This document introduces basic search concepts and describes more advanced techniques that can help you search more effectively.
To search for a document, type a few descriptive words in the search box, and press the Enter key or click the search button. Our search engine produces a results page with a list of documents and web pages that are related to your search terms, with the most relevant search results appearing at the top of the page. By default, our search engine returns only pages that include all of your search terms. So to broaden or restrict the search, include fewer or more terms. You do not need to include "and" between the terms. For example, to search for land use bylaw documents, type the following:
Capitalization Word Variations (Stemming)
Our search engine searches are not case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you enter them, are handled as lower case. For example, searches for "dog bylaw," and "Dog Bylaw" return the same results.
Our search engine searches not only for your search terms, but also for words that are similar to some or all of those terms. For example, if you search for "info" or "info*," our search engine will also search for "information," "informing," "informant," and other related variations. Variants of your search will be highlighted in the snippet of text that accompanies each result. Common Words
Our search engine ignores common words and characters, such as "where" and "how," as well as certain single digits and single letters, because they tend to slow down your search without improving the results. If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a plus ("+") sign in front of it. Include a space before the "+" sign, but not after it. For example, to search for documents about land and economic development, type the following:
land +and economic development
Alternatively, you can enclose a series of words with quotation marks and do a phrase search.
You can expand your search by using the OR operator. To retrieve pages that include either word A or word B, use an uppercase OR between terms. For example, to search for a bylaw for cats or dogs, type the following:
bylaw cat OR dog
Since our search engine returns only web pages that contain all of the words in your query, refining or narrowing your search is as simple as adding more words to the search terms you have already entered. The refined query returns a subset of the pages that were returned by your original broad query. If that does not get the results that you want, you can try to exclude words, search for exact phrases, or restrict the search to a range of numbers. These techniques are described in the following subsections.
If your search term has more than one meaning, you can focus your search by adding a minus sign ("-") in front of words related to the meaning you want to avoid. Make sure you include a space before the minus sign. You can daisy chain a list of words you want to exclude.
For example, to search for the Collicutt Centre and exclude search results about the pool or skating, type the following query:
"Collicutt Centre" -pool -skating
Our search will return pages about the Collicutt Centre that do not contain the word "pool" or "skating" .
Phrase searches are useful when you are searching for famous sayings or specific names. You can search for an exact phrase or name in the following ways:
By enclosing the phrase in quotation marks. Our search will return only documents that includes the exact phrase you entered.
By using phrase connectors—such as hyphens, slashes, periods, equal signs, and apostrophes—in between every word of your search query.
Phrase connectors and quotation marks join your search words as a single unit.