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Question about using search feature


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#1 Rick H.

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 10:45 PM

I am wondering if there is any easier way to search for existing threads.

For example, just now I wanted to read about the passions and typed in "Passions" as a search phrase. I got over 500 matches and I'm usually good for about 3 pages of looking before I quit.

But, is there any faster way to try to determine if there is an existing thread? If so, I'd appreciate it if any could bring me up to speed.

Thank you.

#2 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 10:56 PM

Dear Rick and others,

The key to good searches is trying to narrow your search. In a forum with, at present, nearly 69,000 posts, the word 'passions' occurs a great many times, in a great many threads.

Some tips:
  • Use the advanced search interface rather than the quick search box; it gives you more refinement options.
  • The system defaults to searching the full text of posts; however, you may wish to start by searching only thread titles: you can do this by changing 'Search Entire Posts' to 'Search Titles Only' in the drop-down menu beneath your search keywords field in the advanced search screen. Results will only apply if your search term(s) are in the thread title itself. This is a good way to see if there are whole threads dedicated to your interest (however, it does prevent full posts from being search - so won't return matches where your terms might have provoked an interesting discussion within a thread that doesn't contain them in its title).
  • When searching the full text of posts, try refining your search with more than just one keyword. Instead of simply 'passions', try 'defeating the passions', 'passions and relationships', etc. -- the more keywords you include in your search, the more focused your results will be.
  • Keep exploring! Internet search engines take some time to master. When in doubt, ask Michael. He can find anything anywhere.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#3 Rick H.

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:22 PM

Fr. Dcn. Matthew--These tips are very helpful. Thank you.

And, just to put this one to bed . . . for example, when I use the advanced search feature and search only under thread titles for "Passions" and get one hit about 'meat inflamming the passions' . . . then is it safe to say that there are no threads dedicated to the passions at the present?

I know what you mean about Mike being the big cheese when it comes to finding things. I have noticed that if I or others whine around long enough, he will usually be kind enough to find it for us. Maybe I'll try that now just in case:

I dunno, I keep looking and looking and looking, but I just can't find a thread on the passions Mike . . . I just don' t know what to do. :(

#4 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 09:08 AM

Dear Rick, you wrote:

And, just to put this one to bed . . . for example, when I use the advanced search feature and search only under thread titles for "Passions" and get one hit about 'meat inflamming the passions' . . . then is it safe to say that there are no threads dedicated to the passions at the present?


Not necessarily. There are many threads that discuss issues that aren't explicitly stated in the titles - an effect of rolling discussions!

If it helps, you can use Google to search the site and posts, here - it still searches the same data as the forum's own search system; but some might find the Google algorithms more familiar.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#5 Rick H.

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 01:28 PM

That's great Fr. Dcn. Thank you.

Using the Google/Monachos link you provided got me what I was looking for in about 5 seconds (viz. 'passions peculiar to the body').

This will be helpful for the future.

Thanks again.

#6 Dimitris

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 09:48 PM

Dear Father Deacon Matthew,

[*]When searching the full text of posts, try refining your search with more than just one keyword. Instead of simply 'passions', try 'defeating the passions', 'passions and relationships', etc. -- the more keywords you include in your search, the more focused your results will be.

actually this is not the case! The forum search treats multiple keywords as OR search, that means if only one of the keywords is found inside a post or a topic the topic is listed. So it is actually not possible to find posts where each single keyword is contained (AND search). Is it possible to activate this function?

(Ultimately, it would be nice if one could even perform searches with strings, for example, as you wrote, to search for "defeating the passions", where only posts are listed which include this exact string [but not if just all the words are contained in any order].)




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