Searching with the Qt graphical user interface

The recoll program provides the main user interface for searching. It is based on the Qt library.

recoll has two search interfaces:

  • Simple search (the default, on the main screen) has a single entry field where you can enter multiple words or a query language query.

  • Advanced search (a panel accessed through the Tools menu or the toolbox bar icon) has multiple entry fields, which you may use to build a logical condition, with additional filtering on file type, location in the file system, modification date, and size.

The Advanced Search tool is easier to use, but not actually more powerful, than the Simple Search in query language mode. Its name is historical, but Assisted Search would probably have been a better designation.

In most text areas, you can enter the terms as you think them, even if they contain embedded punctuation or other non-textual characters (e.g. Recoll can handle things like email addresses).

The main case where you should enter text differently from how it is printed is for east-asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean). Words composed of single or multiple characters should be entered separated by white space in this case (they would typically be printed without white space).

Some searches can be quite complex, and you may want to re-use them later, perhaps with some tweaking. Recoll can save and restore searches. See Saving and restoring queries.