TIP: To save a lot of time logging your foods, read Log Your Meals in 5 Minutes a Day.
Diet Power has three dictionaries: the Food Dictionary, the Exercise Dictionary, and the Recipe Box. (Each appears in several places: the Food Dictionary, for example, also shows up in the top window of the Food Log.)
The Four Search Methods
Beside the Find field is a list box showing which search method you are using. To choose a different method, click the button to open the list; then click the method you prefer.
(Note: None of the methods is case-sensitive. That is, you can find Beef Wellington by entering "beef wellington," "BEEF WELLINGTON," or even "bEeF wElLiNgToN." Also, you needn't worry about diacritical marks. Entering "crepes" will find crêpes suzettes, for example; "munster" will find Münster cheese, and "pina" will find piña colada.)
1. Incremental Search
To find an item with Incremental Search, simply begin typing the item's name. If the name is a two- or three-word combination, the order generally doesn't matter—water skiing, for example, is listed as both "Water skiing" and "Skiing, water." (In the Food Dictionary, this is true only if you've loaded the name variants described in Food Dictionary, Abridging and Unabridging.) Typing the letter W scrolls you to the first entry beginning with W, and when you add A and T, the list jumps to the first item beginning with WA and then the first one starting with WAT—and so forth. A few keystrokes should bring you within easy scrolling distance of any entry you want. To clear the box for a new search, press the Escape key. (Incremental Search is not available on the Food Dictionary's PowerFoods page, because the foods there usually aren't in alphabetical order.)
2. Keyword Search
Unlike an incremental search, the keyword method can find modifiers like "baked" or "uphill" that aren't near the beginning of an item's description. (This is the default method in PowerFoods.) How to use it depends on whether you're searching for foods and recipes or for exercises:
the Food Dictionary or the Recipe Box: type as many as ten complete
words (not fragments) that are likely to appear anywhere in the item's
description. (Use "or" between words to find entries that contain
either. Otherwise, Diet Power will assume that every space between words
means "and." Hence, "ice vanilla" will find vanilla
ice cream, but "ice or vanilla or cream" will also find vanilla
cookies and ice cubes.) Press Enter, and Diet Power will scroll to the
next dictionary entry that meets your criteria. (It will also find items
you've misspelled or called by a synonym. "Braunschweiger" will
find liverwurst, for example—and
so will the incorrect spelling "braunswiger.") Keep hitting
Enter to find additional items. To clear the box for a new search, press
the Escape key.
In the Exercise Dictionary: type only one keyword (or word fragment) at a time. Press Enter, and Diet Power will scroll to the next dictionary entry containing the word or fragment. (Unlike a food search, an exercise search won't find items you've misspelled or called by a synonym.) Continue pressing Enter to find more items. To empty the field for a fresh search, click the Escape key.
3. Category Search
(This method is not available in the Exercise Dictionary.) A category search instantly narrows the Food Dictionary or the Recipe Box to just one of Diet Power's 72 food categories. After selecting this method, open the category list by clicking the drop-down button beside the "Find" field. Click the category you want; then press the Enter key. Diet Power will immediately list all items in the category. (You can further narrow the list by performing a second category search, since many foods and recipes reside in two or more categories.) You will always know when you're looking at a narrowed list: the left margin will turn violet. To restore the full dictionary for a completely new search, press the Escape key. (Note: Although a cursor may sometimes appear in the Find field after a Category search has narrowed the list, you can't type a search word into the field. The cursor is a mistake that we'll fix in a later version.)
4. Smart Search
In the Food Dictionary, this is the default method, automatically in place the first time you use Diet Power. (Smart Search is not available in the Exercise Dictionary.) Smart Search affords you exactly the same features as the food-and-recipe version of Keyword Search (including multiple search words and the misspell, synonym, and "or" functions)—but instead of scrolling from item to item, it assembles all of the found items into an alphabetical list. (You can further narrow the list by performing another Smart Search on it. As in Category Search, narrowed lists have violet left margins.) To restore the full dictionary for a completely new search, hit Escape. (You may first have to highlight one of the foods in the Found list, by clicking it.)
