Difference between revisions of "Help:Searching"

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A great deal of this article was taken or inspired by [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Searching Wikipedia] (7/27/07)
A great deal of this article was taken or inspired by [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Searching Wikipedia] (7/27/07)
[[Category:Getting Started]]
[[Category:Edit Help]]
[[Category:Ballotpedia basic information]]
[[Category:Ballotpedia basic information]]

Revision as of 13:58, 27 July 2007

Ballotpedia search

To search, just type your query into the search box that you'll find in the menu box on the left side of the page and then hit "Go" or "Search".

Some additional hints and tips follow:

Tips for effective searches

When searching, it doesn't matter whether you use upper or lower case characters

Searches are Ballotpedia are case-insensitive.

Whether you search for "ballot", "Ballot" or "BALLOT", you'll get the same search results.

Put phrases in double quotes to find exactly what you want

If you want to know if Ballotpedia contains an article that is an exact match for a specific phrase, enter that phrase into the "search" box surrounded by double quotes.

For example, "Alaska Ballot Measures" returns 1 match--meaning there is only one article on Ballotpedia at this time that includes the phrase "Alaska Ballot Measures" in just that order.

Entering Alaska Ballot Measures in the search box --the same three words but not encased in double quotes -- returns three matches, meaning that at this time there are three articles on Ballotpedia that contain those three words, in some order.

Avoid short, common words because they yield irrelevant results

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.

"Go" is case sensitive

The "go" function uses an algorithm to decide what page you're likely to be interested in, and this usually masks its case sensitivity - but not always.

Words in 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.

All search terms must be present

Only pages that contain all the words exactly as you typed them in will be returned. So if you didn't get any results, leave out one or more terms, or make sure that all search terms were spelled correctly.

The source text is searched

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.

Delay in updating the search index

For reasons of efficiency and priority, very recent changes are not always immediately taken into account in searches.


A great deal of this article was taken or inspired by Wikipedia (7/27/07)