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Search Tips

Just type in a few words or phrases. Try to use discriminating terms that are likely to be found only in the documents you seek. The more words you give, the better results you'll get. Here are some examples:

  • Search by typing words and phrases. 
  • How do I apply for a job posting?  

The search will find documents containing as many of these words and phrases as possible, ranked so that the documents most relevant to your query are presented first. Don't worry about missing a document because it doesn't have one of the words in your search -- the search returns relevant results even if they don't contain all query terms.

  • Identify phrases with quotation marks, separate with commas.

    How do I "apply","job posting" 

    A phrase is entered using double quotation marks, and only matches those words which appear adjacent to each other. Separate multiple phrases or proper names with a comma.

  • Use UPPER case to indicate exact match.

    apply, Job Posting 

    Search terms in lowercase will match words in any case, otherwise, an exact case match is used. For example, apply will find matches for Apply, apply, and APPLY, whereas a query for Job Posting will only match Job Posting.


It's easy to refine a query to get precisely the results you want. Here are some effective techniques to try:

  • Identify a phrase.
    Before: customer service information
    After: "customer service" information 

The before query is ambiguous. Is it looking for the utility service, or customer information? Identifying "customer service" as a phrase eliminates the ambiguity. This is the most powerful query refinement technique.

  • Add a discriminating word or a phrase.
    Before: customer service information
    After: "customer service" information contact

As before, the before query is ambiguous. Adding contact makes the query less ambiguous. You'll get more total matches (because the query is broadened with an additional term), but the relevance ranking will be better.

  • Capitalize when appropriate.  

Before: wired digital president
After: Wired, Digital, President  

These examples, when all lower case, have a variety of possible interpretations. For example, without capitalization, wired could refer to electrical cables and not Wired Magazine. Capitalization reduces the ambiguity. It is always a good idea to capitalize proper names. Use a require or reject operator (+,-).

Before: Deregulation
After: Deregulation, +electric -gas 

Deregulation alone is ambiguous. Is it looking for electric or gas-related deregulation? You can use the reject operator (the "minus" sign) to eliminate the gas-related pages. Or, you can require that the word "electric" be in the document. The after version above does both.

The search has a simple query syntax which gives you the pinpoint search power of Boolean logic, without having to remember complex queries. The table below shows the operators that correspond to Boolean operators:

default operator:
you need not use any
special symbols
phrase operator:
enclose the phrase with
double quotation marks

Boolean queries use the logical operators AND, OR, NOT and ADJ (adjacent). Suppose you wanted to find plain paper color laser printers made by companies other than HP. This query can be specified in Boolean logic as: (laser ADJ printer) AND (color OR (plain ADJ paper)) AND NOT (HP OR Hewlett-Packard) 

Using the operators, the complex query above may be typed into the search box as:

+"laser printer" color "plain paper" -HP, -Hewlett-Packard  

This query specifies that:

  • All returned documents must contain the phrase "laser printer".
  • Documents containing one or more of the terms "laser printer", color, or "plain paper" will be ranked at the top (the more terms matched, the higher the ranking).
  • None of the documents returned will contain either HP or Hewlett-Packard.