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Search Help
How to use the Basic Search Parser

By default the search engine tries to locate pages which have exact matches for all of the words entered in your search query. If that fails, it then tries to locate pages which contain any words in your search query. If that happens a short message is displayed at the top of the search results indicating this has been done. In addition, there are several ways to modify the default search behavior.

This search engine uses a syntax similar to many of the popular Internet Portals. Documents containing any of the words that you enter will be returned or searches may be further narrowed through the use of "special" characters.

The table below provides some common examples:
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Search Type



Single Word


A Single Word search will return documents containing the word or forms of the word. If you were to search for run, you would find documents containing "running", "ran" and "runner" as well as "run".


bill clinton

An Accrue search will return all documents containing any of the words given.


"on error"

A Phrase search-enclosed in quotes-will return documents containing instances of the exact string only. The given phrase must appear in documents together and in the exact order.

Wildcard ( * )


A Wildcard search will return documents containing the word or letters provided plus any combination of letters in place of the asterisk. (i.e. text in blue replaces the asterisk in the example: beauti-ful, ful-fill, art-ful-ly)

Wildcard ( ? )


? wildcard If a query word contains a ? any character will match that position.

Example: b?g


+bill +hillary
+clinton -gore

A Boolean search returns documents containing words under conditional criteria. A word preceded by a plus (+) indicates that the word provided is mandatory to any documents returned; while a minus (-) returns only those documents that do NOT contain the word that follows it.

NOTE:  Minus (-) takes precedence over plus (+).

All of these techniques can be combined: +alway* -ne??r*

Please email all questions or comments with this site to Technical Support.

- Support#form


Last Modified: December 03, 2005

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