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Guidelines for Using SEARCH

Old 09-26-2009, 12:23 PM
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Default Guidelines for Using SEARCH

I am moving this search stuff to the top of this thread because it seems that many don't ever get to the bottom.

If you find that the search tool here is not to your liking, you can always use By searching using "" (without quotes) along with your search term, it will return site specific results.

So if you wanted to search for EGR Cleaning --> 'egr cleaning'

And Google allows you to use '+' and '-' to further refine your search as well as quotes to search for identical phrases.

Posting of links to searches:

If you are going to post a link to a search for someone, please resist the urge to post a link containing a searchid as this is a temporary link that will expire resulting in a dead link & members scratching their head. To post a search, use the URL format below for your link URL:
Where the 'searchword' is what you are looking for. String words together using the modifiers listed below. '+' is the most commonly used modifier to narrow down your search.

To search for posts from one particular user, simply add '&searchuser=username', where 'username' is the screenname of the user you wish to search for, to the URL above.

Now, on with the vBulletin specific information:

In case anyone might get to wondering what wild card operators will work with the fulltext boolean search in vB...
  • + A leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in each row that is returned.
  • - A leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any of the rows that are returned.
  • (no wild card) By default (when neither + nor - is specified) the word is optional, but the rows that contain it are rated higher. This mimics the behavior of MATCH() ... AGAINST() without the IN BOOLEAN MODE modifier.
  • > < These two operators are used to change a word's contribution to the relevance value that is assigned to a row. The > operator increases the contribution and the < operator decreases it. See the example below.
  • ( ) Parentheses are used to group words into subexpressions. Parenthesized groups can be nested.
  • ~ A leading tilde acts as a negation operator, causing the word's contribution to the row's relevance to be negative. This is useful for marking “noise” words. A row containing such a word is rated lower than others, but is not excluded altogether, as it would be with the - operator.
  • * The asterisk serves as the truncation operator. Unlike the other operators, it should be appended to the word to be affected.
  • " A phrase that is enclosed within double quote (‘"’) characters matches only rows that contain the phrase literally, as it was typed. The full-text engine splits the phrase into words, performs a search in the FULLTEXT index for the words. The engine then performs a substring search for the phrase in the records that are found, so the match must include non-word characters in the phrase. For example, "test phrase" does not match "test, phrase".
  • If the phrase contains no words that are in the index, the result is empty. For example, if all words are either stopwords or shorter than the minimum length of indexed words, the result is empty.
  • 'apple banana' Find rows that contain at least one of the two words.
  • '+apple +juice' Find rows that contain both words.
  • '+apple macintosh' Find rows that contain the word “apple”, but rank rows higher if they also contain “macintosh”.
  • '+apple -macintosh' Find rows that contain the word “apple” but not “macintosh”.
  • '+apple +(>turnover <strudel)' Find rows that contain the words “apple” and “turnover”, or “apple” and “strudel” (in any order), but rank “apple turnover” higher than “apple strudel”.
  • 'apple*' Find rows that contain words such as “apple”, “apples”, “applesauce”, or “applet”.
  • '"some words"' Find rows that contain the exact phrase “some words” (for example, rows that contain “some words of wisdom” but not “some noise words”). Note that the ‘"’ characters that surround the phrase are operator characters that delimit the phrase. They are not the quotes that surround the search string itself.
  • Some words are ignored in full-text searches:
  • Any word that is too short is ignored. The default minimum length of words that are found by full-text searches is four characters.
  • Words in the stopword list are ignored. A stopword is a word such as “the” or “some” that is so common that it is considered to have zero semantic value. There is a built-in stopword list, but it can be overwritten by a user-defined list.
You can also search through URL:
You can submit a search to vBulletin with a URL, just like you can with the search form. The basic URL is:
Where searchword is the word for which you are searching.

Here is a list of the extra search parameters you can add to the URL. When you add a search parameter to the URL you need to add this to the end of the URL:
Search field: Search by Key Word

Variable name: titleonly
  • 0 = Search Entire Posts
  • 1 = Search Titles Only
Search field: Search by User Name

Variable name: searchuser
Values: Enter a username

Variable name: starteronly
  • 0 = Find Posts by User
  • 1 = Find Threads Started by User
Variable name: exactname
  • 0 = Partial name
  • 1 = Exact name
Search field: Find Threads with

Variable name: replyless
  • 0 = At Least
  • 1 = At Most
Variable name: replylimit
Values: Any integer values

Search field: Find Posts from

Variable name: searchdate
  • 0 = Any Date
  • lastvisit = Your Last Visit
  • 1 = Yesterday
  • 7 = A Week Ago
  • 14 = 2 Weeks Ago
  • 30 = A Month Ago
  • 90 = 3 Months Ago
  • 180 = 6 Months Ago
  • 365 = A Year Ago
Variable name: beforeafter
  • after = and Newer
  • before = and Older
Search field: Sort Results by

Variable name: sortby
  • rank = Relevancy
  • title = Title
  • replycount = Number of Replies
  • views = Number of Views
  • threadstart = Thread Start Date
  • lastpost = Last Posting Date
  • postusername = User Name
  • forum = Forum
Variable name: order
  • descending = in Descending Order
  • ascending = in Ascending Order
Search field: Show Results as

Variable name: showposts
  • 0 = Show Results as Threads
  • 1 = Show Results as Posts
Search field: Search in Forum(s)

Variable name: forumchoice[]
Values: Do not include this variable in the URL to search all forums. If you want to search specific forums then you need to add an instance for each forumid. For example:
Where X, Y, and Z are the forumids of the forums in which you want to search.

Variable name: childforums
  • 0 = Do not search in child forums
  • 1 = Also search in child forums
These are generic vBulletin search routines collected from various different places on the net. The first section was from and the second from They both should work, but depending on the settings instituted, some areas may return errors. If you find errors in the information presented above, please create a thread in the Help & Suggestions Center and the staff will check it out.
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