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Conducting advanced searches

From: Computer Literacy for Windows

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 specific 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, the 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 link for Advanced Search.

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 specific 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, the 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 link for Advanced Search.

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 to find web pages that include the words tree, fir, and needles, because I am interested in fir, tree, needles. So under Find web pages that have all these words, I'll type tree, fir and needles, with spaces in between them. Now because I typed into this field, this means I'll only see results from pages that contain all of those words, not just one or two of them. Now if I wanted to search for an exact phrase, I would type that in 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 type tree, fir, and needles into these fields, Google would show me pages that contain at least one of those words, but I'm going to leave my search terms in the first field. Next you have the option of excluding certain words. Maybe in this case, I want to find pages that have the words tree, fir, and needles, but not the word evergreen. Notice that my search parameters appear 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 search manually from Google's homepage or from your browser's search bar. Basically it's teaching you the correct syntax for this search. Next you have the option of specifying how many results you want 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 that's on a particular site. Maybe for this example I'll limit my search to just Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

Again, notice the syntax at the top of the screen. To search a specific site in Google, you type site: followed by the site's address. And for even more advanced searching tools, you can click this link at the bottom and 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 that are only found in Wikipedia containing the words tree, fir, and needles, but not the word evergreen. Notice the search terms as they appear in the Search Bar is at the top of the page.

As you perform these more advanced type searches, you'll start to recognize and remember the proper syntax and you might not even have to navigate to Google's Advanced Search page anymore. You'll just know to type a minus sign in front of the words you want to exclude and to type site: followed by the web site address of the site you want to search. To learn more about how to do advanced searches with Google, you can go back to the Advanced Search page and then click Advanced Search Tips. And here you'll find detailed explanations of how the Advanced Search features of Google work.

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This video is part of

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Computer Literacy for Windows

55 video lessons · 18314 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
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  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the assessment files
      1m 2s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 9m 53s
    1. What's a computer?
      1m 48s
    2. What's inside a computer?
      2m 46s
    3. Laptop vs. desktop computers
      1m 52s
    4. Special considerations when using a laptop
      3m 27s
  3. 17m 29s
    1. Understanding the operating system
      3m 3s
    2. Understanding files, folders, and directories
      4m 38s
    3. Understanding your Home (User) folder
      3m 9s
    4. Using your desktop
      2m 46s
    5. Taking out the trash (recycle bin)
      1m 45s
    6. The right click
      2m 8s
  4. 25m 38s
    1. Understanding applications
      4m 36s
    2. Opening and saving files
      4m 3s
    3. Choosing the right tool
      4m 37s
    4. How to learn any application
      4m 53s
    5. Five things that work in all applications
      7m 29s
  5. 35m 26s
    1. Understanding computer ports
      2m 33s
    2. Setting up a printer
      3m 36s
    3. Printing your documents
      3m 52s
    4. Setting up a scanner
      2m 8s
    5. Scanning a document
      5m 59s
    6. Setting up a projector or a second monitor
      6m 17s
    7. Using a projector
      3m 43s
    8. Portable storage devices
      3m 55s
    9. Pairing with Bluetooth devices
      3m 23s
  6. 20m 46s
    1. Understanding networks and internet access
      2m 58s
    2. Connecting to wired networks
      2m 47s
    3. Connecting to wireless networks
      5m 0s
    4. Working in a networked environment
      5m 49s
    5. Staying protected from viruses
      4m 12s
  7. 23m 24s
    1. Understanding email servers and clients
      2m 11s
    2. Setting up your email application
      4m 15s
    3. Receiving and reading email
      3m 50s
    4. Composing new email messages
      7m 4s
    5. Reply vs. Reply All
      2m 12s
    6. Dealing with spam
      3m 52s
  8. 8m 22s
    1. Understanding search engines
      1m 24s
    2. Conducting basic searches
      3m 44s
    3. Conducting advanced searches
      3m 14s
  9. 27m 15s
    1. Introduction to word processors
      4m 46s
    2. Formatting text
      7m 57s
    3. Introduction to spreadsheets
      4m 0s
    4. Creating a simple data table
      8m 13s
    5. Formatting a data table
      2m 19s
  10. 28m 52s
    1. Importing images from a digital camera
      7m 57s
    2. Storing and organizing digital images
      4m 28s
    3. Basic image manipulation
      9m 17s
    4. Tagging images
      4m 56s
    5. Sharing images
      2m 14s
  11. 12m 46s
    1. Common obstacles in sharing files
      1m 37s
    2. Creating PDFs for document sharing
      6m 4s
    3. Compressing files
      5m 5s
  12. 1m 4s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 4s

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