Search Requests (Overview)

dtSearch supports three types of search requests:

An "any words" search is any sequence of text, like a sentence or a question.   In an "any words" search, use quotation marks around phrases, put + in front of any word or phrase that is required, and - in front of a word or phrase to exclude it.  Examples:

banana pear "apple pie"

"apple pie" -salad +"ice cream"

An "all words" search request is like an "any words" search except that all of the words in the search request must be present for a document to be retrieved.

A "boolean" search request consists of a group of words, phrases, or macros linked by connectors such as AND and OR that indicate the relationship between them.  Examples:

Search Request


apple and pear

both words must be present

apple or pear

either word can be present

apple w/5 pear

apple must occur within 5 words of pear

apple not w/12 pear

apple must occur, but not within 12 words of pear

apple and not pear

only apple must be present

name contains smith

the field name must contain smith

apple w/5 xfirstword

apple must occur in the first five words

apple w/5 xlastword

apple must occur in the last five words


If you use more than one connector (and, or, contains, etc.), you should use parentheses to indicate precisely what you want to search for.  For example, apple and pear or orange could mean (apple and pear) or orange, or it could mean apple and (pear or orange).  For best results, always enclose expressions with connectors in parenthesis.  Example:

(apple and pear) or (name contains smith)

Noise words, such as if and the, are ignored in searches.

Search terms may include the following special characters:




matches any character


matches any single digit


matches any number of characters


fuzzy search


phonic search




synonym search


numeric range


 regular expression

To enable fuzzy searching, phonic searching, synonym searching, or stemming for all search terms, check the boxes under Search features in the search dialog box.


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