Support Article: Search Tips


Advanced Search Builder

Reveal offers a powerful set of search capabilities described below. The fastest way to get started is to click the "Advanced" button in the main window; when you use these advanced options, the syntax specified below is auto-generated for you in the query field, which can help you come up to speed on the advanced features faster.

Search By Dragging

With Reveal 1.2.2 and later, you can search by dragging: Drag a PPT file or a folder onto the Reveal main window, or onto the Reveal app icon in the Dock and see all the versions of the slides in that file, or all the slides contained within the folder.

Open with Reveal

You can also "right click" any PowerPoint or Keynote file in the Finder and "open" it with Reveal, which will show all versions of the slides contained within that file.

Searching Terms

You can aggregate multiple terms together to narrow your search: red house may return more specific results than just searching house.

Truncation with an asterisk (*) can broaden your search results, making it easier to find slides with similar terms that start with the same string of letters.

For example, compet* will match competition and competitors and auto* will find automatic and automobile.

Mixing Terms with Selectors

Refine your results by using selectors with your search terms. Selectors narrow your results, so you will have fewer results.

For example, a search for competition file:investor to show all slides that mention “competition” and have “investor” somewhere in the file name. Files that don’t have “investor” in the files name won’t appear in your search results.


You can use “selectors” to zero in on a search through metadata not found on the slide itself:

when: Used to suggest a date.


when:thisweek or when:week
when:<mon><year>, such as when:jun2010
when:<year>, such as when:2010

when:<start>-<end>, such as when:2014-2018 or when:jan2014-dec2018
Note that you can use this to simulate "before" and "after" searches, e.g., when:1900-2008, or when:2008-2020.

title: Used to search within the title of the slide. Does not support spaces in the current releases.

file: Used to search on the filename. Does not support spaces in the current releases.

folder: Used to search on the folder; so you can see the contents of all slides within a specific folder. There is a "Open dialog" box in the Advanced… search panel, if you want to pick the folder in proper Mac fashion.

You can use multiple selectors in each search, but you can only use one of each type. The use of multiple selectors is combined as a logical AND (not an OR).

So you can enter queries such as:

when:thisweek title:competition

Searching for "everything"

Reveal currently only shows the first 500-1000 results, depending on a few internal calculations, but you can "browse" a hint of everything by searching for:


This search will be improved in a future version of Reveal.

Sorting Results

Reveal offers a few different ways to sort the results, which are accessed in the popup in the upper right corner of the window:

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