Difference between revisions of "Search"

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(TOC doesn't show when using h2 I guess.)
(Moved admin settings to search (admin). This page is now for user search. Redirect searching category here.)
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{{TOCright}}<small>If you're looking for the search settings, see [[Search (admin)]]</small>
== Weights ==
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Assuming the forum is running the SMF default theme (or a derivative of it), there should be both a simple Search field (partnered by an Advanced search text link) in the collapsable top section and a Search option in the main menu. If not, the main menu Search option should still lead straight to the advanced search screen.
On the '''Weights''' page you can control some weights for searching to help you control what type of search results you get.
 
  
* ''' Relative search weight for number of matching messages within a topic''' - Weight factors are used to determine the relevancy of a search result. Change these weight factors to match the things that are specifically important for your forum. For instance, a forum of a news site, might want a relatively high value for 'age of last matching message'. All values are relative in relation to each other and should be positive integers. This factor counts the amount of matching messages and divides them by the total number of messages within a topic.
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While you can just type (and search for) any combination of characters, you should consider using [[search#Modifiers|modifiers]] to make your search really work for you.
* '''Relative search weight for age of last matching message''' - Similar to the above. This factor rates the age of the last matching message within a topic. The more recent this message is, the higher the score.
 
* '''Relative search weight for topic length''' - Similar to the above. This factor is based on the topic size. The more messages are within the topic, the higher the score.
 
* '''Relative search weight for a matching subject''' - Similar to the above. This factor looks whether a search term can be found within the subject of a topic.
 
* '''Relative search weight for a first message match''' - Similar to the above. This factor looks whether a match can be found in the first message of a topic.
 
* '''Relative search weight for a sticky topic''' - This factor looks whether a topic is sticky and increases the relevancy score if it is.
 
  
== Search Method ==
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The simple search field located at the top of the default SMF theme will, when viewing topics filter search results to just that topic. The same thing goes for boards as well, when viewing a board the simple search field will filter what you searched to just results in that particular board.
On the '''Search method''' page you can select the method of searching that you would like to use that impacts the results from searching. The following methods of searching are available:
 
  
*'''No Index''' - Check this if you want no search index to be created when searching your forum.
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===Simple search===
*'''Fulltext index''' - Check this if you want to use a fulltext index when searching your forum. You will need to click on the link below: [create fulltext index] first before you can select this option.
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To use the simple search (if enabled), the basic syntax outlined above is all you really need to know. But you might also like to know that this tool searches the entire [[forum]] for any or all of what you specify that's been posted during the last 9999 days (which is more than 27 years)! So, to take more control of your search, you should use the advanced search feature.
*'''Custom index''' - Check this if you want to use a custom index when searching your forum. You will need to click on the link below: [create fulltext index] first before you can select this option.
 
*'''Force the use of a search index:''' Checking this will force the use of a search index.
 
*'''Match whole words only:''' - Using this will match only full words when searching. An example can be if a post has the word 'strictly' in it. When searching for 'strict' with this option checked, you will not get any results back, but with the option unchecked, you will get results.
 
  
==Settings==
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===Advanced search===
* '''Enable simple search''' - This will show a simple search form and a link to a more advanced form.
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Although the advanced search screen might initially seem a little intimidating if a forum has many boards and child boards, it's surprisingly straightforward when reduced to its basic components.
* '''Only search for complete word matches''' - This option limit search results to full words that match a users query. For example, if this option is disabled, a search term like 'here' would match 'here', 'there', and 'hereafter'. Enabling this option would limit search results to only match 'here. Please notice that enabling this option might slow down the search function, especially if the amount of messages is large.
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*Some forums show the navigation tree at the top in a space-saving horizontal mode.
* '''Disable temporary tables''' - This option prevents the usage of temporary tables. Since this option makes search queries slower, it's advisable to only use it if you don't have permissions to create temporary tables.
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*Despite initial appearances, there are really three options for how to search, with Match all words and Match any words being available from the drop-down, and "Match as phrase" still being available.
* '''Number of search results per page''' - The amount of results per page that will be shown after searching for a string.
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*The default * in the by user field is essentially a wildcard matching any poster. Please note that, while you can replace this with any single username for a more specific search, it's not currently possible to search for posts by multiple users except as that single wildcard.
* '''Maximum cached searches''' - Search caching is used to limit the amount of extensive database queries. Once the user has entered a search query, the results are cached in the database. This way, the next pages of the search results are already available without need for extensive search. Use this setting to limit the amount of cached results. Increasing this value requires a larger database (about 20kb for each cached result).
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*Show results as messages returns the full message containing the search string (with a reply option) instead of the usual linked excerpt, but will naturally result in much larger results pages which might be significant if you are searching for a popular word or phrase.
* '''Relative search weight for number of matching messages within a topic''' - Weight factors are used to determine the relevancy of a search result. Change these weight factors to match the things that are specifically important for your forum. For instance, a forum of a news site, might want a relatively high value for 'age of last matching message'. All values are relative in relation to each other and should be positive integers. This factor counts the amount of matching messages and divides them by the total number of messages within a topic.
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*Message age sets the minimum and maximum ages of posts to search.
* '''Relative search weight for age of last matching message''' - Similar to the above. This factor rates the age of the last matching message within a topic. The more recent this message is, the higher the score.
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*Choose a [[board]] to search in provides you with another tool to narrow the scope of the search, with the default being 'all' (the whole forum or, more properly, all the boards to which you have read access).
* '''Relative search weight for topic length''' - Similar to the above. This factor is based on the topic size. The more messages are within the topic, the higher the score.
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*The Search button not surprisingly sets the whole thing in motion, but hitting 'Enter' direct from any of the search fields is sometimes more convenient.  
* '''Relative search weight for a matching subject''' - Similar to the above. This factor looks whether a search term can be found within the subject of a topic.
 
