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#1 AJ

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 12:46 AM

I know that many people here seem to have problems with the search feature. So, I'm posting this tutorial, and will Pin it to the top of the "Site Announcements" forum:

A short search tutorial...

Search is very simple, but you have to understand its "rules." For example, to find threads about Roarke's ex girlfriends I did a search for "Roarke's Ex" and put it into quotations so the search looks for any thread that has that exact phrase in it. I found several threads including Roarke the Slut.

You should keep your search simple....one or two words. Put it in quotations if you want to see threads that include that phrase exactly, like "Candy Thief". That will get you all threads where the entire phrase "Candy Thief" appears. If you just type in Candy Thief without the quotes, you'll get any thread that says anything about "Candy" AND any thread that says anything about "Thief," which won't be what you want.

You can also use plus signs to achieve the same thing. +candy +thief will get you all threads that mention both those words somewhere in the thread. It's different from putting quotes around the phrase because if you put quotes around "candy thief" it will give you all threads where those two words appear together just like that. If you use plus signs, it will give you all threads where both those words appear in the thread somewhere, but not necessarily together.

So, as another example, I might want to see a thread where it talks about Peabody becoming a detective. BUT, the thread I want may not necessarily have "Detective Peabody" in it anywhere. So, I'd search for +Detective +Peabody and that will give me any thread where both those words appear, and if a thread says something like "Peabody becomes a Detective," I'd see that thread listed.

Now...when you click on "Search" at the top of the page, you'll see your "Quick Search" box, with a "spyglass" button next to it that you push to start the search. Next to the spyglass button, you will see another button that looks like a "gear":

Attached File  advancedsearch.jpg   15.47KB   19 downloads

This is the "Advanced Search" button. Go there, and you'll have many more search options.

The same search rules apply, but more rules are added. For example, if you want to search for "Candy Thief" and you know the post you want is a post that I made, you can search for "Candy Thief" and below that, enter my screen name, "AJRyan" in the "Find Author" box. That will give you any post that I specifically made where I specifically said "Candy Thief."

To narrow it down even further, you can also choose what forum the post might have been in. For example, if you're looking for a post about the wiki page for the Candy Thief, you can enter "Candy Thief" or +candy +thief in, then click on "Wiki Forum" underneath where it says "Search Where." Then, it will only search in that specific forum.

Also, you can search for posts made during a specific time period (if you want to search for posts within the last few days, for example).

Hope all that made sense to everyone...

Just in case, I've made this visual aid:

Attached File  NewSearch.jpg   130.83KB   21 downloads

Obviously, searching before you post is not absolutely mandatory, and you won't get kicked off the site if you don't do it, but it IS STRONGLY encouraged BEFORE you create a new thread, that you do a search first.

SEARCH WILL NOT CORRECT SPELLING ERRORS, SO MAKE SURE YOU'VE SPELLED THE WORDS CORRECTLY, OR SEARCH WILL NOT WORK!.

If there are any questions about searching, or if something I've said isn't clear to you, please don't hesitate to post the question here, and I will answer you as best I can.

Thanks,

AJ

#2 erryyn

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 11:58 AM

"Result Type" means showing the results of your search as threads or as individual posts. I often find that showing results as posts helps because I can see the actual post, and the text of my search is highlighted to make it easier to find.

Okay, I'm sorta bumping this up again for today but I have an appreciation for the mention of going to more search options and changing the result type to "Show results as posts". If that choice isn't selected, searchers are going to wind up with a page full of threads with with their search topic somewhere in one of those threads - not a lot of help unless you want to add on a step and do another search from there and I've never liked adding useless steps. Getting results shown as the actual post, that contains the phrase right there, is extremely helpful and much easier - very useful tip and handy visual aid - thanks AJ.
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#3 slainte

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 03:25 PM

Thanks for the info, it should make things a lot easier... My daughter says to me that she already knows how to do a search, when I asked how, she said AJ had posted it in another thread. So that was my duh moment for the day...
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#4 joygant

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 08:06 AM

This is a great explanation AJ. I remember my freshman year in college, one of our orientation classes involved the subject of how to correctly use the internet search functions to get the best results. Using " " or + or - or NOT, etc when used correctly can really improve search results and cut down on wasted time. This is a great primer. At work whenever anyone wants an answer to a question, they always come to me because they know I'll be able to find the answer in under 30 seconds. I attribute it to the college librarian who took the time to explain this us. I'm always surprised how few people have ever had this stuff explained to them. I hope that readers of your post appreciate how useful this information can be and apply it in other applications as well. Although not all search engines use the same operators, basic knowledge of this stuff is useful.

