A method for retrieving data with a more intuitive manner of specifying search conditions is disclosed. The method is implemented as an application on a computing device. The method is suitable for retrieving information stored as records in the computing device in a search operation. Records are retrieved if they meet a set of search conditions. The search conditions comprise a search text and other conditions. The application accepts a search command which contains the search text and any other search conditions. This search command consists of words entered in a free-form manner. Words which match predetermined keywords are translated into search conditions using information related to the predetermined keywords. Non-matching words form the search text. In a search operation, the application communicates with a user through a set of screens which are bidirectionally linked to one another. Each new set of screens for a new search operation is bidirectionally linked to a set of screens for a preceding search operation. This bidirectional linking of screens allows a user to move from one screen to another within and outside of a search operation.
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