* '''Relative search weight for a first message match''' - Similar to the above. This factor looks whether a match can be found in the first message of a topic.
 
  
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===Modifiers===
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Using the simple or advanced search methods, you can still use search modifiers. That is, powerful special characters which modify the way SMF handles your search string.
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*'''Phrase search''' - use double quotes (") around your term ("search term") to search for the search term as a phrase instead of individual words.
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*'''Excluding terms''' - use a minus sign in front of terms you'd like to exclude from the search result. For instance, "search -term" will search for "search" but not "term". The minus sign must have a space prior to it.
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More search modifiers may be found at [http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=136861 Google's help page]. Although, not all of them may be useful in SMF at the present time.
  
[[Category:Searching]]
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===Search options===
{{As an administrator}}
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See [[Search (admin)]] for options for the administrator to configure searching.
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{{As a regular user}}

Revision as of 17:11, 20 November 2010

If you're looking for the search settings, see Search (admin)

Assuming the forum is running the SMF default theme (or a derivative of it), there should be both a simple Search field (partnered by an Advanced search text link) in the collapsable top section and a Search option in the main menu. If not, the main menu Search option should still lead straight to the advanced search screen.

While you can just type (and search for) any combination of characters, you should consider using modifiers to make your search really work for you.

The simple search field located at the top of the default SMF theme will, when viewing topics filter search results to just that topic. The same thing goes for boards as well, when viewing a board the simple search field will filter what you searched to just results in that particular board.

Simple search

To use the simple search (if enabled), the basic syntax outlined above is all you really need to know. But you might also like to know that this tool searches the entire forum for any or all of what you specify that's been posted during the last 9999 days (which is more than 27 years)! So, to take more control of your search, you should use the advanced search feature.

Advanced search

Although the advanced search screen might initially seem a little intimidating if a forum has many boards and child boards, it's surprisingly straightforward when reduced to its basic components.

  • Some forums show the navigation tree at the top in a space-saving horizontal mode.
  • Despite initial appearances, there are really three options for how to search, with Match all words and Match any words being available from the drop-down, and "Match as phrase" still being available.
  • The default * in the by user field is essentially a wildcard matching any poster. Please note that, while you can replace this with any single username for a more specific search, it's not currently possible to search for posts by multiple users except as that single wildcard.
  • Show results as messages returns the full message containing the search string (with a reply option) instead of the usual linked excerpt, but will naturally result in much larger results pages which might be significant if you are searching for a popular word or phrase.
  • Message age sets the minimum and maximum ages of posts to search.
  • Choose a board to search in provides you with another tool to narrow the scope of the search, with the default being 'all' (the whole forum or, more properly, all the boards to which you have read access).
  • The Search button not surprisingly sets the whole thing in motion, but hitting 'Enter' direct from any of the search fields is sometimes more convenient.

Modifiers

Using the simple or advanced search methods, you can still use search modifiers. That is, powerful special characters which modify the way SMF handles your search string.

  • Phrase search - use double quotes (") around your term ("search term") to search for the search term as a phrase instead of individual words.
  • Excluding terms - use a minus sign in front of terms you'd like to exclude from the search result. For instance, "search -term" will search for "search" but not "term". The minus sign must have a space prior to it.

More search modifiers may be found at Google's help page. Although, not all of them may be useful in SMF at the present time.

Search options

See Search (admin) for options for the administrator to configure searching.