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This guide will enable you to take full control of your results by building sophisticated search strings. As with all specialist databases, there are variations in how we employ search operators. The database will also tell you if there is a problem with syntax in your search, and will ask you to resolve it.

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Boolean connectors table

For more information about use of  " " (quotation marks) in advanced searching see below.

Note: Vable will change all Boolean connectors to uppercase, if a phrase includes a connector in it. Use quotation marks around the phrase to instruct the search to include the connector as a term.


Wildcards table

Proximity and Grouping

Proximity and Grouping table

A note on proximity searching: The closer the text in a field is to the original order specified in the query string, the more relevant that document is considered to be. For example "fox quick"~5, the phrase "quick fox" would be considered more relevant than "quick brown fox".

Useful Vable-Specific Search Tools

Symbols or Other Special Characters

In some cases, you may have punctuation as part of your search string which Vable recognises only as a search operator. The most common symbols include:

+ - = && || > < ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \ /

You have two options to deal with these:

  1. Remove all punctuation and use proximity searching or wildcards. For example, Gilbert + Tobin would become "Gilbert Tobin"~2

  2. Instruct Vable to look for the character itself, rather than using it as a search operator. Do this by adding a \ (leading backslash). For example, to find geeklawblog.com/2021 in a URL field search, add the leading slash; geeklawblog.com\/2021

You can use " " (quotation marks) to designate phrases when you enter your terms, but Vable does not search for the quotation marks. For example, "law firm marketing" finds the phrase, but does not locate only those documents where it finds the phrase in quotation marks.

Likewise when you are using brackets, it will use them to group your search concepts, but will not find results where brackets appear.

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