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Old 06-08-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
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Changing the parameters for default searches

I have a custom column for "Additional Contributors" that I use in conjunction with anthologies: I list the editor(s) under the default "Author(s)" column, and contributing authors in the custom column. What I'd like to do is when I type "Alt+A" (the shortcut for "Search for books by same author") have it search the contents of both the "Author(s)" column and my custom "Additional Contributors" column. I thought that modifying that search behavior might be possible in Tweaks, but it appears not. Am I looking in the wrong place? Is this even possible?
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:51 PM   #2
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It isn't possible. The action triggerred by Alt+A is hardcoded to search the authors column. It would be a trivial calibre plugin to make that replicated the find similar books action, but with custom columns. You can request it in the plugins thread and see if anyone is willing to make it for you.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:35 AM   #3
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One thing you can do that gets part-way there: make a grouped search term (preferences -> searching) that names all the columns you with to search. Name the search term something like "1author". Then after you use ALT-A, change the "author:..." on the search line to "1author:..." and hit return. All the columns you named in the search term definition will be searched.

The plugin is a better solution, but the above might be better than nothing.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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Thanks for the great tip, chaley. It works so well, it would almost be an insult to call it a mere "workaround". So, yeah, I think I'll probably go with that for the time being. I'm wondering, though, if this might be the kind of feature that would makes sense for calibre to have natively, rather than as a separated plugin. It seems to me like a conceptual extension (even if the coding requirements themselves are different ) of several features that calibre already supports.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:47 AM   #5
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The next release will allow you to change the field (column) associated with a similar search to a different standard or custom column, or to a grouped search term (GST). For example, you can change "similar tags" to search a genre column instead of the standard tag column. Your case, wanting to search multiple 'authors' columns with ALT-A, is handled by creating a GST and then telling calibre to use the GST in similar authors searches.

The values to search for are taken from the specified column in the current book. If you use a GST, calibre combines the values in the current book of the fields listed in the GST. Finally, you can control for each similar search whether all values must match (an "and" search) or whether any must match (an "or" search).

Configuration is done in preferences -> searching.

FWIW, and somewhat related to your question: have you tried using Quickview? It provides an alternate way of doing similar searches and navigating through a library by opening a small floating pane that shows the book's values in a column and other books that also contain that value. Clicking on a value in the quickview pane shows the books that contain that value. Double-clicking on a book in the quickview pane changes the selection in the library view. Try it by selecting a book and typing 'q' (for quickview). If you click on a different column in the library view, the quickview pane will update to show values from that column and the books that contain that value.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:00 AM   #6
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You guys are seriously the best... saying anything else is just looking for payment by the word. Thank you.

Thanks also for the quickview tip. I have no doubt I'll find that creeping into my common usage. It's embarrassing to think of how much of calibre's extensive functionality I have yet to explore. I think it's hight time that I sit down with the user's manual and start from the top...
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