The Open Roads search engine allows you to search all forums or a specified forum over a specified time frame. You can also filter the results by username. The search engine searches thread topics and the body of posts. It does not search signatures and profiles.
The following tutorial attempts to show you how to use the search engine. There are three steps in performing a search: 1) Engaging the search engine by clicking on the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of the screen; 2) entering the search criteria; 3) clicking on the Search Now button. The three steps are indicated by the red text in the body of the tutorial. The rest of the material is explanatory.
To initiate a search, click on the magnifying glass icon in the upper-right corner of the page.
Enter the search criteria
The next screen contains input fields to accept your search criteria.
Search Words field.
With one exception, (see below) you must enter something in this field. The new search engine provides additional tools to help you manage the search. Here is an example on how to use these two options.
Find the results with the exact phrase
Use this option to find posts that contains the phrase Saturn toad. Use short phrases that contain significant words. For exampe, search for Saturn toad instead of does anyone use a Saturn toad
Find results with all of the words
Use this option to find posts that contain both Saturn and toad somewhere in the thread topic or body of a post.
Neither of the Search Words options is case-sensitive.
Neither of the Search Words options does ‘substring’ searches. That is, a search for toad will not find toads
* can be used as a suffix wildcard. For example, toad* will find both toad and toads.
Forum to Search: field
If you want ‘hits’ from a particular forum, select the desired forum from the Forum to Search: drop-down menu. The default All Forums searches all forums and adds somewhat to the search time.
Search by Date field
The Search by Date pop-up menu allows you to specify a search period for up to one year. The search range always starts from the present. There are several time intervals that you can indicate; e.g., the past week, the past month or any date.
The Select topics from ANY date option will search the entire archive database. Note further that some of the forums are newer than others and threads prior to 9/4/02 in the General RVing Issues forum were accidentally deleted.
Search by Username field
The Search by Username field is optional. This field allows you to limit the ‘hits’ to a particular author.
Suppose you wanted to find all of the posts over the last month by a member with a username of Fast Eddie. Leave the Search Words field empty. Enter Select Topics from the past month from the Search by Date pop-up menu. Enter Fast Eddie in the Search by Username field. Unfortunately, this does not seem to work for all usernames.
To perform the search, click on the Search Now button.
If the search engine is unable to find a match for your search criteria, it reports Sorry, Your search produced No Results
If the search engine finds a match, it displays a page on links. The links are to the tops of threads that contain one or more matching posts. You must still find the actual post by clicking on the link and paging through the thread.
While on the search results page, observe the date and time of a matching post. Use this information to aid in finding the actual post in the thread.
Due to internal search engine considerations, the number of matches reported at the top of the Search Results page does not always agree with the number of links on the page. When the discrepancy occurs, one or more forum members will have more posts in a thread than the number of links indicate. Since the link is to the top of the thread, you should scan the thread looking for the name(s).
Search results may not contain the most recent posts. It depends on when the search engine indexes them. Username searches (see above) will find the most recent posts.
Finding posts you have made.
Leave the Search Words field empty. Enter your username in the Search by Username field. Unfortunately, this does not seem to work for all usernames.
Finding posts directed to you.
I have long been an advocate of including a member's user name when addressing a post to him or her. If everyone adopted that convention then it would be easy to check for posts directed to you. All you would need do is enter your login name in the Search Words field. Leave the Search by Username field empty. And click the Search Now button. This is an advantage of addressing members with their username. There is only one pulsar on the forum; there are many Tom's
*This Message was edited on 31-Mar-03 07:46 PM by pulsar*
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