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Advanced Search Bar Capabilities

The Information Portal web site has many built-in capabilities to search for a new product. One can search by Product Line, Project Type, Specification or enter key words into the Search bar. The following are advanced search tips one can use when conducting a search using the Search bar.

Definition of Single Terms and Phrases
  • A query is broken up into terms and operators. There are two types of terms: Single Terms and Phrases.
  • A Single Term is a single word such as "cover" or "frame."
  • A Phrase is a group of words surrounded by double quotes such as "sanitary sewer."
  • Multiple terms can be combined together with Boolean operators to form a more complex query (examples will be provided below in these procedures).
Wildcard Searches
  • The search bar supports single and multiple character wildcard searches.
  • To perform a single character wildcard search use the "?" symbol.
  • To perform a multiple character wildcard search use the "*" symbol.
  • The single character wildcard search looks for terms which match the single character replaced by the "?".
    • For example, to search for "trap" or "trip" you can use the search: tr?p
  • The multiple character wildcard search looks for terms which match zero or more characters replaced by the "*".
    • For example, to search for cover, covers or covering, you can use the search: cover*
  • You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term.
    • For example: tr*p
  • You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.
Fuzzy Searches
  • The search bar supports fuzzy searches. To do a fuzzy search use the tilde, "~", symbol at the end of a single term (word).
    • For example, to search for a term similar in spelling to "rvr" use the fuzzy search: rvr~
    • This search will find terms like rwr and cvr.
  • An optional parameter may be added to specify the required similarity. The value is between 0 and 1. A value closer to 1 returns terms with a higher similarity.
    • For example: rvr~0.8
    • The default that is used if the parameter is not given is 0.5.
Boosting a Term
  • The Search bar provides the relevance level of matching documents based on the terms found. To boost a term use the caret, "^", symbol with a boost factor (a number) at the end of the term you are searching. The higher the boost factor, the more relevant the term will be.
  • Boosting allows you to control the relevance of a document by boosting its term.
    • For example, if you are searching for airport cover and you want the term "airport" to be more relevant, boost it using the ^ symbol along with the boost factor next to the term, you would type the following: airport^4 cover
    • This will make documents with the term airport appear more relevant.
  • By default, the boost factor is 1. Although the boost factor must be positive, it can be less than 1, e.g., 0.2.
Boolean Operators
  • Boolean operators allow terms to be combined through logic operators. The Search bar supports AND, "+", OR, NOT and "-" as Boolean operators. Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS.
  • OR
    • The OR operator is the default conjunction operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms or phrases, the OR operator is used. 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. The symbol || can be used in place of the word OR.
    • To search for documents which contain either "airport cover" or just "airport" use the query: "airport cover" airport or "airport cover" OR airport
  • AND
    • The AND operator matches documents where both terms or phrases exist anywhere in the text of a single document. The symbol && can be used in place of the word AND.
    • To search for documents which contain the phrase "airport cover" and "und asy" use the query: "airport cover" AND "und asy"
  • +
    • The "+" or required operator requires that the term after the "+" symbol exist somewhere in the field of a single document.
    • To search for documents which must contain the term "airport" and may contain the term "cover" use the query: +airport cover
  • NOT
    • The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term or phase after NOT. The symbol ! can be used in place of the word NOT.
    • To search for documents which contain the phrase ?airport cover" but not the phrase "und asy" use the query: "airport cover" NOT "und asy"
    • Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term or phrase. For example, the following search will return no results: NOT "und asy"
  • -
    • The "-" or prohibit operator excludes documents which contain the term or phrase after the "-" symbol.
    • To search for documents which contain the phrase "airport cover" but not the phrase "und asy" use the query: "airport cover" -"und asy"





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