Excluding project "Archive" from view

I have all my projects and tasks in one giant projects file, and in doing a weekly review I go through all the entries. Now I’d like to have a search that excludes the archived items (that is: the project “Archive:” should be excluded). I’m trying to do this with this search:

not (project Archive)

but that does not work. I still see that project in scrolling the file. Also all entries are expanded, although I start in collapsed view.

I wanted to answer quickly because I will be busy all day. Honestly I need to check my notes to explain this because I forgot the mechanics behind the differences between not and except. Jessie explained it on the forum here, maybe a search will help you. But try this.

* except archive///*


Thanks for answering and I think that’s the correct search for this case.

I’m not sure that this makes it extremely clear, but not is part of the predicate pattern of a single step in an item path, while except (and union and intersect) operate on entire paths. Generally in TaskPaper terms this means that not works on a single item, while except can work on multiple items.

And for others who want more details the search reference is here:



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I might be asking too much, but could you give me an example of this? I can imagine something like a project that has several things tagged with something and I DON’T want to see the first element of that tag like, @something[0] but is there another example of where I can use not.

I guess I just didn’t understand this.

A full item path looks like this:


See the section Item Paths > Steps for I hope is a good description of how steps are evaluated… but the point I was trying to make is that each step is a predicate that is run against individual candidate items one at a time. And not is only used in that context (a boolean expression used to build up a predicate), it works on individual items to see if they pass a particular step. and and or are also used in that same context.

On the other hand union, intersect, and except are set operations used to combine the results of multiple item paths. So they work at a higher level, against all items matched by a given item path.

Maybe another way to put it is:

  1. Boolean expressions (including not) build predicates for matching individual items.

  2. Set expressions (including except) work on all the matching items generated by an item path. So they are used to combine the results of item paths in various ways.


I’m confused by this:

Here it sounds like you are describing “Slice Results” … not isn’t directly related other then it’s also used in item paths.

Also for the record I think the query language is pretty confusing. The big picture goal was to create a query language that was easy to use for default case, but could also be used for more powerful path based queries.

The result is nice once you understand it, but it’s quite hard to understand, because there are lots of default expansions that make it hard to see how it really works.

Going forward (version 4.0) I’m trying to move to a standardized query language such as xpath. More complex looking, but lots of documentation and less magic. I’m also planning to deemphasize the query language display in the UI.

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Wow, so you have plans for another version. I‘m your first customer:)

Yes, but don’t hold breath. I’ve had these plans (and been working on them) for a few years now. Still going slowly.

No need to hurry. As long as TP3 works in the coming years, I’m perfectly fine with the current version :smiley:


@jessegrosjean, do you have a link to contribute to a tip jar? I really enjoy every interaction with you and your software and makes me want to contribute back somehow. That is why I participate helping people in the forum, organizing the scripts, and explaining some things. If you had a tip jar, I would definitively participate. Even if it is just enough to buy you a happy meal :wink:

I know some people may not feel like that, and to each their own; but I would like to have that option if given somewhere. You make software that is so good that makes you think, “man, this is a steal!” and support that is so extraordinary that makes you feel like you are getting more that what you bargain for when you bought the software that was too cheap to begin for. Add the tip jar option please!

Edit: I just read another post in the forum and I think that other people have the same feeling!

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Totally agree.

Thanks, but not yet. I do very much appreciate all your help in the forums!

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