Re: [kdepim-users] Improving the "Search" feature in Kmail?
> On Wednesday 12 August 2009, r bartlett wrote:
> > Hi.
> >
> > I'm wondering if there's anything I can do at the user end to make
> > the search feature more usable.  I'm currently running Fedora 8
> > with Kmail 1.9..10.  I'm not sure if these are problems due to
> > something I'm doing wrong or problems that would have to be fixed
> > in an update:
> >
> > 1.  There's a long delay after I type in a few letters
> > into the search field...often causing Kmail to hang.  If I wait,
> > often minutes, it will eventually recover...but this seems
> > problematic.  I have 40,000 messages so obviously, that's a lot,
> > but still...it seems awfully slow.  It seems to start searching as
> > soon as one types, too, and it might be faster and more resource
> > friendly if one could type the whole phrase or word in first, then
> > click "Search."  There are a lot of matches for "An" but very few
> > for "Anjali" and even fewer for "Anjali at abcexample.com" and having
> > it iterate first through everything with "An," then "Anj" "Anja"
> > and so on seems strange.
> 40,000 messages are a lot of messages KMail has to match against the
> search term. A possible workaround for your problem is to enter the
> search term somewhere else and then copy&paste the whole term in the
> search field.
> > 2.
> > Can I possibly set the search to include both the Contact list
> > formatted name and the actual email?  For example, if I've set
> > abc at yahoo.com to "Bob Bozo" in my Contact list, the "Receiver name"
> > shows up as "Bob Bozo" from then on and that's all that will be
> > usable in the search.  If I then want to pull up all of Bob's
> > emails to me and look through them, if I type "abc at yahoo.com"
> > I'll only get the ones that were written before I made Bob's
> > contact card.  It would be nice to be able to type "abc at yahoo" and
> > get both the pre- and the post- card emails.  It would be nice to
> > have an easy way to get all the emails sent from a certain address,
> > whether they were part of a contact card or not...no matter what
> > the names used were.
> In KMail 1.9 this is not possible. If I remember correctly, then
> KMail 1.11 (KDE 4.2) and later support this.
> > 3.  Having a pulldown bar
> > similar to the one in the Filters section enabling one to "Search
> > in all headers" or "Search in From:" or so on would be great.
> I think this is possible in KMail 1.11 and later.
> > 4.
> > It would be massively helpful to have a way to search within the
> > email bodies themselves without pulling up the actual message
> > first. With 40,000 emails in one folder, trying to find, say
> > "Invoice 687" is tricky if it's only referred to in the body of an
> > email and I don't remember the person who sent me the mail.  Can I
> > do this perhaps with a command line directed at the Kmail folder? 
> > (I'm thinking "cat" and "grep"?)
> Use the full-featured Find Messages dialog. You can open it via
> Edit->Find Messages... or via the icon next to the Status drop-down
> box in the Search bar.
> Regards,
> Ingo
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