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A service of Carroll County Public Library

Help - Search Logic

Our search engine uses set logic for text queries. The examples below make reference to single keywords, but keep in mind that each keyword can represent an entire list of things or any of the special pattern matchers.

Sets (or lists) of things are specified by placing the elements within parenthesis, separated by commas. Example: (bob,joe,sam,sue) means search for (bob OR joe, OR sam OR sue). In the examples below, you could replace any of the keywords with a list like this.

The default behavior of the search is to locate an intersection (or 'AND') of every element within a query. This means that the query: ``microsoft bob interface'' is the same as searching for 'microsoft AND bob AND interface'. All of these search terms must be located on the same page.

- (without)
The - (minus) is the most commonly used logic symbol. It means the answer should EXCLUDE references to that item. The minus(-) operator must be attached to the term to which they apply. There must be a space between the operator and any preceding term.

Query Finds
bob sam joe bob AND sam AND joe
bob sam -joe bob AND sam NOT joe
(bob,sam,joe) (bob OR sam OR joe)
(bob,sam,joe) tom (bob OR sam OR joe) AND tom
(bob,sam,joe) -tom (bob OR sam OR joe) NOT tom