I only use yahoo and google to search because I get the best results with their search engines:
google search help: http://www.google.co...p;answer=136861
yahoo search help: http://help.yahoo.co.../basics-04.html

I know some other folks like msn and aol, but frankly, I think they don't work well.
msn search help: sucks butt and is hard to find. i can't direct link it. go to http://www.live.com/ and type in "advanced search options" to find the tutorial
aol search help: bleh, good luck with that! :lol: i couldn't find it!!!


Anyway, hope this is helpful. And thanks to for the great post!

Edited by joygant, 11 April 2009 - 08:07 AM.


#5 ruth

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:42 AM

Since we've had 2 people in the past 18 hours who have started a thread on Matthew Bomer without doing a search for a thread that already exists, I thought I would bump this up with the hope that someone reads it again?

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#6 AJ

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 02:11 PM

Wanted to bump this thread up, since we've had many new members since this thread was posted, and it can often go unnoticed. Also, I want to add a couple of things:

When you do a search, please be aware that your search results will come up in order of the last date the thread was posted in. In other words, it will show the newest threads, or the threads that were replied to recently, FIRST. See the screen shot below which shows "Order by Date".

Attached File  search-last-updated.jpg   132.69KB   10 downloads

This means that something you search for, if it is an OLDER thread, it will NOT come up on the first page, or even the first couple of pages. Do NOT just look through the first page or first couple of pages and then quit, figuring it's not there.

You can change how search results are listed, though, if you click the pull down menu on the search results page. See this screenshot:

Attached File  search-pulldown.jpg   134.32KB   13 downloads

As we see here, you can search by title. Sometimes that gets you more logical results. If I'm searching for "Candy Thief," I can sort results by title, and look in the "C's".

HOWEVER, also be aware that sometimes people name things differently than you would expect. For example, in the case of the search for "Candy Thief," the thread I was looking for was named "THE Candy Thief." Therefore, it was under "T" in my alphabetical title search. So, it was still three or four pages back in the search results.

BOTTOM LINE IS:

When you search, sometimes what you are looking for is buried a bit. So, you MUST look through ALL the search results to find it. Yes. I know it's a pain. But it's either that, or hear "please use search" from a moderator.

If you give up after the first page of search results, please be advised that you will most likely be asked to "use search" by a moderator, if what you were looking for IS there, and we have to merge threads because you were impatient. We are NOT trying to "pick" on you....we don't hate you....we just want this forum to run as smoothly as possible, and need YOUR help in doing that. And that includes you actually making an effort to really SEARCH before you start a new thread.

Thank You.

#7 AJ

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 05:55 AM

I am once again bumping this topic up, because we've had many new members sign up in the last few weeks, and mastering the "Search" feature is absolutely critical here.

Please remember that we have nearly 9 years of posts here on the forum! There is a GOOD chance that what you want to discuss has been discussed before. Please make sure to do a SEARCH before starting any topic! If you follow the advice above, I promise you, the search will find what you are looking for.

ALSO: Remember the WIKI!! The Wiki contains a massive amount of information, and nearly ANY question you have on the series can be answered there. Plus, we have made it very easy to find most of the most asked about aspects of the series by creating links on the front page of the Wiki that will help you find nearly anything you're looking for in just a few clicks. All those links are broken down into categories, and very easy to understand. If what you're wanting to post is a question about the series, you will more than likely find it in the WIKI!

AJ

#8 AJ

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 01:22 PM

Bumping this up again so everyone has the opportunity to see it.

AJ

#9 kopperkat

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 01:37 PM

I did a search this morning - "Architecture - Roarke's Mansion" and got the following error


One or all of your search keywords were below 2 characters or you searched for words which are not allowed, such as 'html', 'img', etc, please increase the length of these search keywords or choose different keywords.

When I did mansion without quotes I got over 200 results but only 1 with the word mansion in the title

HELP!!!

Trying combos now ................. with and without quotes

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#10 AJ

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:04 PM

I did a search this morning - "Architecture - Roarke's Mansion" and got the following error


Please read ALL posts in this thread! The first one specifically says: You should keep your search simple....one or two words.

