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Search facilities in MediaWiki[edit source]
This page explains the search button for the search box which appears on every page. and the "Search result settings" section in the preferences.
list of all pages[edit source]
- Special:Allpages - Alphabetic index for the main namespace
Please note that a-z come after A-Z.
For some other namespaces, see Help:Namespace.
The default button, Go, will lead directly to the page named in the search text, if such a page exists. For example, typing "Looney Pyramid Games Wiki:Searching" into the search box and choosing "Go" will bring you to this page, as "Main Page" will lead you to Main Page. This makes the search box convenient for quick navigation to any topic.
If the term is not found as a page name, the default is to behave as if "Search" had been chosen instead.
See also Help:Go button.
Search field[edit source]
Pressing the [Enter] key while the search field is active is equivalent to clicking on the [Go] button. While this is obvious when using Internet Explorer (tested on version 6), Mozilla (version 1.6 at least) provides no such indication.
Avoid short and common words[edit source]
This is the most likely cause of an unexpected failed search. If your search terms include a common "stop word" (such as "the", "one", "your", "more", "right", "while", "when", "who", "which", "such", "every", "about", "onto"), then your search will fail without any results. Short numbers, and words that appear in half of all pages, will also not be found. In this case, drop those words and rerun the search.
Search is case-insensitive[edit source]
The searches for "icehouse", "Icehouse" and "ICEHOUSE" all return the same results.
Boolean search possible[edit source]
You can use the words "and", "or" and "not" and parentheses in order to formulate more complicated requests. If none of those words is specified, "and" is used by default. For instance, "waving not drowning" will return all pages that contain the word "waving" but don't contain the word "drowning". The search "(board or card) and game" will return all pages which contain "game" and either "board" or "card".
Words with special characters[edit source]
In a search for a word with a diaeresis, such as Sint Odiliënberg, it depends whether this ÃƒÂ« is stored as one character or as "ë". In the first case one can simply search for Odilienberg (or Odiliënberg); in the second case it can only be found by searching for Odili, euml and/or nberg. This is actually a bug that should be fixed -- the entities should be folded into their raw character equivalents so all searches on them are equivalent.
There is no method for searching for a phrase. Contrary to what you might expect, enclosing phrases in double quotation marks such as "can of tuna" will retrieve all pages containing "of" "tuna" and "can".
Searching limitations and Gotchas[edit source]
No regular expressions or wildcards[edit source]
You cannot use regular expressions or wildcards such as ? or *. If you don't know what that is, don't worry about it. To search for pages with the words "boat" or "boats" search like this: "boat or boats".
Words in single quotes[edit source]
If a word appears in a page with single quotes, you can only find it if you search for the word with quotes. Since this is rarely desirable it is better to use double quotes in pages, for which this problem does not arise.
An apostrophe is identical to a single quote, therefore Mu'ammar can be found searching for exactly that (and not otherwise). A word with apostrophe s is an exception in that it can be found also searching for the word without the apostrophe and the s.
Delay in updating the search index[edit source]
For reasons of efficiency and priority, very recent changes to pages are not always immediately taken into account in searches.
Search Options[edit source]
Namespaces searched[edit source]
The search only applies to the namespaces selected in the preferences. To search the other namespaces check or uncheck the tickboxes in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page. Depending on the browser, a box may still be checked from a previous search, but may no longer be effective. To be sure the box is in effect, uncheck and recheck it.
Searching the image namespace means searching the image descriptions, i.e. the first parts of the image pages. For searching the titles, use Special:Imagelist.
Redirects can be excluded[edit source]
Check or uncheck the tickbox "List redirects" in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page.
The wikitext is searched[edit source]
The wikitext (source text, what one sees in the edit box) is searched. This distinction is relevant for piped links, for special characters (if ÃƒÂª is coded as ê it is found searching for ecirc), etc.
Some portions of matching pages that contain the searched-for terms are shown, with the terms highlighted in red. You can set the number of lines extracted and the amount of text per line shown in your preferences.
If you search e.g. for "book" you get only pages with that word, not pages with "books" only. However, on pages with "book" and "books", also the part "book" of the word "books" is highlighted.