SmartSearch Fields

SmartSearch fields are unique to Birder’s Diary! They show up as a light-green color on your forms/windows.

 These fields have been around since version 3.0. They have evolved a bit since then and now appear different visually to allow you to recognize when you are using one.

SmartSearch fields allow you to quickly enter the name of anything you want (e.g. bird, plant, scientific name, location, etc).

Best Practices

Use these techniques to get the most out of using SmartSearch fields in Birder’s Diary.

  • Type Only the First 2 Letters of Each Word
    Break every name into its word parts. For example “American Three-toed Woodpecker”, just type the first 2 or 3 letters of each word and separate them by the space character such as “am th to wo“. This will quickly get you to “American Three-toed Woodpecker”! Start thinking in these terms – “just the first couple letters of each word of a name separated by space“.
  • Stop typing as soon as it matches on the name you are after.
  • Clear any SmartSearch field by pressing the DELETE or HOME key on your keyboard.
  • When you are unsure why what you have typed is not matching look at the Dropdown header to see what it thinks you have typed. You can usually quickly discover the error.
  • If you are not sure if a name is hyphenated or not (e.g. is it “three toed” or “three-toed”), it doesn’t matter. You can leave it blank or add the hyphen and it will match on either. SmartSearch replaces every non-alphanumeric character with any character for matching purposes. So you could put a period in a name, and it will match that space on any character. For example, “blue.jay” will still find “Blue Jay”.
  • SmartSearch is case-insensitive. It doesn’t matter if you are typing in upper case or lower case, so don’t worry about capitalizing the first letter of proper names in order to find a match.

Special Keys in SmartSearch Fields

The following keys have special meaning in SmartSearch fields.

  • Space, semi-colon or asterisk characters act as wildcard characters; matching on any number of characters in that position.
  • Any non-alphanumeric character (other than space, semi-colon and asterisk) will act as a one-char wildcard; matching on any character in that position.
  • Down-arrow or up-arrow will move to the next or previous match based on the characters you have entered so far.
  • Ctrl+Down-arrow or Ctrl+Up-arrow will disable or enable SmartSearch auto-match feature.
  • The DELETE key or the HOME key on your keyboard will always clear any SmartSearch field; allowing you to quickly start your search over again.
  • Alt+F1 will display a Help Window with abbreviated info on using a SmartSearch field.
  • Alt+F2 will display the WebSearch Window allowing you to search various web resources (e.g. Google, Clements/Cornell, Wikipedia, etc) with the current field contents.
  • Alt+F5 (new in v5.0) will toggle between disabling and enabling the auto-Dropdown list when typing.

Matching Order

  1. Attempt an exact match first on the text entered, then if no match…
  2. Attempt a match on any text that starts with your text, then if still no match…
  3. Attempt a match on the text you type anywhere in a name.