Help:Searching

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To locate an article, type your query into the search box located at the top right. You can either choose to hit enter, or click on the magnifying glass once you have entered your query. As you are typing, pages that match what you have typed so far will appear below the window, where you can choose to navigate directly to them. Once you have completed your query and hit "Enter" or clicked the magnifying glass icon, you will either be taken to a search results page, or, if your query identically matches a page that already exists, you will be taken directly to that page.

Searching

Capitalization

Searches on Ballotpedia are case-insensitive. Whether you search for ballot, Ballot or BALLOT, you will get the same results.

Exact matches

If you want to find an exact match for your search terms, place your search phrase in double quotation marks, "such as this", to find exactly what you are looking for.

Search term tips

Tips for searching:

  • If your search terms include common words (such as the, your, more, right, while, when, who, which, such, every, about), you may see many irrelevant results.
  • Only pages that contain all the words exactly as you typed them in will be returned. So if you did not get any results, leave out one or more terms, or make sure that all search terms were spelled correctly.
  • The source text (what one sees in the edit box, also called wiki text) is searched. This distinction is relevant for piped links, for interlanguage links, special characters (if ê is coded as ê it is found searching for ecirc), etc.
  • For reasons of efficiency and priority, very recent changes are not always immediately taken into account during searches.

Single quotes

If a word appears in an article 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 articles for which this problem does not arise.

An apostrophe is identical to a single quote, meaning that the name Mu'ammar can be found only by searching for exactly that (and not otherwise). A word with 's is an exception in that it can be found also by searching for the word without the apostrophe and the s.

Search results page

If the search you perform ends with a results page, rather than you being taken directly to a matching page, you will have the option to refine the returns. On the results page, before the "Page title matches" and "Page text matches," you will have the option to select one of the following options:

  • Content pages: This option will return only articles on the wiki, and not other pages, such as project pages or templates.
  • Multimedia: This option will restrict your query to files on Ballotpedia.
  • Help and Project pages: Selecting this option will restrict your query to pages in the "Help" and "Ballotpedia" namespaces.
  • Everything: By default, this is the option that is selected when you search. If you click another option in this list, such as "Multimedia" and then wish to un-restrict your search, you can re-select "Everything."
  • Advanced: Selecting this option will give you more options for refining your query. The below image displays the Advanced search features:

Advanced search features.png


Between the options to refine your search and your search results, you will see the option to create the page of the query you have made. For example, if you search for a legislator by the name of Krista Juarez, do not find a satisfactory result, and no page by that name exists, you will get a line on the search page that reads: Create the page "Krista Juarez" on this wiki!

If you wish to create that page, and you are certain that the page could not exist on the wiki under any other name, then click the red link and you will be taken directly to the edit box for the new page Krista Juarez.

See also

External links