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Conducting advanced searches

From: Computer Literacy for the Mac

Video: Conducting advanced searches

When you're having trouble finding the information you're looking for, you can sometimes get better results by implementing more advanced search techniques. Now, most search engines let you use what are referred to as Boolean search terms. Basically, they allow you to perform a search, but to exclude certain results or to search only for certain results. Depending on the search engine, Boolean searching can involve using words like 'and,' 'or,' and 'not' within your searches or in the case of Google, using special characters like the Plus symbol, minus, the tilde and the like. But instead of having to remember how to use those terms and special characters, it's much easier to go to Google.com and then click on the Advanced Search link.

Conducting advanced searches

When you're having trouble finding the information you're looking for, you can sometimes get better results by implementing more advanced search techniques. Now, most search engines let you use what are referred to as Boolean search terms. Basically, they allow you to perform a search, but to exclude certain results or to search only for certain results. Depending on the search engine, Boolean searching can involve using words like 'and,' 'or,' and 'not' within your searches or in the case of Google, using special characters like the Plus symbol, minus, the tilde and the like. But instead of having to remember how to use those terms and special characters, it's much easier to go to Google.com and then click on the Advanced Search link.

This takes you to a page on which you can perform highly refined searches. You can use any combination of the fields you see here. For example, I want find web pages that include the words 'tree,' 'fur,' and 'needles.' So I'll type "tree fur and needles" with a space between them into the field, all these words. This means I'll only see results from pages that contain all three of these words and not just one or two of them. Or if I wanted to search for an exact phrase, I would type into the second field.

This is similar to searching for a phrase within quotes. You also have the option of searching for pages that contain one or more of your selected words. So if I typed "tree," "fur," and "needles" into these fields, Google would show me pages that contain at least one of those words, but I'm just going to delete those for now. Next, you have the option of excluding certain words. Maybe in this case I want to find pages that have the words tree, fur and needles, but not the word evergreen. Notice that my search parameters up here at the top of the screen and that the word evergreen appears with a Minus symbol in front of it.

This is showing you what would type if you were going to do this search manually from Google's homepage or from your browser's search bar. Basically this is teaching you the correct syntax for this search. Next, you have options to specify how many results you want to be listed per page, what specific language you want to search for and whether you want specific file formats like PDF documents, Word files, and so on. You can even restrict your search to a specific web site. This is a great tool if you're looking for information on a particular site. Maybe in this example, I'll limit my search to just Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

Again, notice the syntax at the top of the page. To search a specific site, you type site: followed by the web site's address. And for even more advanced searching tools, you can click Date, Usage rights, Numeric range, and more. As you can see, you can really get quite precise with your search parameters. When you're ready, click Advanced Search, and now I'm seeing the search results for pages on Wikipedia, containing all three of the words tree, fur and needles, but not the word evergreen. Notice the search terms as they appear in the Search bar at the top of the page.

As you continue to perform more of these advanced types of searches, you'll start to recognize and remember the proper syntax, and you might not need to navigate to Google's Advanced Search page anymore after a while. You can learn more about how to do advanced searches with Google by going back to Advanced Search and clicking Advanced Search Tips. And here you'll get detailed explanations of how the Advanced Search features work and how to best use them.

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This video is part of

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Computer Literacy for the Mac

55 video lessons · 23233 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
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  1. 2m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the assessment files
      1m 7s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 9m 51s
    1. What's a computer?
      1m 49s
    2. What's inside a computer?
      2m 46s
    3. Laptop vs. desktop computers
      1m 59s
    4. Special considerations when using a laptop
      3m 17s
  3. 20m 58s
    1. Understanding the operating system
      3m 3s
    2. Understanding files, folders, and directories
      4m 49s
    3. Understanding your home folder (your user folder)
      5m 21s
    4. Using your desktop
      3m 11s
    5. Taking out the trash (recycle bin)
      2m 21s
    6. The right click
      2m 13s
  4. 24m 8s
    1. Understanding applications
      4m 24s
    2. Opening and saving files
      4m 10s
    3. Choosing the right tool
      4m 44s
    4. How to learn any application
      3m 53s
    5. Five things that work in all applications
      6m 57s
  5. 36m 22s
    1. Understanding computer ports
      2m 59s
    2. Setting up a printer
      3m 7s
    3. Printing your documents
      4m 30s
    4. Setting up a scanner
      2m 27s
    5. Scanning a document
      6m 15s
    6. Setting up a projector or second monitor
      5m 56s
    7. Using a projector
      3m 43s
    8. Portable storage devices
      3m 53s
    9. Pairing with Bluetooth devices
      3m 32s
  6. 17m 27s
    1. Understanding networks and internet access
      2m 58s
    2. Connecting to wired network
      2m 36s
    3. Connecting to wireless networks
      4m 4s
    4. Working in a networked environment
      6m 15s
    5. Staying protected from viruses
      1m 34s
  7. 19m 31s
    1. Understanding email servers and clients
      2m 11s
    2. Setting up your email application
      4m 15s
    3. Receiving and reading email
      2m 21s
    4. Composing new email messages
      5m 52s
    5. Reply vs. Reply All
      2m 11s
    6. Dealing with spam
      2m 41s
  8. 8m 24s
    1. Understanding search engines
      1m 24s
    2. Conducting basic searches
      3m 51s
    3. Conducting advanced searches
      3m 9s
  9. 24m 21s
    1. Using word processors
      4m 22s
    2. Formatting text
      7m 7s
    3. Using spreadsheets
      3m 36s
    4. Creating a simple data table
      7m 37s
    5. Formatting a data table
      1m 39s
  10. 18m 53s
    1. Importing images from a digital camera
      4m 46s
    2. Storing and organizing digital images
      5m 11s
    3. Basic image manipulation
      4m 10s
    4. Tagging images
      2m 32s
    5. Sharing images
      2m 14s
  11. 10m 52s
    1. Common obstacles in sharing files
      1m 37s
    2. Creating PDFs for document sharing
      5m 35s
    3. Compressing files
      3m 40s
  12. 1m 3s
    1. What's next?
      1m 3s

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