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These are some hints about the search box that appears on every Law & Order Wiki page (see also user preferences help, "Search result settings" section, and the "Go" button).

Avoid short and common words

This is the most likely cause of an unexpected failed search. If your search terms include a common "stop word" (such as "the", "one", "your", "more", "right", "while", "when", "who", "which", "such", "every", "about", "onto"), then your search will fail without any results. Short numbers, and words that appear in half of all pages, will also not be found. In this case, drop those words and rerun the search.

See MediaWiki Help: Common words, searching for which is not possible for the stop words filtered out by the database. From there one can at least go to a page with a stop word as title. Searching for the combination of one or more words and the common word "not" give a database query syntax error due to a bug in the software.

Search is not case-sensitive

The searches for "fortran", "Fortran" and "FORTRAN" all return the same results.

No regular expressions or wildcards

You cannot use regular expressions or wildcards such as ? or *. If you don't know what that is, don't worry about it. To search for pages with the words "boat" or "boats" search like this: "boat or boats".

Words with special characters

In a search for a word with a diaeresis, such as Sint Odiliënberg, it depends whether this ë is stored as one character or as "ë". In the first case one can simply search for Odilienberg (or Odiliënberg); in the second case it can only be found by searching for Odili, euml and/or nberg. This is actually a bug that should be fixed – the entities should be folded into their raw character equivalents so all searches on them are equivalent. See also MediaWiki Help: Special characters.

Words in single quotes

If a word appears in an page with single quotes, you can only find it if you search for the word with quotes. Since this is rarely desirable it is better to use double quotes in pages, for which this problem does not arise.

An apostrophe is identical to a single quote, therefore Mu'ammar can be found searching for exactly that (and not otherwise). A word with apostrophe s is an exception in that it can be found also searching for the word without the apostrophe and the s.

Only main namespace is searched by default

The search only applies to the main namespace (those pages without "Law and Order:", "Talk:", "User:", etc. in front). The main namespace contains pages, indexes and other content-oriented book pages. To search the other namespaces, check or uncheck the tickboxes in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page. Depending on the browser, a box may still be checked from a previous search, but without being effective any longer. To make sure, uncheck and recheck it.

Redirects can be excluded

Check or uncheck the tickbox "List redirects" in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page.

The wikitext is searched

The wikitext (source text, what one sees in the edit box) is searched. This distinction is relevant for piped links, for interlanguage links, for special characters (if ê is coded as ê it is found searching for ecirc), etc.

Delay in updating the search index

For reasons of efficiency and priority, very recent changes to pages are not always immediately taken into account in searches.

Search bar 2019

The standard wiki search bar searches within an individual community

To search any Fandom community, you can use the search box at the top of every page. When you're on an individual wiki, searching takes places within that community, but when you're exploring www.fandom.com, you'll instead be making a search for both news articles and wikis that cover that topic.

Features

Since late 2016, internal wiki searches are powered by a custom engine[1]. This includes certain features such as:

  • Stemming [2] — For some languages (e.g. English) it can automatically match words that share a common root. This means that when searching for "practice", the engine also looks for "practicing", practices", "practiced", and so forth.
  • Boolean search — This provides options to filter the search by using optional keywords, such as "AND", "OR", and "NOT".
  • Character folding[3][4] — The search engine can also handle diacritics by normalizing the text in the before searching (this might not work for all languages), e.g. "introducao imersao" == "introdução imersão", fiancée == fiancee.

Additional features:

  • Search by file types — namely videos or images.

Advanced search

Your initial search will likely only search the main namespace, plus a few others. After you search, you may find that you need to expand your search to other areas of the wiki. To do this, click the "Advanced" link that appears at the upper right side of the search results page. It will open a box that allows you to select more namespaces and continue searching.

Advanced-search-1

Advanced search allows you to select more namespaces

Search keywords

The search engine allows certain keywords that may yield more or less results. One should note that certain symbols are ignored and stripped from the search results; for example, Paper&planes is equivalent to Paper OR planes or Paper planes.

Boolean operators

These operators can be used to filter results by using words such as "AND", "OR", and "NOT".

NOT
This excludes a certain word from search, e.g. "Infobox NOT portable" -> results.
OR
This is the default search, and is used whenever there is a space, symbol or keyword the search engine ignores, e.g. "Infobox OR portable" === "Infobox portable" -> results.
AND
This is an inclusive search including all terms, e.g. "Infobox AND portable" -> results.
Combined
The above keywords can be combined to yield different and sometimes better results, e.g. "Infobox AND portable NOT classic".

Note: As of 2016/09 the search engine does not support searching for an exact phrase (or term) search even when quotes are included, e.g. "Infobox portable" is always equivalent to Infobox OR portable.

Other ways to find pages

Search box

  • It is possible to add a search box to any page. To do this, just type: <inputbox>type = search</inputbox> in the source editor. It will produce this box:

Next pages

Further help and feedback

References

  1. User blog:Daniel Baran/Search Developments: Big Picture
  2. Stemming for full-text. https://dev.mysql.com/worklog/task/?id=2423. Retrieved 2016/10/07
  3. Character folding. https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/elasticsearch/guide/current/character-folding.html
  4. http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr23/
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