Search Terms

The way you formulate your search query will depend on what type of search you are doing: Plain English or Boolean.

Plain English Query

A Plain English search is composed of any sequence of text, like a sentence or a question. Very common words, like a and the or this, etc., will be ignored. The search results will be listed in order of hits. In other words, the highest ranking is given to files with the most hits, regardless of whether all of the search terms were found in the file.

You can also precede individual words with "+" or "-" to require or exclude them. You can also require words to be grouped by putting them in quotation marks. For example:

Search Request Meaning
apple pie either apple or pie
-apple +pie must not contain apple and must contain pie
+apple pie must contain both apple and pie
"apple pie" must contain the exact phrase apple pie

See Plain English Searches for more information.

Boolean Query

With Boolean searches, you use the special keywords and, or and not to build sophisticated and precise search queries. See Boolean Searches for examples and extensive information.

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