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Help Support Refdesk
Refdesk Search Tips
To get more specific search results, try using the following tips:
Make sure your search terms are spelled correctly. If Sound-Alike Matching is turned on, the search engine will attempt to find words that sound similar to your search terms, but it's always best to try to spell the search terms correctly.
Using multiple words will return more refined results than a single word. For
The more similar words you use in a search, the more relevant your results will be.
Capitalize proper nouns, and remember that lower-case words will match any
case. For example, typing
Use quotation marks to find words which must appear adjacent to each other,
Note: if you are using the Advanced Search Form with radio buttons for "any," "all," and "phrase," then quotes can only be used when the "any" radio button is selected. Quotes are ignored if the "all" or "phrase" radio buttons are selected.
Use a plus sign when your search term or phrase must appear in the search results. Use a minus sign to indicate undesirable term(s). The plus sign tells the search engine that a certain word or phrase is required in the search results, and a minus sign indicates that a word or phrase must be absent in the search results.
Note: A phrase must be contained within quotation marks. Leave no spaces between the plus or minus sign and the term.
Note: if you are using the Advanced Search Form with radio buttons for "any," "all," and "phrase," then plus and minus can only be used when the "any" radio button is selected. Plus and minus are ignored if the "all" or "phrase" radio buttons are selected.
Field searches allow you to create specific searches for words that appear in a specific part of a document. A field search can be performed on body text (body:), title text (title:), alt text (alt:), meta description (desc:), meta key words (keys:), URL (url:) or meta target key words (target:). The field name should be in lower-case and immediately followed by a colon. There should be no spaces between the colon and the search term.
Note: The field searches can only be followed by a word or phrase. Phrases must be contained within quotation marks.
Note: if you are using the Advanced Search Form with a list box for the field name, then field names can only be entered before a word or phrase when the "any" option is selected. Specific field names are ignored if any other Advanced Search Form field is selected in the list box.
Wildcard searches can expand the number of matches for a particular request.
For instance, searching for
Wildcards may be combined with the standard plus (+) and minus (-) modifiers,
quotes for phrases, as well as the field search specifiers.