Searching Titles from Shakespeare
Search Syntax and Examples
What the Search Tool Looks for
Search results are displayed in order of relevancy. Each occurrence of your search term found in a Web page counts as one point. If your search criteria are matched in a Web page's title or "META" tags, extra weighting points are counted. The page with the greatest point count is displayed at the top of the search results, the second highest point count is displayed next, and so on.
Each search term you use may be preceded by the standard Boolean operators not, and, or or. If you search for "faulkner not compson", you'll find all documents containing the word "faulkner" except those documents which also contain the word "compson". If you type in "and benjy and caddy and compson", you'll find only those documents which contain all three search terms. The default value is or. Thus, a search for "benjy caddy compson" would return pages with at least one of the three terms.
Altavista's shorthand notation works too. A search on "faulkner -compson" is equivalent to the first example, and "+benjy +caddy +compson" will return the same documents as the second.
If a search term has at least one capital letter, like "parIS", the search will be case sensitive with respect to that word - that is, only documents containing "parIS" will be found. On the other hand, lowercase words like "paris" will generate hits from "Paris", "PARIS", or "parIS".
To group a collection of words, use quotes. For example, the query "Ernest Miller Hemingway" (quotes included) would not generate a hit from "Ernest Hemingway met with Maxwell Perkins." Boolean operators can also act on quotations: a search on '+the +kitten not "the kitten"' would return only those documents where "the" and "kitten" appear separately.
The search utility finds words, not strings. A search for "in" would turn up only that word, not "bin", "inside", or "acquaintance". To perform a string search, preface your term with the dollar sign - a query on "$in" would find all words lists above. Note that more complex wildcard searches using the asterisk are not permitted. Including the asterisk in your query will return a list of all files, which you wouldn't want.
These rules are based on Altavista's query syntax; a look at their Help Page may prove useful.
The original Simple Search was created by Matt Wright and can be found at Matt's Script Archive. This version is copyright © 1997 by Fluid Dynamics. The source code has been modified for use at Titles from Shakespeare.