Keyword Filters

Advanced Search - Keyword Filters

Keyword Filters look at all the text in all the fields of all the items in the Archive and determine if there is a match based on the Keyword Filter options you choose. This is in contrast to Field Filters which operate on individual fields.

How Keyword Filters work depends on which Keyword Filter options you choose. By default the search looks for keywords in all fields. You can narrow the search even more by choosing the “Titles only” option to tell the search to only look for items that have your keywords in the Title field.

The table below explains the Keyword Filter conditions.

ConditionItems that satisfy the condition
all wordsContain all of the keywords either exactly as spelled or as the beginning of longer words.

Example: An all words search for "bird duck" will find items containing both "bird" and "duck" but will also match "birds", "birdhouse", "duck", "duckling" etc.

The order in which matching words appear in an item does not matter as long as each word appears at least once in one or more of an item’s fields. When order is important, use the contains condition.
containsContain the keyword as a phrase exactly as typed regardless of what precedes or follows the phrase.

Example: A contains search for the single keyword "light" will find items containing "light", "moonlight" and "lighthouse". A search for the phrase "porcupine island" will also find "porcupine islands".

Use the contains condition when the sequence of keywords is important because it will narrow down the results more than all words.
booleanContains text that match boolean terms you specify.

+ before a keyword means that the item must contain that word.
- before a keyword means that the item must not contain that word.
* after a word is treated as a wildcard. A word matches if it begins with the word preceding the *.

Examples:
'lobster boat' finds items that contain at least one instance of "lobster" or one instance of "boat".

'+lobster +boat' finds items that contain both words.

'+lobster -boat' finds items that contain "lobster" but not "boat".

'lobster*' finds items that contain "lobster", "lobsters", "lobstering" etc.

Note that using the all words condition is the same as using boolean and adding a + to the front of each word and a * at the end e.g. '+lobster* +boat*".

This is an advanced feature that is explained in detail in the MySQL documentation for Boolean Full-Text Searches.

Good to Know

  • Don’t put quotes around keywords. They are not necessary and will prevent the search from working properly.
  • The all words and boolean conditions will not find text that’s less than three characters. If you need to search for a short word such as “VT” (for Vermont) use the contains condition.
  • The all words and boolean conditions will not find common words like “the”, “about”, and “zero”. If you need to search for these kinds of words, use the contains condition.
  • Keyword Filters look at all the fields and therefore will often return many more results than if you use Field Filters to narrow your search to specific fields such as Title and Description.

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