Punctuation, symbols and Boolean operators in search

By now you are familiar with how Panviva search works. If a quick revision is necessary, please refer to the following video:


In this article, however, I would like to cover several less-known tricks to enhance your search capabilities. Specifically, how to use search operators and other punctuation to get more specific results. They are consistent with Google search, so you may utilise them when you do an online search next time.
Except for the examples below, Panviva search usually ignores punctuation.

Symbol How to use it Example
+ When you use a plus before a word, search must include documents with that term in your results.

When you use a dash before a word, it excludes documents with that term from your results. This is useful for words with multiple meanings or to avoid false positives.

When you put a word or phrase in quotes, the results will only include documents with the same words in the same order as the ones inside the quotes. Only use this if you’re looking for an exact word or phrase, otherwise you’ll exclude many helpful results by mistake.

* An asterisk matches multiple characters (including spaces). Example: support*
support, supporting, SupportPoint…

? A question mark matches a single character. Example: supp?rt

AND/OR Search operators are words that can be added to searches to help narrow down the results. Find documents that might use one of several words using OR operator.
Find documents that must use both words using AND operator.
Combinations are also possible.
Example: improve OR restore
Example: improve AND function
Example: (improve AND function) OR restore

Even though you can use the operators above when you search, including them doesn’t always improve the results. If we don’t think the punctuation will give you better results, you’ll see suggested results for that search without punctuation.