Finding text and characters

You can search for text in fields of type text, or in calculation fields that return a text result.

To find text and characters:

  1. Start a find request.

    See Making a find request.

  2. To find

    Type this in the field


    Words that start with specific roman characters (works with fields that use any language except Japanese)

    The characters

    Chris Smith finds Chris Smith, Smith Chris, Chris Smithson, and Smith Christenson

    Words that start with Japanese hiragana, katakana, or kanji characters

    The characters between = and *

    Japanese text pronounced oda between equal sign and asterisk finds Japanese text pronounced oda, Japanese text pronounced odayama, and Japanese text pronounced odagawa

    A phrase or sequence of characters that match when they are the first characters in a word (match phrase from word start)

    The literal text (characters), including spaces and punctuation, between double quotation marks (")

    "Marten and Jones Interiors" finds Marten and Jones Interiors but not Jones and Marten Interiors

    ", Ltd." finds all companies with ", Ltd." in the name, but not those without the comma

    "Spring" finds Springville but not ColdSpring Harbor or HotSpring

    Words with one or more unknown or variable characters (any one character)

    One wildcard character (@) for each unknown character

    Gr@y finds Gray and Grey

    @on finds Don and Ron but not Bron

    Invalid characters in a text field


    Invalid characters display as blank characters


    Note  To find the ? character, search for "?"

    Digits in a text field (any one digit)

    A # character for each digit

    # finds 3 but not 30

    ## finds 30 but not 3 or 300

    #3 finds 53 and 43 but not 3

    Words with zero or more unknown or variable text characters in a row (zero or more characters)

    * for all unknown characters

    Jo*n finds Jon and John

    J*r finds Jr. and Junior

    *phan* finds Phan and Stephanie

    S* finds Sophie, Steve, and Sven

    Operators or other non-alphanumeric characters, such as punctuation or spaces

    The literal text (characters), including spaces and punctuation, between double quotation marks (")

    "@" finds @ (or an email address, for example)

    "," finds records containing a comma

    "   " finds three spaces in a row

    A character with special meaning, such as invisible characters or the find operators recognized by FileMaker Pro:

    @, *, #, ?, !, =, <, >, " (escape next character)

    \ followed by the special character

    For a carriage return, in Browse mode, enter a carriage return in a field and copy it to the Clipboard. Then in Find mode, type \ and paste the carriage return.

    For a tab, type \ then press Ctrl+Tab (Windows) or Option-Tab (macOS).

    \"Joey\" finds "Joey"

    joey\ finds the email address

    finds Joey preceded by a carriage return

    Words with accented characters

    The literal text (characters), including spaces and punctuation, between double quotation marks (")

    "òpera" finds òpera but not opera

    (òpera without quotation marks finds both òpera and opera)

    Partial phrases, a sequence of words or characters (match phrase from anywhere)

    Characters, punctuation, and spaces between double quotation marks ("); use * to find this text in the middle of a longer text string

    *"son & Phillips" finds

    Johnson & Phillips and Paulson & Phillips

    Exact matches of the text you specify (match entire field)

    == (two equal signs) for a field content match

    ==John finds John but not John Smith

    ==John Smith finds John Smith but not Smith, John or John Smithers

    Exact matches of whole words you specify (match whole word)


    =Market finds Market, Market Services, and Ongoing Market Research but not Marketing or Supermarket

    =Chris =Smith finds Chris Smith or Smith Chris but not Chris or Christopher Smithson

    Words that contain Japanese hiragana, katakana, and kanji characters (Japanese-indexed fields only)

    The characters

    Japanese text pronounced kyoto finds Japanese text pronounced kyoto, Japanese text pronounced tokyoto, and Japanese text pronounced kyoto fu

    Kana characters in a Japanese-indexed field without differentiating between hiragana/katakana, voiced/semi-voiced/unvoiced kana, small/regular kana, and kana voiced/unvoiced iteration marks

    ~ (tilde) and the character, to do a relaxed search

    A tilde followed by Japanese hiragana pronounced ha finds Japanese hiragana pronounced ha, Japanese hiragana pronounced ba, Japanese hiragana pronounced pa, Japanese katakana pronounced ha, Japanese katakana pronounced ba, and Japanese katakana pronounced pa

  3. Click Perform Find in the status toolbar.

Note  Normally, finds are not case sensitive or width sensitive. For example, a find request that includes Japanese half-width characters will match results that contain the equivalent full-width characters.

You can perform case-sensitive and width-sensitive finds on a field by changing the default indexing and sorting language for the field to Unicode. However, this procedure will change the order in which the field sorts. If you do not want the original field to sort in Unicode order, create a calculation field whose formula is simply the field in which you want to perform case-sensitive or width-sensitive finds, and change the default indexing and sorting language of this field to Unicode. Then you can sort one of the fields, and perform find requests on the other. See Defining field indexing options and Defining calculation fields.