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WestnetWiki uses Lucene Search instead of MediaWiki's default search engine. It's still quick and easy to use, but offers more relevant results and powerful search options.


Using the 'Search' Box

The easiest way to search for information is by using the Search box found on the WestnetWiki menu that runs down the left-hand side of every page. Simply enter one or more keywords/phrases to search for, and click one of the two buttons which are as follows:

  • Go: Checks to see if there is a page with a title that matches what you entered exactly (case-sensitive). If there is, you are taken directly to that page. If there is not, it will list pages that match your search terms.
  • Search: Does not check for an exact title match first - just lists any matching pages.


Using the Search Page

Using the text field on the search page behaves in exactly the same manner as hitting the Search button on the menu's search box. However, at the bottom of the search page there are check boxes to filter the results by different types of pages. This is useful as there may be relevant information in places other than regular articles, such as category pages. It is recommended to select at least the following options:

  • (Main)
  • Talk
  • Category


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You can change your default search preferences by clicking on the My Preferences link located near the top right-hand corner of the WestnetWiki website.


"Here's one I prepared earlier..."

Do you or your team find yourself running the same searches again and again? Here's a trick that effectively allows you to 'save' your queries:

  1. Using either the Search page or the Search box, type the query that you want to save and hit 'Search'.
  2. Below the results, make sure the correct boxes are ticked and hit the search button that is next to them. The URL should then look something like this: http://wiki.staff.wn.com.au/wiki/Special:Search?ns0=1&ns4=1&ns12=1&ns14=1&search=query&fulltext=Search
  3. Copy the URL and add it to a page somewhere like you would add any other link. Voila!

The result is something like this.


Boolean Logic Operators

You can use logic conditions to further refine your results.

AND / &&

Both keywords/phrases must be in the article for it to be returned. For example, searching for "ADSL fault" AND checklist will not return a checklist for taking leave.

+

Works similarly to the 'AND' keyword - the '+' symbol tells the search engine that a keyword/phrase is required. For example, searching for +ADSL "fault checklist" would return pages that contained the phrase "fault checklist", but only if they contained the keyword "ADSL" as well.

OR / ||

Either keyword/phrase can be in the article for it to be returned (same as not specifying anything). Taking the example above, searching for "ADSL fault" || checklist would return the checklist for taking leave.

NOT / !

The keyword/phrase must not be in the article for it to be returned. For example, searching for (ADSL NOT phone) AND troubleshooting would return articles that contained both "ADSL" and "troubleshooting", but not those that contained "phone" anywhere in it.

-

Works similarly to the 'NOT' keyword - the '-' symbol tells the search engine that a keyword/phrase should be excluded. For example, searching for "ADSL modem" -Belkin would return any articles containing the phrase "ADSL modem" except for those with the word "Belkin" in them.

Grouping '(' / ')'

Parentheses can be used to group Boolean operators, as illustrated in the example above.


Keyword/Phrase Modifiers

There are a few special characters and words that you can use in your search strings that can make it easier to find what you're looking for.

Title Search (title:)

Specifying this before a keyword or phrase tells the search engine to only look in the title for a match. For example, title:"8mb ADSL" only returns one article and ignores the other 20 or so that only have that phrase in the article body.

Single Character Wildcard (?)

Substituted for any single character (or zero characters) when looking for matches. For example, searching for ?DSL would return anything containing ADSL, DSL, etc.

Multiple Character Wildcard (*)

Substituted for any character or sequence of characters (or zero characters) when looking for matches. For example, searching for *DSL* would return anything containing ADSL, ADSL2+, SHDSL, etc.

'Fuzzy' Search (~)

Anything that is spelt similarly to the search term is returned. Useful if you're not sure how to spell something exactly or there are a lot of similar variations - for example, searching for braodband~ will return anything matching broadband, Broadband1, Broadband2+, broad band, etc.

You can also specify a similarity (between 0 and 1) if you get too many matches - e.g. searching for myaccount~ returns pages with the word account, but searching for myaccount~0.9 does not.

Proximity Search (~n)

If you add this to the end of a phrase, it will return matches where the words are within 'n' words of eachother but not necessarily next to eachother. For example, searching for "ADSL faults"~5 would return pages that contained "troubleshooting ADSL faults", "troubleshooting ADSL services to locate faults", "ADSL users can cause faults by", etc.

'Boosting' Terms (^n)

'Boosting' a keyword or phrase makes any matches that contain it rank higher in the results. For example, searching for ADSL^50 phone faults would return pages that related to either phone or adsl faults, but the ones that related to ADSL faults would be at the top of the list.