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  1. #1
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
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    Why isn't my search working???? (helpful hints)

    Search is something that is a bit of a hot topic on any forum. The oldtimers want the newbies to use the proverbial search before they ever post a thread. While some get a little carried away with this, it is very helpful to try it... as it is rather annoying to see a brand new thread entitled, "How do I paint my house green?", when two threads below is a 40 post discussion on the very same topic. Don't laugh... it happens more often than you'd think. It doesn't help when people put a subject name on that thread of "Yo, I have a problem... please help". This means that anyone that wants to help, must first open the thread to see what the help is needed for. Maybe only 1 in 100 people that look in the thread, actually know anything about green paint, while 20 people that are professional green paint specialists completely skipped the thread because they didn't want to bother looking to see what it was about.

    So, rule number one in searching is to name your thread well. What???? Yes, if you don't name your thread correctly, it will make it harder for other people to find it... other people with the same problem... other people that want to help... etc.

    Now, on to actually searching. There is a basic search that you can get to from the second menu bar's help drop down menu. This searches the whole site and is a quick and easy first check. If you don't get what you want in that method, hit search on the top menu bar, or use the drop down on the other search menu, and go to Advanced Search. This lets you narrow your search down to a particular forum, and use more selection options. If you are looking for help, and know that its in a 1500 post thread, then using Advanced Search will let you return "posts" instead of "threads", and that will get you right to the part of the long thread that matters.

    One of the biggest problems people have is that they search on 2 or 3 character keywords, and get nothing back. This is because the database isn't indexed below 4 character words. That is to help with overall site performance and keep things running smoothly. But, you need to find everthing about "rss". What do you do? All is not lost. You can use the "*" for wildcards, and a blank counts as a character in that type of search. This allows you to search for "rss*" and get what you are looking for.

    If you have other helpful searching tips, please post them here.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  2. #2
    Fisher of Men mwfielder's Avatar
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    If the search engine is down (hopefully that won't happen since the new format change), you can still search by going to google and enter your search keywords with "site:pdaphonehome.com" (without the parenthesis). For example, if I wanted to search threads about rss I would go to www.google.com and enter: rss site:pdaphonehome.com . It's not as good as searching via the website, but can be useful if the search engine is down.
    Jeremiah 29:11

  3. #3
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
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    If you want to use Google to just search the site, you can use the archive page available here where there is an option to use Google to search the page... just in you forget what you posted. I need to work this into the drop down box for Search. http://www.smartphoneforums.com/foru...ive/index.php/
    Mike - Been Converged?

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Use an asterisk for three letter words. eg: pda*

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Too many results in Search

    What if you get too many results in search. I searched in the forum for my particular PDA. I wanted threads about reset loops so I tried typing in both words and typing in as a phrase (with quotation marks) and seemed to get the same number of results (about 20 pages) most of which are not relevant.

    Are there advanced search techniques? Boolean searches, etc. Any tips and tricks for narrowing down the results to get the more relevant ones?

    -Ileana

  6. #6
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
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    One way to narrow things down is to use the Advanced Search and narrow things down to fewer forums, date ranges, etc.. You get to Advanced search with the drop down menu on the Search navigation bar option. You can also use booleans. You can use phrases by enclosing them in quotes, and do logical ANDs with the "+" sign.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  7. #7
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    Question Question about boolean searches

    Quote Originally Posted by Convergent View Post
    One way to narrow things down is to use the Advanced Search and narrow things down to fewer forums, date ranges, etc.. You get to Advanced search with the drop down menu on the Search navigation bar option. You can also use booleans. You can use phrases by enclosing them in quotes, and do logical ANDs with the "+" sign.
    I have not been able to get boolean search to work. I tried +soft +reset and got posts that had just "soft" , just "reset" and posts that had both. I could have used a phrase with quotes but I wanted to try the boolean AND search. Am I using the right syntax.?

  8. #8
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
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    I usually don't add the first +... just a + between the keywords. Perhaps that is the problem.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergent View Post
    I usually don't add the first +... just a + between the keywords. Perhaps that is the problem.
    Hmm. After reading your reply, I went to advanced search and entered
    soft + reset
    Still got results with just soft, just reset, and soft reset. Just like before. Then went back and entered "soft reset"
    Again, I got the same result. Entries with either or both words. If boolean or phrase search works on this site, I have yet to see it.
    Thank you for your interest and help.

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