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Thread: Searching Forums - Tips

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    Default Searching Forums - Tips

    Searching The Forums

    It turns out that online help is not for wimps, nor is searching online help. The forums at are not only interactive Q&A forums, but also serve as a searchable Database of problem/solution sets.

    Knowing how to search for a problem/solution set might lead you to an array of potential solutions without even having to ask a question!
    There are two main methods of searching the forums.

    1. Google search
    2. vBulletin built-in search

    Google Search

    It’s fast and robust. The trick is to make the search site specific, you can do this by adding (no space after site: and a space after - see the examples) at the beginning of your search. Here’s the starting point:

    And here are your ‘Advanced Search’ options:

    And note, the domain is populated for you, here.

    Google Search Tips:
    If searching for phrases, include them in "double quotes"
    Words that must be included in search results should be preceded by a + sign. eg +formula
    Words that must be excluded from search results should be preceded by a - sign. eg -macro

    Now, we’ll look at a few examples.

    First, here’s a general Google search on the Forums, here, on conditional formatting, (this is how you would enter the search in the Google search bar):

    • "conditional formatting" "more than 3 colors"

    The resulting URL (once cleaned up) is:

    In this example, we have searched for the phrases "conditional formatting" and "more than 3 colors".

    Second, we’ll look at a user-specific search. In Google, search on:

    • NateO Byte Ubound

    The resulting URL (once cleaned up) is:

    In this example, we have searched for NateO, Byte and Ubound.

    Also note that signatures work as well, e.g., Nate Oliver is a viable search, as seen in the following example:

    There are at least two possible limitations to this:

    1. Google might not have cached a useful post, yet.
    2. The search results don’t appear to be sorted, in any way, let alone by date. For this, we’ll turn to the built-in search functionality.

    vBulletin Built-In Search

    There are known limitations/issues with the forum’s software inbuilt search functionality, but it can still be useful.

    After clicking Advanced Search at the top right of a page, always then click 'Search Single Content Type". (My experience is that 'Search Multiple Content Types' does not work properly, and that the same is true in other forums that use vBulletin.) You should end up here.

    Once on that page you should find lots of options to help refine your search.
    Last edited by Peter_SSs; Nov 28th, 2015 at 03:58 AM. Reason: Updated for new forum software & broken links
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