To search the Infosphere:
- There should be a small search box at the side of the screen, marked search, followed by Go and Search. Just type what you're looking for into the search box and press the Enter key. Or, click Go / Search.
The most important search tip is: don't search for only words in quotes. Try the search without quotes first. If that's not good enough, put as many words as possible outside the quotes or add some more to narrow the search.
Search facility of the Infosphere
The native search feature via the search box that appears on every page is not available during peak hours or other periods of high server activity (which may last for days). Here are some hints for using it effectively:
The Infosphere's default search mode will turn up results with any of the words in your query. To limit to results that include all words, put a "+" at the beginning of each word to return only pages containing both words, like Google's default mode.
You can also do a phrase search by enclosing words in quotes. This turns up a smaller set of results, which not only have both words but have them in order.
To exclude results that include some word, put a "-" at the beginning.
Avoid short and common words
If your search terms include a common "stop word" (such as "the", "one", "your", "more", "right", "while", "when", "who", "which", "such", "every", "about", "onto"), it will be ignored by the search system. If you're trying to do a phrase search or all-words-only search, this may result in returning nothing at all. Short numbers, and words that appear in half of all articles, will also not be found. In this case, drop those words and rerun the search.
You can use some limited wildcards if you need to. However, wildcard searches are slower, so go easy on the poor server.
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. A word with apostrophe s is an exception in that it can be found also searching for the word without the apostrophe and the s.
Namespaces searched by default
The search only applies to the namespaces selected in the preferences. To search the other namespaces check or uncheck the tickboxes in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page. Depending on the browser, a box may still be checked from a previous search, but without being effective any longer! To make sure, uncheck and recheck it.
Searching the image namespace means searching the image descriptions, i.e. the first parts of the image description pages. Transcript articles are not in the default namespace, if searching for a quote be sure to check the transcript namespace.
Redirects can be excluded
Check or uncheck the tickbox "List redirects" in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page.
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, special characters, etc.
By following the links below, you can use the Google search engine to search the Infosphere. Google indexes all namespaces.