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Using the Search Tab

SQL Server 2000

SQL Server Books Online includes a Search tab that allows you to search through every word in SQL Server Books Online to find a match. For example, if you perform a full-text search on the word "index", every topic that contains the word "index" is listed. You can precisely define a search by using wildcard expressions, nested expressions, and Boolean operators. You can request similar word matches, search only the topic titles, or search the results of an earlier search.

All instances of search terms that are found in the topic files can appear highlighted. To specify highlighting, click the Options button, and then click Search Highlight On. If you are viewing a long topic, only the first 500 instances of a search word or phrase are highlighted. This feature works only with Microsoft® Internet Explorer 4.0 or later.

Searching for Topics

A search consists of the word or phrase you want to find. You can use wildcard expressions, nested expressions, Boolean operators, similar word matches, a previous results list, or topic titles to further define your search.

The basic rules for formulating queries are:

  • Searches are not case-sensitive, so you can type your search in uppercase or lowercase characters.

  • You can search for any combination of letters (a-z) and numbers (0-9).

  • Punctuation marks such as the period, colon, semicolon, comma, and hyphen are ignored during a search.

  • Group the elements of your search using double quotation marks or parentheses to set apart each element. You cannot search for quotation marks.

If you are searching for a file name with an extension, you should group the entire string in double quotation marks ("filename.ext"). Otherwise, the period breaks the file name into two separate terms. The default operation between terms is AND, which is the logical equivalent to "filename AND ext".

To find information with full-text search

  1. Click the Search tab, and then type the word or phrase you want to find.

  2. Click the arrow button to add Boolean operators to your search.

  3. Click List Topics, select the topic you want, and then click Display.

  4. To sort the topic list, click the Title, Location, or Rank column heading.

Note  The ranking of topics under the Rank column is not determined by any standard (for example, alphabetical order or most hits). Do not use the ranking to determine which topics to view.

Searching for Words or Phrases

You can search for words or phrases and use wildcard expressions. Wildcard expressions allow you to search for one or more characters using a question mark or asterisk. The table describes the results of these different kinds of searches.

Search for Example Results
A single word select Topics that contain the word "select". (You will also find its grammatical variations, such as "selector" and "selection".)
A phrase "new operator"
or
new operator
Topics that contain the literal phrase "new operator" and all its grammatical variations.

Without the quotation marks, the query is equivalent to specifying "new AND operator", which will find topics containing both of the individual words, instead of the phrase.

Wildcard expressions esc*
or
80?86
Topics that contain the terms "ESC", "escape", "escalation", and so on. The asterisk cannot be the only character in the term.

Topics that contain the terms "80186", "80286", "80386", and so on. The question mark cannot be the only character in the term.


Select the Match similar words check box at the bottom of the Search tab to include minor grammatical variations for the phrase you search.

Defining Search Terms

The AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR operators enable you to precisely define your search by creating a relationship between search terms. The following table shows how you can use each of these operators. If an operator is not specified, AND is used. For example, the query "spacing border printing" is equivalent to "spacing AND border AND printing".

Search for Example Results
Both terms in the same topic. dib AND palette Topics containing both the words "dib" and "palette".
Either term in a topic. raster OR vector Topics containing either the word "raster" or the word "vector" or both.
The first term without the second term. ole NOT dde Topics containing the word "OLE", but not the word "DDE".
Both terms in the same topic, close together. user NEAR kernel Topics containing the word "user" within eight words of the word "kernel".

The characters |, &, and ! do not work as Boolean operators (you must use OR, AND, and NOT).

Note  You must define a search phrase that begins with AND, OR, NOT, or NEAR with double quotation marks; otherwise, these words are interpreted as operators, and the search cannot be performed. For example, a search for the phrase NOT FOR REPLICATION returns an error message, and a search for the phrase "NOT FOR REPLICATION" succeeds.

Using Nested Expressions When Searching

Nested expressions allow you to create complex searches for information. For example, "control AND ((active OR dde) NEAR window)" finds topics containing the word "control" along with the words "active" and "window" close together, or containing "control" along with the words "dde" and "window" close together.

The basic rules for searching Help topics using nested expressions are:

  • You can use parentheses to nest expressions within a query. The expressions in parentheses are evaluated before the rest of the query.

  • If a query does not contain a nested expression, it is evaluated from left to right. For example: "Control NOT active OR dde" finds topics containing the word "control" without the word "active", or topics containing the word "dde". On the other hand, "control NOT (active OR dde)" finds topics containing the word "control" without either of the words "active" or "dde".

  • You cannot nest expressions more than five levels deep.

To search only the last group of topics from a previous search

This feature enables you to narrow a search that results in too many topics found. You can search through your results list from a previous search by using this option.

  1. On the Search tab, select the Search previous results check box.

  2. Click List Topics, select the topic you want, and then click Display.

If you want to search through all of the files in SQL Server Books Online, this check box must be cleared. If you have previously used this feature, when you click the Search tab, this check box will be selected.

To find words similar to your search term

This feature enables you to include minor grammatical variations for the phrase you search. For example, a search on the word "add" finds "add", "adds", and "added".

  1. Click the Search tab, type the word or phrase you want to find, and then select the Match similar words check box.

  2. Click List Topics, select the topic you want, and then click Display.

This feature locates only variations of the word with common suffixes. For example, a search on the word "add" finds "added", but it does not find "additive".

To search for words in the titles of SQL Server Books Online topics

  1. Click the Search tab, type the word or phrase you want to find, and then select the Search titles only check box.

  2. Click List Topics, select the topic you want, and then click Display.
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