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SEARCHTips for searching


Search produces a list of files that contain the word or phrase irrespective of where they appear in the text. This list gives the rules for formulating queries:

  • Consecutive words are treated as a phrase; they must appear in the same order within a matching document.
  • Queries are case-insensitive, so you can type your query in uppercase and/or lowercase.
  • You can search for any word except for those on the exception list (for English, this includes a, an, and, as, and other common words), which are ignored during a search.
  • Words in the exception list are treated as placeholders in a phrase and proximity queries. For example, if you searched for “Word for Windows”, the results could give you “Word for Windows” and “Word and Windows”, because for is a noise word and appears in the exception list.
  • Punctuation marks such as the period (.), colon (:), semicolon (;), and comma (,) are ignored during a search.
  • To use specially treated characters such as &, |, ^, #, $, (, ), in a query, enclose your query in quotation marks (“).
  • To search for a word or phrase containing quotation marks, enclose the entire phrase in quotation marks and then double the quotation marks around the word or words you want to surround with quotes. For example, “World-Wide Web or ““Web””” searches for World-Wide Web or “Web”.
  • Search with the keyword NEAR, rather than AND, for words close to each other. For example, both of these queries, system and manager and system near manager, look for the words system and manager on the same page. But with NEAR, the returned pages are ranked in order of proximity: The closer together the words are, the higher the rank of that page.
  • Refine your queries with the AND NOT keywords to exclude certain text from your search. For example, if you want to find all instances of surfing but not the Net, write the following query:
    surfing AND NOT the Net
  • Add the OR keyword to find all instances of either one word or another, for example:Abbott OR Costello
    This query finds all pages that mention Abbott or Costello or both.
  • Put quotation marks around keywords if you want The search engine to take them literally. For instance, if you type the following query:
    "system near manager"
    The search engine will literally look for the complete phrase system near manager. But if you type the same query without the quotation marks:
    system near manager
    the search engine searches all documents for the appearance of both words system and manager.
  • The wildcard character (*) can match words with a given prefix. The query esc* matches the terms “ESC,” “escape,” and so on. And (**) can search for all forms of a word. For example, in the form type sink** to find sink, sinking, sank, and sunk.


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