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Search guidelines

1. Keyword search

This might be the default way to use a search engine. Simply enter one or more keywords and the search engine will return all pages that contain either all keywords (AND query) or at least one keyword (OR query).

2. Wildcard search

By default, the search engine searches for exact keywords only. This means that a search for bug will not return pages containing the words bugs or bugbear. However, if you want to search for all words that begin with bug, you can add an asterisk (*) after the keyword (bug* instead of bug). Of course, you can also put the wildcard in front of a keyword or in the middle of a keyword.

3. Phrase search

Sometimes you only need results that include an exact phrase. To narrow your results, simply put quotation marks around your search term ("fire bug" instead of fire bug) and the search engine will only return pages that contain the exact phrase.

4. Forcing a keyword

This feature is particularly useful when you are searching for multiple keyword (OR query) but still want ensure that a page contains a certain keyword. To force a keyword, put a plus (+) in front of it (without space). E.g. if you want to know about a snow crystal or a salt crystal, you are basically looking for pages that contain either the word snow or salt and the word crystal. Therefore your search term should be snow salt +crystal.

5. Excluding a keyword

To exclude a keyword, put a minus (-) in front of it. Thus, pages containing this keyword will not be returned. E.g. if you are looking for a macroscopic picture that has nothing to do with a spider or a bug, you should search for "microscopic picture" -spider -bug.