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

Ingo Klöcker kloecker at kde.org
Wed Aug 12 20:14:36 BST 2009

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.

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