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Search Tips & Techniques

The J F Allen website search function uses a boolean full-text search capability.  You can enter specific descriptors or attributes in combination with an operator to narrow your choices.  The supported operators are listed below with a simple example of how they work.

+                      A leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in each row that is returned.
'+apple +juice'
Find rows that contain both words.

-                       A leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any of the rows that are       returned.
'+apple -macintosh'
Find rows that contain the word “apple” but not “macintosh”.

“  “                   A phrase that is enclosed within double quote (“"”) characters matches only rows that contain the phrase literally, as it was typed.
“apple sauce”
Find rows that contain the phrase apple sauce, not just apple or sauce.

( )                     Parentheses group words into subexpressions. Parenthesized groups can be nested.
'+apple +(turnover strudel)'
Find rows that contain the words “apple” and “turnover”, or “apple” and “strudel” (in any order),

> <                   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. See the example following this list.
'+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”.

( )                     Parentheses group words into subexpressions. Parenthesized groups can be nested.
'+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”.

*           The asterisk serves as the wildcard operator. It should be appended to the word to be affected. Words match if they begin with the word preceding the * operator.
'apple*'
Find rows that contain words such as “apple”, “apples”, “applesauce”, or “applet”.