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How do I search the message boards?

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The simplest, quickest, and most common search you'll likely run on the message boards is to look for posts with a specific keyword or phrase within the message. You can run this type of search from most any message board page just by entering the keyword in the search box in the upper-right corner of the page. For more advanced search options such as searching for posts by specific members, on specific boards, during a specific timespan, and more, use the dedicated Search Messages page.

A few things to know about keywords searches. First, searches are case-insensitive, so capitalization will not matter. Second-and this is important-keywords with just one letter or number are not used. If you try to run a search for "I C U", for instance, it simply will not work because the AQ database does not track such small "words."

Some common words are automatically ignored such as and, then, don't, etc. These are called stopwords, and the full list of stopwords used are:

a's, able, about, above, according, accordingly, across, actually, after, afterwards, again, against, ain't, all, allow, allows, almost, alone, along, already, also, although, always, am, among, amongst, an, and, another, any, anybody, anyhow, anyone, anything, anyway, anyways, anywhere, apart, appear, appreciate, appropriate, aq, are, aren't, around, as, aside, ask, asking, associated, at, available, away, awfully, be, became, because, become, becomes, becoming, been, before, beforehand, behind, being, believe, below, beside, besides, best, better, between, beyond, both, box, boxed, boxes, boxing, brief, but, by, c'mon, c's, came, can, can't, cannot, cant, cause, causes, certain, certainly, changes, clearly, clue, co, com, come, comes, concerning, consequently, consider, considering, contain, containing, contains, corresponding, could, couldn't, course, currently, definitely, described, despite, did, didn't, different, do, does, doesn't, doing, don't, done, down, downwards, during, each, edu, eg, eight, either, else, elsewhere, enough, entirely, especially, et, etc, even, ever, every, everybody, everyone, everything, everywhere, ex, exactly, example, except, far, few, fifth, first, five, followed, following, follows, for, former, formerly, forth, four, from, further, furthermore, get, gets, getting, given, gives, go, goes, going, gone, got, gotten, greetings, had, hadn't, happens, hardly, has, hasn't, have, haven't, having, he, he's, hello, help, hence, her, here, here's, hereafter, hereby, herein, hereupon, hers, herself, hi, him, himself, his, hither, hopefully, how, howbeit, however, i'd, i'll, i'm, i've, ie, if, ignored, immediate, in, inasmuch, inc, indeed, indicate, indicated, indicates, inner, insofar, instead, into, inward, is, isn't, it, it'd, it'll, it's, its, itself, just, keep, keeps, kept, know, knows, known, last, lately, later, latter, latterly, least, less, lest, let, let's, letterbox, letterboxed, letterboxes, letterboxing, letterboxer, like, liked, likely, little, look, looking, looks, ltd, mainly, many, may, maybe, me, mean, meanwhile, merely, might, more, moreover, most, mostly, much, must, my, myself, name, namely, nd, near, nearly, necessary, need, needs, neither, never, nevertheless, new, next, nine, no, nobody, non, none, noone, nor, normally, not, nothing, novel, now, nowhere, obviously, of, off, often, oh, ok, okay, old, on, once, one, ones, only, onto, or, other, others, otherwise, ought, our, ours, ourselves, out, outside, over, overall, own, park, particular, particularly, per, perhaps, placed, please, plus, possible, presumably, probably, provides, que, quite, qv, rather, rd, re, really, reasonably, regarding, regardless, regards, relatively, respectively, right, rock, said, same, saw, say, saying, says, second, secondly, see, seeing, seem, seemed, seeming, seems, seen, self, selves, sensible, sent, serious, seriously, seven, several, shall, she, should, shouldn't, since, six, so, some, somebody, somehow, someone, something, sometime, sometimes, somewhat, somewhere, soon, sorry, specified, specify, specifying, still, sub, such, sup, sure, t's, take, taken, tell, tends, th, than, thank, thanks, thanx, that, that's, thats, the, their, theirs, them, themselves, then, thence, there, there's, thereafter, thereby, therefore, therein, theres, thereupon, these, they, they'd, they'll, they're, they've, think, third, this, thorough, thoroughly, those, though, three, through, throughout, thru, thus, to, together, too, took, toward, towards, tree, tried, tries, truly, try, trying, twice, two, un, under, unfortunately, unless, unlikely, until, unto, up, upon, us, use, used, useful, uses, using, usually, value, various, very, via, viz, vs, want, wants, was, wasn't, way, we, we'd, we'll, we're, we've, welcome, well, went, were, weren't, what, what's, whatever, when, whence, whenever, where, where's, whereafter, whereas, whereby, wherein, whereupon, wherever, whether, which, while, whither, who, who's, whoever, whole, whom, whose, why, will, willing, wish, with, within, without, won't, wonder, would, would, wouldn't, yes, yet, you, you'd, you'll, you're, you've, your, yours, yourself, yourselves, zero

Any word you attempt to search for in this list will be ignored.

Search Operators

By default, Atlas Quest will return all searches that include one or more of the keywords you specify. You can, however, change that behavior through the use of operators. Supported operators include:
Operator Result
+ A leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in every post returned.
- A leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any post returned.
( ) Parentheses are used to group words into subexpressions
* An asterisk is the truncation operator. Unlike the other operators, it should be appended to the word, not prepended.
" A phrase that is enclosed in double quotes matches only posts that contain the phrase literally, as it was typed.
@distance Tests tests whether two or more words all start within a specified distance from each other, measured in words. Specify the search words within a double-quoted string immediately before the @distance operator.
<> These two operators are used to change a word's contribution to the relevance value that is assigned to a row. The > operator increases the contribution and the < operator decreases it.

Examples

Search Results
apple banana find posts that contain at least one of these words
+apple +juice find posts that contain both words
+apple -macintosh find posts that contain the word “apple” but not “macintosh”
+(apple banana) -macintosh find posts that contain “apple” or “banana”, but not “machintosh”
apple* find posts that contain “apple”, “apples”, “applesauce”, “applet”, etc.
"some words" find posts that contain “some words of wisdom”, but not “some noise words”
"word1 word2 word3" @8 finds posts that contain the words “word1”, “word2” and “word3”—BUT only if all three words are located within 8 words of each other.
+apple +(>turnover <strudel) Find rows that contain the words “apple” and “turnover”, or “apple” and “strudel” (in any order), but rank “apple turnover” higher than “apple strudel”.