(To see a Food Log tutorial that includes Smart Search tips, click here.)
Another Reason to Use Smart Search
When you search with one or two keywords, Smart Search organizes and color-codes the results. Red foods at the top of the list are similar items that you've logged recently; blue foods below these are your next-best matches.
Red Always Means "Recent"
In all Food Dictionary lists, any food or recipe that you've logged recently will appear in red. (This is true no matter what search method you are using.) "Recently" means within the past 30 days unless you've requested a different period. (The range is one to 999 days. To change the period, use the Miscellaneous Options dialog.)
Smart Search and Keyword Search do not recognize minor words such as the, a, an, with, oz, and cup, because including them would only slow your searches. Hence, if you're looking for corn on the cob, entering "corn on the cob" won't find it—but entering "corn cob" will. (This limitation does not apply to Incremental Search, which recognizes all words.)
To repeat a previous search:
Diet Power keeps a list of all the keyword, category, and Smart Searches that you perform, in case you want to repeat them. (Incremental searches are not saved.) To repeat a search:
a search method, by clicking the button, then the method you want.
Click the drop-down
button beside the Find field. A list of previous searches will open, with
the most recent at the top.
Scroll to the search
you want, and click it. Diet Power will copy the search into the Find
field and close the list.
Press Enter to perform the search.
When a search fails:
In an incremental search, if Diet Power can't find the item you've specified, it simply scrolls to the one that's closest alphabetically. This doesn't always mean the item is not in the dictionary—it may be under a different name or spelling. Before giving up:
Try alternative names
and spellings. Maybe you're using an obscure regionalism (if so, Diet
Power would like to hear about it), or perhaps your spelling is wrong.
(An incremental search can't use the misspell and synonym functions.)
If you're looking
in the Food Dictionary or the Exercise Dictionary and have been entering
a two-, three-, or four-word name, try the most essential one-word
instead of "English muffins," for example. Reason: Every item
in the these two dictionaries (except those you've added yourself) has
a duplicate "military-style" listing that begins with the food's
essential noun. (This is not true in the Recipe Box.)
Search by keyword instead. (For instructions, see "Keyword Search" in the list of methods, above.) Unlike an incremental search, this method doesn't require you to guess which words come first in an item's description—it finds keywords no matter where they fall in a name. In the Food Dictionary and the Recipe Box, it also corrects spelling and knows synonyms.
In a keyword or Smart Search, if Diet Power can't locate an item containing the words you've specified, you'll get a message saying, "No matches were found." Get rid of the message by clicking OK or pressing the Escape key. Then try different keywords or spellings—maybe your spelling was so far off that Diet Power couldn't fix it. (Remember that the misspell function does not work in the Exercise Dictionary.) It also helps to enter fewer keywords in a search—you'll be less likely to exclude an item whose description is slightly different than you expect.
If the item is not in the dictionary...
...you can do one of two things:
Log a similar item.
An hour of car washing, for example, burns about the same energy as an
hour of window washing. Likewise, most frozen foods are fairly close,
nutritionally, to their fresh counterparts, and foods that differ only
versus raspberry yogurt, for instance—are
more or less interchangeable. (Once you've settled on an equivalent, you
can use the Edit a Copy function to rename the copy as you like.)
If you have nutrition-label or calorie-burn-rate information on the item, or if you know its recipe, you can add it to the dictionary yourself. See Food Dictionary, Adding Foods to; Recipe Box, Creating Recipes in; or Exercise Dictionary, Adding Items to.
Is your copy of Diet Power more than a year old?
An upgrade with larger dictionaries may be available. To find out, visit Diet Power's Web site at www.dietpower.com.
Got a Suggestion for This Page?
Last Modified: 6/29/07