Search macros in the future

I think this is a future feature question. I am pretty sure it doesn’t exist now, although, I have been wrong before. :wink: It would be nice if you could do more than a single thing at a time in TaskPaper. Here I am thinking of using a search to focus on a set of items, and I want to see that found set expanded in the results of the search. Sometimes they are already expanded, and sometimes not.

The macro idea I am thinking of could be part of a saved search and could look something like, “Circular Tower Paper Tray”, “Expand Items”. Currently it is not even possible to do this with the keyboard as the search gives the proper results but all the expand Item type menu commands are greyed out and inactive until you actually click on the found set. You can’t click on the search and hit option-o to expand the search results.

This would be available in the area of the search engine and the saved search. I know @jessegrosjean is hard at work with v4 WriteRoom, and then v4 TaskPaper. I hope that this idea of building search steps might catch his interest.

Can you explain what you want with a concrete example? If it’s really just “expand” the search results I think that’s already possible by just changing what you are searching for. Anyway if you could give an example search that you are starting with, and then explain what you want to “expand” I think I can probably just show you how to adjust your search.

Sure, there are two ways I normally search for something, a saved search in the sidebar and, a macro using Keyboard Maestro that simulates the keystroke option-P for the Go To Anything dialog, then types or pastes the search term.

Using the sidebar, I have an item that has seven items within it. That item is titled: “Circular Tower Paper Tray:”. Items within it are; Tray #1: - Tray #7: I use this to reference items I have in a filing system on my desk. Each Tray # would contain an actionable item which can also have a priority tag. I can and I do find the items within this when I search by priority tags. My aim here is to Go To “Circular Tower Paper Tray:” and see it expanded to check visually if there are things there I forgot to pay attention to.

I moved “Circular Tower Paper Tray:” to a project top level as I did not want to see it with things above it when I wanted to focus on it.

Concrete example: I have a saved search titled “Circular Rack”. It contains the following search criterion:

Circular Tower Paper Tray except (@search union archive///*)

When I click on this, I get my project, “Circular Tower Paper Tray:”, and it is collapsed every time. I would like to get this result and see it expanded. Of interest is the way I can use Go To Anything, type in “Circular Tower Paper Tray:”, and it is found expanded. But with a saved search, it is always coming up collapsed.

I could work-around this by adding some unique tag to every element within the project and searching on that unique tag, But this seems way too convoluted a procedure. All it takes is the command-option right arrow to expand and I have exactly what I want. Go To Anything seems to find the item and shows all it’s sub-folders expanded. Search, as I have defined it, always shows the result not expanded.