Advanced usage guidelines for searching the file database

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With the updates made to the advanced search functionality of the file database on the 19th of June 2008 comes the ability to use two special characters within your keywords for the file name field to help refine your search results more. This short article explains, with examples, the function of these two characters and how they might benefit you while using the search feature of the site.

How the file name keywords work

The search algorithm works by seperating every word into seperate keywords and doing a LIKE comparison on each individual word. For example if you type in Midas Magic then the search algorithm considers Midas and Magic two seperate words and will search for files with both Midas and Magic in their name. It's important to note that the spaces are not counted in the keyword so if you search for idas agic then the search results will likely be the same.

Keywords are not case-sensitive so you do not need to worry about capitals.

If you do not use any special characters then the search algorithm will search for all the keywords in a filename in a string of AND's. So Midas Magic Spells will search for all file names with words that contain Midas AND Magic AND Spells in them. If a file contains Midas AND Magic but not Spells then it will not be shown.

Special characters

There are currently two special characters that you can place in front of keywords to refine your search results:

  • The - character acts as a NOT LIKE keyword
  • The ~ character acts as a OR keyword

To use these characters you should place the character in front of the keyword in question. For example Midas Magic -Spells and Armour ~Weapons.

NOT LIKE examples

By placing the - character in front of keywords it acts as a NOT LIKE word, i.e. the search will discard any results that contain that word in them.

If I currently search the database for files with Midas Magic in the file name then I receive 6 results. 3 of these results are compatibility files for other modifications that contain for in the file name and I am not interested in these. To discard these results I am not interested in I can enter Midas Magic -for into the file name search field. Now only 3 results show and none of them contain the word for in them.

If I'm interested in mods for mages but do not want any mage robes then I can search for mage -robe to remove any files with robe in the name.

OR examples

By placing the ~ character in front of keywords it acts as an OR word, i.e. the search will look for files with one word OR another, rather than AND.

If I search the file database for files with weapon in the name I receive 192 results. If I search the database for files with armour in the name I receive 111 results. If I search the database for weapon ~armour then I receive both sets of results in one. The result discrepancy comes from the fact some of the files have both armour and weapon in their file name.

If I am interested in some ninja gear but want to broaden my search I might like to expand into areas that are similar. If I search for ninja I'll only get 16 results but if I search for ninja ~stealth ~samurai ~assassin then I'll get close to 100 results.