Site Search

Using Search

Using search is as simple as entering your query in the search field, and clicking on the 'Search' button. The search results page will then show you a list of links to pages which satisfy your query.  You can then either follow any of those links to see the page in question, or refine your search.

The examples below show how your query can use keywords and operators in order to get the best results from the search facility.

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Terms (keywords)

A query is broken up into terms (keywords) and operators. There are two types of terms: Single Terms and Phrases.

A Single Term is a single word such as "planning" or "leisure".

A Phrase is a group of words surrounded by double quotes such as "planning permission".

Multiple terms can be combined together with Boolean operators (see below) to form a more complex query.

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Term Modifiers

Query terms can be modifyed to provide a wide range of searching options.

Wildcard Searches

Single and multiple character wildcard searches are supported within single terms (not within phrase queries).

To perform a single character wildcard search use the "?" symbol.

To perform a multiple character wildcard search use the "*" symbol.

The single character wildcard search looks for terms that match that with the single character replaced. For example, to search for "text" or "test" you can use the search:

te?t

Multiple character wildcard searches looks for 0 or more characters. For example, to search for test, tests or tester, you can use the search:

test*

You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term.

te*t

Note: You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.

Fuzzy Searches

To do a fuzzy search use the tilde, "~", symbol at the end of a Single word Term. For example to search for a term similar in spelling to "roam" use the fuzzy search:

roam~

This search will find terms like foam and roams.

An additional (optional) parameter can specify the required similarity. The value is between 0 and 1, with a value closer to 1 only terms with a higher similarity will be matched. For example:

roam~0.8

The default that is used if the parameter is not given is 0.5.

Proximity Searches

Proximity searches find words that are a within a specific distance of each other. To do a proximity search use the tilde, "~", symbol at the end of a Phrase. For example to search for "help" and "planning" within 10 words of each other in a document use the search:

"help planning"~10

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Boolean Operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined through logic operators. Supported operators are AND, OR, NOT "+", and "-" (Note: Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS).

OR

The OR operator is the default operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the OR operator is used. The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exist in a document.

To search for documents that contain either "planning permission" or just "advice" use the query:

"planning permission" advice

or

"planning permission" OR advice

AND

The AND operator matches documents where both terms exist anywhere in the text of a single document.

To search for documents that contain "planning permission" and "satellite dishes" use the query:

"planning permission" AND "satellite dishes"

+

The "+" or required operator requires that the term after the "+" symbol exist somewhere in a the field of a single document.

To search for documents that must contain "planning" and may contain "permission" use the query:

+planning permission

NOT

The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term after NOT.

To search for documents that contain "planning permission" but not "satellite dishes" use the query:

"planning permission" NOT "satellite dishes"

Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will return no results:

NOT "satellite dishes"

-

The "-" or prohibit operator excludes documents that contain the term after the "-" symbol.

To search for documents that contain "planning permission" but not "satellite dishes" use the query:

"planning permission" -"satellite dishes"

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Grouping

Parentheses are used to group clauses to form sub queries. This can be very useful if you want to control the boolean logic for a query.

To search for either "bin" or "refuse" and "collection" use the query:

(bin OR refuse) AND collection

This eliminates any confusion and makes sure that "collection" must exist and either term "bin" or "refuse" may exist.

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Escaping Special Characters

Special characters that are part of the query syntax need to be escaped. The current list special characters are

+ - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \

To escape these character use the \ before the character. For example to search for (1+1):2 use the query:

\(1\+1\)\:2

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