The result list

After starting a search, a list of results will instantly be displayed in the main window.

By default, the document list is presented in order of relevance (how well the application estimates that the document matches the query). You can sort the results by ascending or descending date by using the vertical arrows in the toolbar.

Each result is displayed as a structured text paragraph. The standard format is typically adequate, but the content and presentation are entirely customisable.

Most results will contain Preview and Open clickable links.

Clicking the Preview link will open an internal preview window for the document. Further Preview clicks for the same search will open tabs in the existing preview window. You can use Shift+Click to force the creation of another preview window, which may be useful to view the documents side by side. (You can also browse successive results in a single preview window by typing Shift+ArrowUp/Down in the window).

Clicking the Open link will start an external viewer for the document. By default, Recoll lets the desktop choose the appropriate application for most document types. See further for customizing the applications.

The Preview and Open links may not be present for all entries. They are only available, respectively, for documents with MIME types that Recoll can extract text from, and for documents that have a configured viewer. However, you can modify the configuration to adjust this behavior. In more detail:

  • The Preview link will appear for documents with a MIME type present in the [index] section of the mimeconf file, and, only if the textunknownasplain configuration variable is set, for all types identified as a subtype of text (text/*).

  • The Open link will appear for documents with a MIME type present in the [view] section of the mimeview configuration file. If textunknownasplain is set and no specific viewer is found for a subtype of text, the viewer for text/plain will be used.

You can click on the Query details link at the top of the results page to see the actual Xapian query, after stem expansion and other processing.

Double-clicking on any word inside the result list or a preview window will insert it into the simple search text.

The result list is divided into pages. You can change the page size in the preferences. Use the arrow buttons in the toolbar or the links at the bottom of the page to browse the results.

Customising the viewers

By default Recoll lets the desktop choose what application should be used to open a given document, with exceptions.

The details of this behaviour can be customized with the PreferencesGUI configurationUser interfaceChoose editor applications dialog or by editing the mimeview configuration file.

When Use desktop preferences, at the top of the dialog, is checked, the desktop default is generally used, but there is a small default list of exceptions, for MIME types where the Recoll choice should override the desktop one. These are applications which are well integrated with Recoll, for example, on Linux, evince for viewing PDF and Postscript files because of its support for opening the document at a specific page and passing a search string as an argument. You can add or remove document types to the exceptions by using the dialog.

If you prefer to completely customize the choice of applications, you can uncheck Use desktop preferences, in which case the Recoll predefined applications will be used, and can be changed for each document type. This is probably not the most convenient approach in most cases.

In all cases, the applications choice dialog accepts multiple selections of MIME types in the top section, and lets you define how they are processed in the bottom one. In most cases, you will be using %f as a place holder to be replaced by the file name in the application command line.

You may also change the choice of applications by editing the mimeview configuration file if you find this more convenient.

Under Unix-like systems, each result list entry also has a right-click menu with an Open With entry. This lets you choose an application from the list of those which registered with the desktop for the document MIME type, on a case by case basis.