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Search Basics

To begin, type a few descriptive words and click the "Search Site" button for a list of relevant web pages. The search will only return results that contain the words you typed, so to refine and narrow your search results simply add more detailed search terms to what you have already typed.


Choosing Keywords
For best results, it's important to choose your keywords wisely. Keep these tips in mind:

* Try the obvious first. If you're looking for information on bill HB 1200, enter "HB 1200" rather than "bills".

* Use words likely to appear on a site with the information you want.

* Make keywords as specific as possible. "Perd Reports Tax" gets more relevant results than "tax reports".


Automatic "and" Queries
By default, the search engine only returns pages that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include "and" between terms. Keep in mind that the order in which the terms are typed will affect the search results. To restrict a search further, just include more terms.


Automatic Exclusion of Common Words
The search engine ignores common words and characters such as "where" and "how", as well as certain single digits and single letters, because they tend to slow down your search without improving the results. The search engine will indicate if a common word has been excluded by displaying details on the results page below the search box.

If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a "+" sign in front of it. (Be sure to include a space before,but not after, the "+" sign.)

If you need to eliminate a certain word to narrow your search results, you can exclude it by putting a minus (-) sign in front of it. (Be sure to include a space before, but not after, the "-" sign.)

Another method for doing this is conducting a phrase search, which means putting quotation marks around two or more words. Common words in a phrase search (e.g., "where are you") are included in the search.


Capitalization
The search engine searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for "senate president", "Senate President", and "sEnAtE pReSiDenT" will all return the same results.


Word Variations (Stemming)
To provide the most accurate results, the search engine does NOT use "stemming" or support "wildcard" searches. In other words, the search engine searches for exactly the words that you enter in the search box. Searching for "tax" or "tax*" will not yield "taxes". If in doubt, try both forms: "committee" and "committees," for instance.


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