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Author Topic: Tips on using the Forum Search feature  (Read 4060 times)
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« on: February 10, 2010, 09:18:11 AM »

Some users have expressed that the Off Topic section makes searching for pertinent information more of a challenge.  So I thought I would post these tips on how to avoid that.  Please refer to the attached image.

  • 1. - Use the search form available by clicking the Search button on the menu bar rather than the search box in the upper right of the screen.
  • 2. - The resulting form lets you select the boards you want included in the search.  Deselect the "Check All" box.
  • 3. - Select only the boards likely to contain your answers.  In most cases this will be the All Topics board and the Technical Archives.
  • 4. - Enter your search terms.  By default it will look for posts containing all of your terms, but you can select for it to look for any of your words instead.  Also note you can put the "-" in front of a word (no space between them) to reject posts with that term in them.  Placing two or more words in quotation marks makes it look for those words in exactly that sequence.
  • 5. - You can narrow your search to only include posts by a specific user and you can narrow the time range searched.
  • 6. - Click the "Search" button at the bottom of the form to launch the search.

Due to thread drift inherent in forums, the quality of search results is limitied.  But using the above steps will yield the best possible results and with a little practice one can get pretty good at finding what they are looking for.
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