Search function in emails

Everyone has surely been in a situation, where you are looking for a piece of information, but you do not know exactly what you are looking for. Life gets a lot easier when you can count on a trustworthy search function. In today’s article we are going to focus on the search function in emails.


Search in Gmail

By default, you just type your word in the search panel, press enter, and hope for the best. It is that simple, but most of the time you need to be more specific to actually find something useful. The options to filter your searches are quite wide. Filters based on the sender and the recipients are the first step. Then you can specify your queries to only check for words in the subject or the whole message. Other filters include the date, size of the message, and also whether it contains attachments or not. Lastly, you may of course look in specific folders only.

The mechanism as a whole is decent. The problem here is Gmail does not support wildcard searches where you either replace the beginning, the end, or both of a word with an asterisk sign. To put it in perspective - “searchinginoutlook” - will not be found if you do not look up the whole word. And there is no workaround here. The words would need to be separated; be it by comma, dash, semicolon, or another punctuation symbol. So, starting as a powerful web-based search engine, Google does not use the full technology in their email client. It sure tastes bittersweet.


Search in Outlook web client

The functionality of Microsoft Outlook web client is basically equal. The differences are very minor. Gmail allows you to search email by its size, Microsoft allows you to only search in carbon copies. The difference comes in the wildcard searches. Just like Gmail, Outlook.com also does not fully support wildcard searches. However, in the previous search “searchinginoutlook” Microsoft would succeed if you look for “searchinginout”. Outlook’s quasi-wildcard search checks the beginning of the words and therefore might be more successful.

Search function in eM Client

We are aware that comparing webmail clients with a full-grown desktop client such as eM Client may not seem fair. Nevertheless, there are a lot of features you are missing while only using the webmail apps. The search seems to be one of the most important functions here as it is really trimmed in webmail versions.

There are two types of searches in eM Client. The basic text search can be activated in any message by pressing F4 and it simply highlights not just words you are looking for but also syllables or letters.

The other search panel can be found in the upper right corner. It is a huge step from the simplified Gmail search. You are allowed to search in all your mailboxes at once and the almost endless possibilities with Advanced search might be staggering at first. For example, the filter allows you to search in messages that had not been read yet or even create your own Search folder.

Finally, eM Client also supports a fully fletched wildcard search. The word “searchinginoutlook” will be found even if your only word to search for is *arch* or *out*. Pretty wild and useful, isn't it?

For those of you who want to master their searching and learn more about search, keywords and eM Client in general, we would recommend to check our blog. You will definitely like what you find there.