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Old 06-09-2012, 09:39 PM   #1
dnjmama
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Searching ebook body/text across library-Is it Possible?

Hope this is the correct forum for this….

I am looking for a way to search the ebook text across a calibre library for a literal string (e.g. the word “maypole” or the name “John Smith”, etc). I do NOT mean the metadata, but the actual ebook text.

Can anyone tell me how I can do this in Calibre?

I know I can search within a given ebook, but I am looking to search across an entire library to find the book(s) containing the string.

The only thing I have found that relates, is in the powerful “search and replace” function under “Convert books”. I realize I could search for a string of “maypole” and replace with “maypole” (e.g. no real change), but I don’t see a list of the books where the change was actually found & replaced*.

Of course, it is risky to use a search and REPLACE function in the way, as one could accidentally replace/damage the original text—but at least it would be a workaround.

*better still, would be the book and a ‘clip’ of the text from each place in each ebook where the string was found—the ‘clip’ would be the search string surrounded with, say, the 15 words before and the 15 words after the search string occurance.

Why am I looking for this? As libraries grow, it is useful to search for many things: In fiction, the first/all places a character or location is referenced; In non-fiction, one might be searching for an ingredient(“carbon dioxide” or “chicken thigh”), or a city, or a person (“Albert Einstein”, etc), a technique (“godet” or “miter”), etcetera.

Thanks for reading this—Please let me know if I have missed something, or if there is something else I should try.

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Old 06-09-2012, 11:42 PM   #2
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At the moment there is no way to search inside books in calibre, it's on my todo list to be implemented someday, along with about 300 other things
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:03 AM   #3
kiwidude
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You can search across ePub books for text using the Quality Check plugin. Only ePub format though and it doesn't currently show the context for the match though that has been asked for.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:06 PM   #4
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Kovidgoyal: Thank you for the reply, nice to know it's on a list & I'm not alone in desiring it--as libraries grow, management tools become more necessary.

Kiwidude: Thank you for mentioning a potential aid--I will check it out. As author of the plugin: Are there any pointers or warnings you'd care to pass on about using your quality control plugin for searching within epub? Feel free to pass me to a posting, if you've already spelled this out somewhere...

(Thank you--I did get that this is for epubs only (& w/o context) but as that happens to be 85% of my materials, it might help--I'll have to see, the other 15% are PDF & I could convert, but probably 5-8% are primarily image based PDFs.)
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
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@dnjmama - not a huge amount of things I could say about it since it is a pretty straightforward dialog. You will only be interested in setting the scope to "HTML content" which I think is the default.

You can assign a keyboard shortcut to it via the Customise plugin -> Keyboard shortcuts option at the bottom of the Quality Check menu, or via Preferences -> Keyboard.

If you only want to search a subset of your library, do a normal calibre search for just the books of interest, use the "Restrict to" option on the top left of the screen and choose "*Current search". From that point onwards any features inside the Quality Check plugin including this Search ePubs option will be limited to just that same subset of books. Use that same Restrict to dropdown to set back to blank to look at all your books again.

When the search is completed, it will display all the books it found matches in. The View log option on the dialog will show you the details of exactly which html file page inside the ePub it found the first match in (it stops looking after finding the first occurrence in an ePub).

Other than that you will see that same plugin has a squillion other features, but they aren't relevant to your query in this thread. See the Help file option on the plugin's menu if you want to learn more about them. Enjoy...
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:00 AM   #6
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Another option is to use the search facility of your Operating System (outside of calibre) to search file content of all files within one or more calibre Library folders, assuming all the Libraries are in one folder called, say "Calibre Libraries". The problem with this method is that "book formats" that are archives (multiple files packaged as one) such as EPUB, MOBI, ZIP, RAR get ignored.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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Alternatively

I also need this option. It would be great if it were possible to search the entire library and at the same time within the texts. Ideally, the results appear in another window showing the term highlighted in context to know immediately if useful. If you work in this research would be very important as it will save many hours of searching.

While not incorporate Calibre I use Copernic Desktop Search. It is good and allows you to search all file types. must be given a long time to index the content.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unboggling View Post
Another option is to use the search facility of your Operating System (outside of calibre) to search file content of all files within one or more calibre Library folders, assuming all the Libraries are in one folder called, say "Calibre Libraries". The problem with this method is that "book formats" that are archives (multiple files packaged as one) such as EPUB, MOBI, ZIP, RAR get ignored.
On OS/X with Spotlight, or on Linux with Recoll, EPUB and MOBI files can be content searched, as well as most other things

Windows can search CHM, DjVu, RAR, ZIP, CAB and other files if you install the IFilters available from MS, IFiltershop, Citeknet and IFilter.org, they're all free - some of the links at IFilter.Org are broken and some links are duplicates.

One simple and relatively inexpensive way of content indexing and searching ebooks on Windows is to create a TXT file, via Calibre Conversion. Windows will index the text files, and search will get you to the book folders by displaying a list of text files that meet your search criteria. Open file location will put you into the book folder and you can double click on the epub, mobi whatever - be careful, and don't change anything.

If you're searching your ebooks in Windows I recommend you don't do it from the Start menu, instead navigate to your library in Windows Explorer and search from there (top right corner). Searching from the Start menu can throw up too many 'What the heck is that' and "Where the hell is it then' results.

If you don't keep RAR or ZIP files in the book folders, then you could put the TXT in a ZIP or RAR, it should be quite a lot smaller, it will get indexed if the appropriate Ifilter is installed.

I never made Windows Desktop Search work satisfactorily on XP, Google and Copernic weren't any better. IMO the only one that was any good was the one from Yahoo, but they deprecated it - to the bit bucket

BR
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