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Basic Search Tips

At its simplest, a search, also known as a query, can be just a word or a phrase. But with the tips on this page, you can expand the focus of your query to give you more complete results. These tips will get you started with basic query language and acquaint you with the full power of searching the Internet.

  • Look for words with the same prefix. For example, in your query form type key* to find key, keying, keyhole, keyboard, and so on.

  • Search for all forms of a word. For example, in the form type sink** to find sink, sinking, sank, and sunk.

  • Search with the keyword NEAR, rather than AND, for words close to each other. For example, both of these queries, system and manager and system near manager, look for the words system and manager on the same page. But with NEAR, the returned pages are ranked in order of proximity: The closer together the words are, the higher the rank of that page.

  • Refine your queries with the AND NOT keywords to exclude certain text from your search. For example, if you want to find all instances of surfing but not the Net, write the following query:

    surfing AND NOT the Net

  • Add the OR keyword to find all instances of either one word or another, for example:

    Abbott OR Costello

    This query finds all pages that mention Abbott or Costello or both.

  • Put quotation marks around keywords if you want Index Server to take them literally. For instance, if you type the following query:

    "system near manager"

    Index Server will literally look for the complete phrase system near manager. But if you type the same query without the quotation marks:

    system near manager

    Index Server searches all documents for the words system and manager.

    Free Text Queries

  • Use Free Text Queries if you want to enter queries using natural language. Index Server will examine your query, extract nouns and noun phrases and construct a query for you. With free text queries you can enter any text you want, from a proper question, to a string of words and phrases, without worrying about the query language. For example, if you type in the following query:

    "How do I use the Index Server administration snap-in?"

    Index Server will create a query for you automatically and begin the search. Note that when you're using free text queries, the regular query language features are disabled and keywords such as AND, OR, and NEAR are interpreted as normal words.

These hints will get you started, but for more complex queries and more examples, see the Query Language page.

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