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date 27.Jul.2014

■ Fuzzy search mode takes the trouble out of matching accented letters in filenames

English is a very easy language but it is not very accurate representation of the pronunciation of spoken words. All other languages I know of use accents to modify the sound of vowels, including German, French (and not to mention Slovak) — things like umlauts and circumflex. But if you name a file Löwenbräu.xls you may have trouble searching for it.

Enter fuzzy search mode. Most of you probably haven't noticed the little number box next to the Named field in xplorer² search and other similar dialogs (see the picture). This can be used for approximate (fuzzy) searches. The default value of 100 means "find what I tell you 100% exact", that is a literal search of what you type for a Name. Lowering the percent accuracy resembles a "sounds like" search mode; the smallest the number the greater the fuzziness. fuzzy search knob

Arguably fuzzy search is not very useful except when it comes to accented vowels. Setting the number to 99 turns on the accent insensitive matching mode that means all accents are dropped and vowels are converted to their simplest form, e.g. all ö ô o etc are equivalent, and so searching for rôle will match both its accented and normal role variations. So finding non-english filenames becomes much easier.

Accents also complicate searching for text within files, not just filenames. There is no way to tell xplorer² to use fuzzy search for file contents but one of the advantages of ultimate version is that windows indexes contents without regard to accents, and so you can search for accent-insensitive keywords too!

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