The Find Dialog Box Is Non-Modal — So What?

In all Windows software, most dialog boxes are modal. That means that once you open the dialog, you can’t do anything else with that program until you close the dialog. You are forced to interact with the dialog box before returning to the main software window.

Personal Knowbase’s Find dialog box is non-modal. That means that you can leave it open while doing other work with the program. You can move the dialog to the side of the screen and leave it open while doing other work in Personal Knowbase. This also applies to the related Replace dialog box.

So What?

Changing Your Search Range

This is particularly useful when you’re in the Index Window and want to manipulate your Titles list to change the Search Range for your Find operation.

For example, if a Find returns too many results, you can move a keyword or two to the Selected column before re-running the same Find operation using the Selected Articles search range. You can do that without closing the dialog.

PK with Non-modal Find dialog

With the Find dialog still open, you can even use Build Query to manipulate the displayed Titles list before running the Find on the resulting Selected Articles search range.

Change which articles are bookmarked, then run the Find again on the Bookmarked Articles search range. Highlight a subset of the currently shown titles, then run the Find on the Highlighted Articles search range (for more information on highlighting multiple items, see our tip for PK Tip: Selecting Multiple Items in a List).

Looking Inside Found Articles

You can also run Find with the Show Only Titles option checked, then review the list of resulting titles. When you see the title of the article you think you want, double-click on its title to open the article, change the Search Range to Current Article, and run the search again to locate where the text string occurs within that article.

Searching Lower in Article Text

When searching within the Current Article, the Find and Replace operations start searching at the current cursor position. If you want to start your search lower down in a large article to skip over a section, you can move the cursor to a lower position before clicking the Find button.

Copying into the Find What Field

You can even copy a text string from outside the Find dialog (for example, from the content of an article) and paste it into the Find What field. This is useful to avoid typing errors in a complex string that you want to find all instances of.

Note: You may want to move the Find or Replace dialog box off to the side of the PK window to see your results better.

Personal Knowbase’s Find command is more powerful than it appears at first glance. Use various options together or consecutively to improve your results.