There are two ways to search the forums, and both can give good results. They are:
- The Dictionary and thread title search box at the top of each page
- The Search Function (easily accessed by clicking the word Search in the blue bar above the forum name and description)
Dictionary and thread title search
This is probably the easiest and most convenient way to search for a word, a pair of words, or a phrase.
If you enter a single word, it will first find that word in the WordReference Dictionary, which may give links to off-site dictionaries, as well as definitions and sample sentences. The list of definitions is followed by a list of links to forum threads that have this word in the thread title. (This is why we are so concerned that the thread titles be meaningful.)Perhaps you want to compare the usage of two or more words.
Please notice that there are no quotation marks in the search field. The search will return only threads with both words somewhere in the title, in any order. Another possibility is to look for threads with a particular phrase in the title. In this case, you do use quotation marks.
The search will return threads whose titles include these words in this order. Experiment by trying different word combinations. It can take a little while to get a feel for the kinds of search terms that work, but once you do you will find this is an excellent tool.
The WordReference Advanced Search page is more flexible than the Dictionary and thread title search box, but the principles are the same. Some of its special features:
Search entire posts - Just below the Keyword box, you can choose to search thread titles only or entire posts. Searching entire posts is useful when you don't know the thread title, but you recall a phrase or words that were used in the thread itself.After you define the search, you may choose additional Search Options.
Search by user name - This function allows you to find all posts by a particular user, or all the threads that a user started. If you are not sure exactly how the member spells his or name, uncheck the Exact Name box.
Find posts fromFinally, you have the option of choosing to Save Search Preferences. This is useful for searches you may prefer to do regularly, e.g. for particular tags.
will limit your search to a particular time period.
Sort results by
will display the results either by date or by relevance.
Search by tag
(can be used by all members, even those who are not members of the taggers group). You may choose a tag from the drop-down menu or write a tag name
into the white box below the drop-down menu. (See the Tag Usage Guide
for an explanation of tags.)
Search in forums
will let you specify the forums to be
searched, with or without any associated sub-forums.