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Unread 01-18-2005, 09:28 AM
Katie Reynolds Katie Reynolds is offline
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A Searching Tutorial

With so many people saying, "Search before you post!!!" (and Ken's thread, "Teaching rookies how to search") I thought I'd take a few minutes to write a "Searching Tutorial".

I know searching takes time - and it's a heck of a lot easier to just to make a new thread and ask your question - but during the build (with so many new threads popping up) it gets really frusterating when you have three threads concerning the same thing pop up in a matter of a days.

Knowing how and what to search for is pretty hard; especially if you're a rookie in FIRST or on ChiefDelphi.com. So here's a quick "searching tutorial"

Obviously, the first part is to find the "search button" It's on the orange toolbar, next to "new posts" and "quick links". When you click it, a drop down will appear and you can type in a few words for your search.

Let's say I want to find a thread. I'm not sure exactly what the title was, but it had something to do with cool robots in 2004, and was made sometime in the last year.

If I enter "robots" in the "search" drop down, I get 500 threads that mention the word "robots" somewhere in that thread. That's quite a few more than I want to search through. Typing "cool robots" also gets me 500 results. So, instead of just typing my search in the drop-down, I'm going to click "Advanced Search" in that same window:





This will open a new page that gives me many more options to refine my search.

For example, I can search just the titles of posts for "robots":





This cuts the number of threads in half; there are only 202 threads with "robots" in the title. Again, that's still more than I want to search through, but I'm not going to give up just yet; I know the post was made in the last year, so I'm going to try searching by the date:





Still, I get 50 results. This number is a bit more managable; I can look through the titles of 50 threads pretty quickly. But I want to narrow it down even further. On the right side of the search page, I can "Search in Forum(s)" ... First, I have to try and figure out which forums would be good to put a thread about cool robots in. My guess would be 'General Discussion', 'Robot Showcase' or 'Chit-Chat'. To select more than one forum, hold down the CTRL key and click:





Now, there's less than a page of threads. If I wanted to keep narrowing it down, I could choose one or two of the forums; the less forums chosen, the fewer the results will be. Of course, you might also miss your thread if you don't choose enough forums.

For me, 23 thread titles are definitely searchable. Scrolling down, I see the thread "coolest robots" - made by "Solace" with the last post on June 14, 2004. This is the thread I was looking for:





If I wasn't typing all of this while I was searching, the search would have taken under 5 minutes. A new post asking, "where's the 2004 cool robots thread?" wouldn't have to be made, I found the post I wanted - everybody wins!

Searching is your friend - try it.
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