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The Search Function: Making it Work for You!

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2/19/2008 13:32:03  1 votes
Dragon of Q&A!

The Search Function: Making It Work for You!

For sometime now, I’ve wanted to make this guide. A short, but important Guide I feel. How to use the search function. So often is the Search function overlooked. And when it is used, it is often used incorrectly. People forget to or just don’t know how to manipulate the various options to help narrow down your search. So I’m here to help explain how to use the Search Function better.

First off, the thing about the search function is that if there are too many responses to your search then it will give back an error. It does the same for no responses. Some people give up at this point assuming there is nothing to find when, in fact, they have only found too much and cannot be displayed. However, I intend to show you how to narrow down your Search and make it work for you.

To give us to graphics, I’ve cropped and numbered sections of the Search page to better understand it

search function illustration image

1. Search Term-This is the simplest and the hardest section of the whole search function. You just enter in what you want to find. Ex. Entering ‘Ultra Ice Katana’ will search for the term and it may find it a lot or it may find none at all. Sometimes you need to be more specific (Ex. ‘Ultra Ice Katana special rate’) or sometimes less specific (Ex. ‘Ultra Ice Katana special rate % 20 or 25 or 30’ is waaay too specific). The term has to be 3 letters or longer or it comes back as an invalid search term

2. By Author- This is a big help if you are looking for a specific author. For instance, if I know the post I’m looking for was written by Galanoth, all I have to do is enter ‘Galanoth’ and I can find every post by Galanoth, or when used with the Search Term option can narrow it down to just his posts which contain specific words. Probably the easiest ways to narrow down the field.

3. Search Only- You have four options here
a. Topic only- Searches only the topic or very post in a thread. Usually the best for narrowing down your search field and when you know what you looking for is most likely to be in the first post
b. Replies only-Search only the replies to a topic. Usually best when your looking for follow ups to another post
c. Topic and Replies-Search both Topic and Replies. Helps broaden your search to include every post that possibly be related. Comes back with links to every post if even if they are all in the same thread. Lots and lots of responses with this one.
d. Combine Topics and Replies-Searches both Topic and Replies, same as Topics and Replies, but the searches come back with only the first post in the thread (no matter what post in the thread it is.) Broadens the search, but narrows number of posts found. You have to search the post for what you want though

4. Search Term Found In – Thee Options here
a.Subject- Searches for the term only in the subject. Useful when you know the term is in the subject of the post, like in the Encylopedia
b.Body- Searches only the body. Useful for when you know the term has no relation to the subject
c.Subject & Body- Search both subject and body. Useful when you have no idea where the search term might be

5. Time Filter-This lets your choose the amount of time to search in. This is good for letting you find posts in you know where post within or before a certain time. Can really narrow down the search field sometimes. The All Topics Option pretty much tells it to ignore time frames

6. Result Match- Three Options
a.all words-Will search for posts that contain all the words in the search term in any order. Good when you don’t know what exactly you are looking for
b.the exact phrase- Will search for posts that contain only the exact phrase/word in the search term. Good when you know exactly what you are looking for.
c.any of the words-Will search for posts that contain any of the words in the search term. Good when you know you aren’t looking for specifics

7. Top-Will allow you to control how many responses come back from 10-300. It can limit the numbers you get back, but honestly I usually leave it at 300 and I can sort through the posts myself

8. Search messages marked as FAQ only- Pretty obvious. Only check this if you want to find FAQ’s. FAQ's refered to threads that have been marked specifically by an ArchKnight or Moderator as FAQ's. The thread will be marked with a [FAQ] in front of it to signify it as such.

9. Search in Forum-One the most useful options. If you think the posts you’re looking for are in Q&A, just select Q&A before you search and it’ll look only in Q&A. Same goes for every other board. Very useful for narrowing down search and making sure you’re getting what you’re looking for

< Message edited by Alac -- 2/19/2008 13:32:03 >
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