FoxTrot Search Patterns

A search pattern is composed of one or more words. Uppercase, lowercase and accents are ignored. The punctuation is ignored, except in the following cases:

  • Wildcards
    • words ending with an asterisk will match all words with this prefix (for example, word* will match word, words, or wordy.
    • words starting with an asterisk will match all words with this suffix (for example, *ping will match ping, jumping, or dumping.
    • words enclosed by asterisks will match all words containing these characters (for example, *box* will match box, boxer, shoebox, or shoeboxes.
  • Excluded words
    • words starting with a minus sign are exclusion words. For example, michigan -lake will find all documents containing michigan but not containing lake. Note that a minus sign inside a composed word is considered as a normal word separator. For example, re-open is considered as two words: re open.
  • Quoted strings
    • use quoted strings to search for a sequence of words. For example "lake michigan" will find lake michigan but will not find a small lake in michigan.
    • quoted strings prefixed with a minus sign are exclusion phrases. For example michigan -"lake michigan" will find all documents containing michigan but not containing the expression lake michigan (whether they contain the single word lake or not).
    • you can add excluded words at the beginning or at the end of a quoted string, to find documents that contain this quoted string not contiguously to these excluded words.
      For example, "john -doe" will find documents that have at least one occurrence of john that is not part of the string john doe; but doe or even john doe can occur somewhere else in the document (for example, it will find john smith or john smith meets bob doe or even john smith meets john doe, but it will not find just john doe).
      Another example: "-john -bob doe" will find documents that contain the word doe that is not part of the strings john doe nor bob doe (for example it will find greg doe or greg doe meets john smith but it will not find just john doe nor bob doe)
  • Proximity searches
    • foxtrot gives a higher rank to documents that contains the searched words near to each other. However, if you you want to find only the documents that contains the specified words in a given proximity range, you can use a quoted string, and specify the range (the maximum number of other words between the searched words) between braces immediately after the opening quote. For example, "{2} bob greg john" will find documents that have at least one occurrence of bob that is at most at 2 words of occurrences of greg and john. It will find bob, john and greg are friends or greg, john and bob are friends, but it will not find bob and john are friends of greg.
    • you can also search for documents containing multiple quoted strings in a specified proximity range, by specifying the range (the maximum number of other words between the searched strings) between braces at the beginning of the search pattern. For example, {4} "john doe" "bob smith" will find john doe is a friend of bob smith, but it will not find john doe is one of the best friends of bob smith.
  • Boolean operator
    • use the | character (vertical bar) to combine two (or more) words with an OR. For example, washington | boston will find documents that contain either washington or boston. You can also combine quoted strings, for example washington | boston | "new york" | "san francisco".

You can combine several special characters in the same search pattern. Here are a few examples:

  • "john doe" "bob smith" will find john doe meets bob smith, but not john smith meets bob doe
  • restaurant chinese | vietnamese | korean boston | washington | "new york" will find a chinese restaurant in Washington as well as a vietnamese restaurant near New York. Note that the | operator have precedence, ie this search pattern is evaluated like restaurant ( chinese | vietnamese | korean ) ( boston | washington | "new york" ).
  • fox* -fox -foxtrot will find all documents containing a word that starts with fox but without any occurrence of fox (as a full word) or foxtrot.
  • *box* -*box will find all documents containing a word that contains box but without any occurrence of a word ending with box. For example, it could find a document that contains boxer or shoeboxes but it will not find one that contains shoebox.
  • "www.ctmdev.com" (or "www ctmdev com") will find www.ctmdev.com (as well as www ctmdev com or www+ctmdev/com). Note that a dot inside a word is considered as a word separator, so www.ctmdev.com (without quotes) will also find informations about ctmdev at www.somewhere-else.com.
  • "big car*" "new york" -show* will find all documents that contain big car or big cars, that also contains new york, but that do not contain show or shows.
  • "-pierre dupont" | "-jean pierre dupont" will find documents that contain dupont (but ignoring pierre dupont) or that contain pierre dupont (but ignoring jean pierre dupont); in other words, it will find all occurrences of dupont (but ignoring jean pierre dupont)

Asian text: chinese, japanese and korean text is searched as a single word, unless if it contains some spaces (or other punctuation characters) to separate the words. For example, searching 田中です will only find this exact string, but searching 田中 です will also find 田中はこの人です.


site updated March 28th, 2017 - © 1985-2017 CTM Development SA - all rights reserved - General Terms and Conditions