At its simplest, a query can be just a word or a phrase. But with these tips, you can expand the focus of your query to give you more complete results.
End a word with an asterisk (*) to look for words with the same prefix. For example, type key* to find key, keying, keyhole, keyboard, and so on.
End a word with two asterisks (**) to search for all forms of a word. For example, type sink** to find sink, sinking, sank, and sunk.
Use the keyword NEAR, rather than AND, to find words that should appear close to each other. For example, both of the queries system AND manager and system NEAR manager will look for the words system and manager on the same page. But by using the NEAR keyword, the returned pages are ranked in order of proximity: The closer together the words are, the higher the rank of that page.
You can refine your queries with the AND NOT keywords to exclude certain text from your search. For example, if you want to find all instances of surfing but not the Net, write the following query:
This query finds all pages that mention Abbott, or Costello, or both.
Put quotation marks around keywords if you want the search engine to take them literally. For instance, if you type the following query:
The search will literally look for the complete phrase system near manager. But if you type the same query without the quotation marks:
The search will return all documents where the word system is near the word manager.
Use Free Text Queries if you want to enter queries using natural language. The search engine will examine your query, extract nouns and noun phrases and construct a query for you. With free text queries you can enter any text you want, from a proper question, to a string of words and phrases, without worrying about the query language. For example, if you check the "Free Text Query" box and type in the following query:
The search engine will create a query for you automatically and begin the search. Note that when you're using free text queries, the regular query language features are disabled and keywords such as AND, OR, and NEAR are interpreted as normal words.
For more complex queries and more examples, see the Query Language page.