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How to use this sites search function

  1. Mar 27, 2006 #1
    I don't understand the Physics Forums search fucntion. When I go to Advanced Seach and Enter something to be searched by Keyword, it gives you the option to either Search Titles Only or Search Entire Post. So when I select search titles only it brings up MANY posts that don't have ANY of the keywords in the title of the post. The keywords are just in the post itself.

    And when I put a keyword phrase in quotations it brings up many posts that don't have the keyord together like I typed them, it just brings up posts that have any of the keywords I put in as oppose to the exact phrase. What is the deal?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2006 #2
    It may include the titles of the posts themselves.
  4. Mar 27, 2006 #3
    What do you mean by that? Do you mean when I select the option "Search Titles Only" then this allows it to search in the Titles AND in the Posts themeselves. That does not make sense to me. Why does it say "search titles ONLY"?
  5. Mar 27, 2006 #4
    This is a title


    That's what I mean.
  6. Mar 27, 2006 #5
    Then how do you search the ACTUAL titles of the threads? Like this thread is titled "How to use this sites search function". How do I search for that?
    And why do the quotation marks not allow me to search for exact phrases. This does not even work when I search through the entire post.
  7. Mar 27, 2006 #6
    From what I have experienced the search feature is rather tempermental. There have been times when I have typed in keywords that I knew existed in here somewhere and no results were found and then there have been times that I have4 searched and a whole slew of matches comes up that have nothing to do with what I was looking for.
  8. Mar 28, 2006 #7
    I have experienced that too. When I know I have seen a thread about something and I search for it, NOTHING COMES UP. And this only happens sometimes with me too. What is the deal?
  9. Mar 28, 2006 #8
    As an example of the one of the problems I am having with it is that I am trying to search for threads about discrete math in the acedemic advisement section. So I put "Discrete Math" in as the keywords, I select search title only, and hit search. It brings up many threads that have the word math anywhere in them. Why the hell does the quotation marks not make it only search for the phrase discrete math?
  10. Mar 28, 2006 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    You're used to a sophisticated search engine like google, remember, this software doesn't have that functionality. Your best bet might be to actually use google for your searches here.
  11. Mar 28, 2006 #10
    That's an idea. You think that Greg might be able to set it up so that Google is what you are using when searching PF?
  12. Mar 28, 2006 #11
    Who is greg?
  13. Mar 28, 2006 #12


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    Staff: Mentor

    Greg owns this website.
  14. Mar 28, 2006 #13


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Temperamental is a good word choice. I just tried searching for something, and another thread with the same keyword was right on the first page where I was searching, and even that thread didn't come up (it told me no matches were found). Even if I didn't match the keyword just right to the older thread, the newer one with the exact term and same spelling/abbreviation of it should have shown up.
  15. Mar 28, 2006 #14
    For old posts Google will work by searching "site:physicsforums.com 'keyword'" but it won't cache the new posts for a while.
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