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Basic Searches

To do a basic search, enter some search terms. For example:

black cat adoption

This will search for documents containing the words black, cat or adoption.


Grouping

You can group search terms using parentheses to for sub queries. For example, to find results about different colors of cats, try the following:

(black OR orange OR white) AND cat

For more explanation on the OR and AND operators see below in the "Boolean operators" section.


Wildcard Searches

Wildcard searches let you look for parts of words. The single character wildcard search (?) looks for terms that match that with the single character replaced. For example, to search for "text" or "test" you can use the search:

te?t

Multiple character wildcard searches (*) looks for 0 or more characters. For example, to search for test, tests or tester, you can use the search:

test*

You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term.

te*t

Note: You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.


Fuzzy Searches

Fuzzy searches return results that match your search terms exactly as well as results that are close. For example, if you want to find a word that is similar to foam add a tilde (~) to your search term:

foam~

This search will match terms like foam and roams.


Proximity Searches

Proximity searches help you find words that are close to each other. For example, if you know the word "new" and "car" are within 5 words of each other you can write your query like this:

"new car"~5

Boosting a Term

Boosting a search term gives it more weight in the result list. For example, if you search for "black cat" you might get results about black paint and cats but not necessarily black cats. In this case, we want to tell the search engine to weight the word "cat" more heavily:

black cat^4

You can also boost phrases:

"black cat"^4 adopt

You can use any number to boost the term -- the higher the number the higher the boosting. For example, if the query above still returns too many results, consider increasing the boost value:

"black cat"^6 adopt

Boolean operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined for more advanced searches. The terms AND, +, OR, NOT and - are supported. Note, these terms must be in ALL CAPS to distinguish them from normal words.

OR

The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exist in a document. Note, the symbol || can be used in place or the word OR. To search for documents that contain either "black cat" or just "cat adoption" use the query:

"black cat" OR "cat adoption"

or

"black cat" || "cat adoption"

Note: OR is the default search term, so the following search is equivalent to both of the previous examples:

"black cat" "cat adoption"
AND

The AND operator matches documents where both terms in the text of the document. The symbol && can be used in place of the word AND. This is a more restrictive search than an OR search. To search for documents that contain "black cat" and "cat adoption" use the query:

"black cat" AND "cat adoption"

or

"black cat" && "cat adoption"
The "+" Keyword

The + operator tells the search engine that the search term must appear in a document to be a match. To search for documents that must contain "black cat" and may contain "cat adoption" use the query:

+"black cat" "cat adoption"
NOT

The NOT operator excludes documents that contain terms after NOT. The ! symbol can be used in place of the word NOT. To search for documents that contain "black cat" but not "cat adoption" use the query:

"black cat" NOT "cat adoption"

or

"black cat" ! "cat adoption"

Note: The NOT operator must be used with multiple terms. For example, the following search will return no results:

NOT "black cat"
The "-" Keyword

The - operator excludes documents that contain the term after the "-" symbol. To search for documents that contain "black cat" but not "cat adoption" use the query:

"black cat" -"cat adoption"

Escaping Special Characters

There are a number of special characters that are part of the query syntax. The current list special characters are

+ - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \

To escape these character use the \ before the character. For example to search for (1+1):2 use the query:

\(1\+1\)\:2