Appendix A - ComArchive Advanced Search Syntax


Grouping
Search phrase: (cows OR horses) AND eating
Results: The search will return all emails containing cows eating or horses eating and not emails containing the word cows or the word horses that do not also contain the word eating. This is the same as Mathematical Grouping.

Proximity Search
Search phrase: “cows eating”~5
Results: The search will return all emails where the words cows and eating are within 5 words of each other.

Term Boosting
Search phrase: cows^3 eating
Results: The search will return email results based on relevance. Using the ^ term tells ComArchive that the word cows is three times as relevant as the word eating.

Special Characters
The current list is: + - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \
 To search for any of these characters use the \ character before the character to search for.
Example: To search for (1+1):2 use the query \(1\+1\)\:2

Common Search Mistakes

Searching with wildcards (* and ?) or operators (AND, and OR) in the beginning of search phrase
Search phrase: *kim or OR cows
Results: This search will result in an error message from the search engine and will include the reason why the search could not be conducted. The message is not harmful.

A similar message may occur if trying to use other types of symbols in the beginning of a search phrase.

Searching without using capital letters for operators
Search phrase: cows or horses
Results: This phrase will search for emails containing all the words cows, or and horses. To search for emails containing the word cows or the word horses, write the operator with capital letters: cows OR horses.

Not recognizing that both subject and text have been searched
Search phrase: horses -grass
Results: If the archive contains an email with the subject of The horses are well, and a body text of the email saying, Your horses are eating grass, the email will still appear in the search result. This is because the subject only contains the word horse and not the word grass.

Searching with special characters without using the \ prefix
The special characters are as follows:      + - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \
Using any of these characters in searches may result in an error message from the ComArchive search engine. When searching for these characters, each one must be prefixed with a \.
Example: To search for (1+1):2 use the query \(1\+1\)\:2