Support Center Search Tips
Key Search Features:
- General Support Center Search Tips
- Boolean "And" Connector
- Wildcard Searching
- Noise Words
- Order of Relevancy
General Support Center Search Tips
- Some words, such as any, of, and all, are noise words in the Support Center Search Tool.
- You can use the boolean and connector and quotation marks to limit your search to those articles that contain a group of terms.
- You can use the wildcard character * and quotation marks to build a search request with root words or word stems.
- Some of our pages provide links to Postscript Document Format (PDF) files. When you search for PDFs on the Support Center, there are some special considerations to keep in mind.
- The Search text box searches the titles and full text of Support Center help articles.
- The site displays your search results in order of relevance starting with the most relevant and includes approximately 200 characters of the first part of the article's text. For searches that retrieve more than 25 results, the site displays the first 25 on the initial results screen. Click [All Results] to display a complete list of relevant articles.
- The Support Center Tool treats spaces and commas as OR relationships, so some of the articles in your results set might not contain all of the search terms you entered.
- When you enter your search, use terms that are unique to your topic. For example, if you're looking for an article about searching social security cases, enter "social security" rather than the more general cases, legal, or statutes.
- The terms and and or are ignored. For example, if you enter company and bankruptcy, Support Center retrieves all articles containing one or both of the terms company and bankruptcy (the same results retrieved by company bankruptcy).
- Use quotation marks to search for a phrase. For example, "social security" only retrieves articles containing that exact phrase.
- Start with the shortest search relevant to your topic. For example, if you are looking for articles on how to search for bankruptcy information, enter bankruptcy.
- The Support Center Search Tool retrieves all forms of a singular term unless the spelling of the root word changes to form the plural.
- You can retrieve a root word with its possessive form, but you cannot retrieve the possessive with the root form.
The Support Center Search Tool determines relevance in two ways. It looks at the number of times your search term(s) is used in an article's header, text, or both. Articles that contain multiple instances of one or more of your terms are given a higher relevancy ranking than those that contain only one or some of your terms. It also examines the proximity of your search terms to each other. Articles that contain your terms in close proximity are ranked higher than those where both terms appear, but in different locations in the article.[Top]
Here are some important things to keep in mind about how the Support Center searches for Plurals and Possessives:
- If the spelling of the singular root changes in the plural form of the word, the singular term does not retrieve the plural . For example, the term party does not retrieve articles that contain the term parties, and parties does not retrieve articles that contain party. If you want to search for both the singular and plural form of a term that requires a change to the root word to form the plural, search both forms separated by a space (for example, party parties).
- Possessives retrieve their root forms, but searching for the root does not retrieve articles that contain the possessive form of the word. For example, attorney's retrieves articles that contain any or all of the terms attorney's, attorney, attorneys, or attorneys', but attorney does not retrieve articles that only contain the possessive form attorney's.
You can use the boolean and connector and quotation marks to limit your search to those articles that contain a group of terms. For example, enter the following search string to limit your search to those articles that mention both security and configuration:
"security" and "configuration"[Top]
You can use the wildcard character ( * ) and quotation marks to build a search request with root words or word stems. For example, enter the following search term to retrieve articles that contain the term ID and all articles that contain terms, such as identification, that begin with id:
Wildcard searching only works when you put the (*) at the end of your search term and enclose the entire search string in quotes.