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Site Search Knowledge Base .: Supported Search Syntax

Supported Search Syntax

Phrase Searches

To search for a complete phrase, place double quote characters around the phrase. Multiple terms or phrases can also be combined together with Boolean operators to form a more complex query (see below).

"jakarta apache"

Substring and Wildcard Searches

Partial word searches are supported -- simply type the partial word as a query. To perform a single character wildcard search use the question mark "?" symbol. To perform a multiple character wildcard search use the asterisk "*" symbol.

The single character wildcard search looks for terms that match that with the single character replaced. For example, to search for "text" or "test" you can use the search: te?t

Multiple character wildcard searches looks for 0 or more characters. For example, to search for test, tests or tester, you can use the search: test*

You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term: te*t

Note: You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.

te*t

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined through logic operators. Supported Boolean operators are: AND, "+", OR, NOT and "-". (Note: Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS). The OR operator is the default conjunction operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms (and if the terms are not part of a phrase), the OR operator is used.

"OR" -- The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exist in a document. This is equivalent to a union using sets.

"AND" -- The AND operator matches documents where both terms exist anywhere in the text of a single document. This is equivalent to an intersection using sets.

NOT -- The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term after NOT. Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term.

"+" -- The "+" or required operator requires that the term after the "+" symbol exist somewhere in a the field of a single document.

"-" -- The "-" or prohibit operator excludes documents that contain the term after the "-" symbol.

For example,

"jakarta apache" AND "Apache Lucene"
+jakarta apache

Grouping

You may use parentheses to group clauses to form sub queries. This can be very useful if you want to control the boolean logic for a query. To search for either "jakarta" or "apache" and "website" use the query:

(jakarta OR apache) AND website

This eliminates any confusion and makes sure you that website must exist and either term jakarta or apache may exist.


Escaping Special Characters

You may escape special characters that are part of the query syntax. The current list special characters are:

+ - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? :

To escape these character use the backslash "" before the character. For example to search for (1+1):2 use the query:

(1+1):2

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