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Tips for Using Search

Overview of the Search Experience

On every page, you will see the Search box in the upper right corner. Enter a term in the box and click return, and you will be taken to the Search results page.  Within the Communities of Practice you will have the option to search "This Site" meaning the community or "All DAU".

Search will find only the content that you have permission to view.

As you scroll down the list of search results, you will see a preview of the content that is found—either a site, a document, or a discussion. This will help you to decide if it's what you need, even without clicking on the item!

Tips to Help You Search Like a Pro!

  • Use the refinement panel to narrow results.
    • The left side of the search results page shows you several ways that you can narrow search results, including by Content Type or Topic Area.
  • Use OR to expand your search to include more terms.
    • You can use the operators AND, OR, and NOT to expand or narrow your search query.
    • You may not get the results you want because you may not be giving the search engine enough criteria. Try to use more than one word to search. If you don't get the results you want, add more terms to your search.
    • To ensure that the search engine knows how you want to connect the terms, you must separate the words with an operator.
    • For more results, use OR (all caps).
    • Capitalize your search operators. For example, you may be looking for an example of a social media policy, but you don't know if it is called a policy or manual or handbook. You could write your query as: "social media" AND (handbook OR policy OR guide).
  • Use AND to narrow your search results.
    • Search engines assume that two words together with no operator separating them implies AND as the operator. In other words, a search for "apples pears" is the same as "apples AND pears". Including the operator in capital letters will prevent your search terms from being vague or ignored.
  • Capitalize operators in search.
    • Normally, search does not care about capitalization. However, you MUST capitalize the words AND, OR, and NOT if you want search to recognize the words as operators.
  • To ensure you find results with any term listed, separate terms with the OR operator.
    • If you just string words together, search assumes you are using the AND function. To ensure that you find results for any term in your search query, separate terms with OR. For example, to find "cats" or "dogs," type "cats OR dogs" as your query.
  • Use double quotes to ensure that words must be found together, as in "social media".
    • If you were to type the two words without the quotes, search would interpret the query as "social AND media", which means that both words would have to appear in the results but not necessarily together as a single phrase. Before you use quotes, you need to be sure that the exact phrase for which you're searching is in the content because search will look for and return results only for that exact phrase.
  • Use a wildcard (*) to find words that begin with a character string.
    • For example, you can search for "Micro*" to find all documents that contain, for example, "Microsoft" or "microchip" or "microscope," etc.

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