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Search Tips

Below are some tips to help you when searching - and on this page, we've got some 'quickies' about failed searches from the past.

Check spelling
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 is always best to try to spell the search terms correctly.

Use multiple words
Use multiple words when performing your search. The search results will return more refined results from several words than from a single word. For example, typing our free service will return more relevant results than typing only service. (Keep in mind, relevant results are returned even if they don't contain all query terms.)

Use quotation marks
Use quotation marks to find words which must appear adjacent to each other, for example, "our pledge to you" Otherwise, the search results will include the words our, pledge, to, and the word you, but not necessarily in that order. The words may appear anywhere, and in any order, within the document.

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 Advanced Search Form "all" or "phrase" radio button is selected.

Use plus (+) or minus (-)
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 Advanced Search Form "all" or "phrase" radio button is selected.

Use wildcards
Wildcard searches can expand the number of matches for a particular request. The * character is used as the wildcard character.
For instance, searching for wh* will find the words what, why, when, whether, and any other word that starts with wh.
Searching for *her* will find the words here, whether, together, gathering, and any other word that contains her anywhere in the word.

Wildcards may be combined with the standard plus (+) and minus (-) modifiers, quotes for phrases, as well as the field search specifiers.

+wh* -se*ch will find all pages which have a word that starts with wh and which does not contain a word that starts with se and ends with ch.

"wh* are" will find the phrases where are, what are, why are, etc

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Prince, the Search DogJust click on "Prince, the Search Dog" to find things on our site. He's on every page and he'll take you directly to our search form where you can see if we've written about whatever it is you're interested in. Prince has a great memory; he always remembers where things are!

This site and its contents are (copyright) 1998-2014 by Edward L. King (Ed King). All rights reserved. All comments and opinions are mine personally.

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