Do NOT put any hyphens in your search. A hyphen will often tell the search engine NOT to search for the word that comes after the hyphen.

There is another post in this thread that talks about how to SORT your search in alphabetical order.

Had you followed the advice of this thread, searched only for "Roarke's Mansion" or "mansion," and then sorted alphabetically, you would have found the thread! If I can find it, YOU can find it! I'm sorry, but I'm really tired of hearing "the search feature doesn't work for me" from people, when I know it works perfectly fine if you follow the rules in this thread.

AJ

#11 roarkeblueeyes

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:53 AM

Thanks AJ. This topic answered some questions. Questions that I couldn't find an answers for are:
1) Who is entitled to create/post new thread that has not been discussed before?
2) Is this like the InDeath Trivia/Quotes Challenge where your turn comes up after providing the correct answer to the current trivia/challenge?
3) Can I invite any member to be a friend. Or does this have to do also with rankings?

:roarkerules:
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#12 Joe

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:13 AM

I'm not AJ, but since I'm here, I can answer your questions. :)

Thanks AJ. This topic answered some questions. Questions that I couldn't find an answers for are:
1) Who is entitled to create/post new thread that has not been discussed before?
2) Is this like the InDeath Trivia/Quotes Challenge where your turn comes up after providing the correct answer to the current trivia/challenge?
3) Can I invite any member to be a friend. Or does this have to do also with rankings?

:roarkerules:

1. Anyone can start a new topic, as long as you search to see if the topic has been discussed before. After ten years of being here and extremely active, you can imagine that we've discussed pretty much everything. :lol: Be sure you go through all of the pages that your search turns up. A very common mistake is that people will only look through the threads of the first page that come up, and assume that since it's not on the "front" page, it's never been discussed. In general, at least 4 pages will come up for any given search term. Check them all.

2. Yes, to post a new topic, check to be sure you're in the correct forum, and then click on "start new topic". Everything else is the same.

3. You can invite anyone to be your friends. The "ranking" system is basically just a fun way to keep track of the most active posters. However, just making silly/pointless comments to "bump" your post count is highly frowned upon. If you feel you have something pertinent to add to a discussion, please do so. In fact, we highly encourage that! :) But just saying "me too" (or something similar), without adding to the discussion should never be done.

One more thing, for everybody. We've again had a lot of new members sign up. This post from AJ pretty much says it all. Please read it and take it to heart!

I am once again bumping this topic up, because we've had many new members sign up in the last few weeks, and mastering the "Search" feature is absolutely critical here.

Please remember that we have nearly 9 years of posts here on the forum! There is a GOOD chance that what you want to discuss has been discussed before. Please make sure to do a SEARCH before starting any topic! If you follow the advice above, I promise you, the search will find what you are looking for.

ALSO: Remember the WIKI!! The Wiki contains a massive amount of information, and nearly ANY question you have on the series can be answered there. Plus, we have made it very easy to find most of the most asked about aspects of the series by creating links on the front page of the Wiki that will help you find nearly anything you're looking for in just a few clicks. All those links are broken down into categories, and very easy to understand. If what you're wanting to post is a question about the series, you will more than likely find it in the WIKI!

AJ



#13 Ms Joy

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:41 AM

Please remember that we have nearly 9 years of posts here on the forum!

ahem -- make that TEN years of posts -- and major thanks AGAIN, AJ, for making it all possible!!!! :dance3:

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#14 Ms Joy

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:53 AM

okay, now I'm embarrassed. Where the heck are the puzzles that you had for 10th anniversary, AJ? I finally got around to solving the word scramble, and am ready for another one of the puzzles. (yeah yeah, I know I'm s-l-o-w -- i've been working on other stuff, but the puzzles are fun!) I did a search on "anniversary games" but didn't find the puzzles.
thanks.

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#15 elvan

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 07:50 AM

okay, now I'm embarrassed. Where the heck are the puzzles that you had for 10th anniversary, AJ? I finally got around to solving the word scramble, and am ready for another one of the puzzles. (yeah yeah, I know I'm s-l-o-w -- i've been working on other stuff, but the puzzles are fun!) I did a search on "anniversary games" but didn't find the puzzles.
thanks.


You will be really embarrassed to realize that the Trivia contest is in this same "Site Stuff" Forum. From the Main page, scroll to the very bottom of the page for "Site Stuff" and click on "Site Announcements" . The thread for the Trivia game is about halfway down the page.
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