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Boolean Searching

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by

Lisa Hartman

on 18 July 2011

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Transcript of Boolean Searching

“Searching with AND, OR, and Not." AND With AND, you're being VERY SPECIFIC.

Your search results must include ALL of the words/phrases that are linked with "AND".

When you're being very specific, you will get fewer results, but they will be higher-quality results. OR With OR, you're being more FLEXIBLE.

Your search results should include AT LEAST ONE of the words/phrases that were linked wth "OR".

When you're more flexible, you will get more results, but they might not be exactly what you're looking for. NOT With NOT, you are asking to leave certain items out of the list.

Your search results should NOT INCLUDE the word/phrase that you've linked with "NOT".

Using NOT is another way of being more specific about your search, and will give you fewer (but better) results. Instead of looking for an article or web site, pretend you're shopping for a car... You want a car that is red. AND it should have air conditioning. AND it should be a convertible! Comb-over doggie by ArtBrom at http://www.flickr.com/photos/17277074@N00/530665099/ Also known as...
"Boolean Searching". Often, when you're searching in a database, or on the Internet, you are using more than one keyword (or search word). Or Like this Like this These words give you control over your search. Sometimes you want to be very precise about what you are looking for.

Sometimes, you're willing to be flexible. AND it should have room for a family of 10 Congratulations, you've narrowed it down to just one car. (Hopefully, it's the car for you)

But...

What if you were even more specific... Sometimes, if you have too many demands, then the car (or article, or web site) just doesn't exist :( red
AND air conditioning
AND convertable
AND large enough for 10
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zero cars matching your search What if you did the same thing, using OR instead of AND? You want a car that is red. OR a convertable. OR has air conditioning OR is big enough for a family of 10 So - now you have a LOT of cars, but they seem so unrelated that your choices are almost out-of control... These 2 examples were a little "extreme". You might be more likely look for a car that is:

Red OR Blue
And is a convertible
A red OR blue red OR blue
AND
convertible red OR blue
AND
convertible
AND
is a newer model car What about "NOT"? "NOT" is used when you want to leave something out of your search results.

Maybe you want a car, but not an antique... car (NOT antique)
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