To do a simple search, all you have to do is type into the box the word or phrase you are
looking for, then click on the Search button or just press the
Enter key. You may additionally choose how many results you wish to
see at a time, plus whether you need a summary of each document found.
(Summaries show the context of your found search word or phrase.)
Once the search is complete, you will be presented (in a separate
window) with a list of
references to the pages containing the word or phrase you entered,
together with summaries if requested.
The only exceptions to this occur
(a) when only one page satisfies your
request — in which case you will be taken directly to the top of that
(b) when no pages satisfying no request are found — in which case you
will be taken directly to the Help page you are now reading, or
(c) when your word or phrase has been found in the HTML code of a page
but not in the normal text as displayed — in which case the results in
question are returned without summaries (even if you did request them).
Such results may be ignored.
Here are a few tips to make your search more effective:
1. Using multiple words will return more refined results
than a single word. For example, typing the one word russell may return
references to more Russells than you intended.
2. The more similar words you use in a search, the more relevant your
results will be. Example: poet poem verse. This applies
also to spellings where American British usage differs, so include both, e.g.
3. Capitalize proper nouns, and remember that lower-case words will match
any case. For instance, typing ring will return all documents
containing the words ring, Ring and RING. Typing Ring,
however, will instruct the search engine to look only for the capitalized
4. Use quotation marks to find words which must appear adjacent to each
other, for example: "Internet fan sites". Otherwise, the search
results will include the words Internet, fan, and sites,
but not necessarily in that order. The words may appear anywhere, and in any
order, within a found document.
5. Results are provided in relevance order, i.e. with better matches shown
1. The search engine also allows queries to be identified in terms
of one of these options: "Any word", "All words" or "Exact phrase".
Note: Quotes can only be used when "Any words" is selected. Quotes
are ignored if "All words" or "Exact phrase" is selected.
2. If the Sound-Alike Matching box is ticked, the search engine will attempt to
find words that sound similar to your search terms (e.g. misspellings like
egytian for egyptian), but it's always best to
try to spell the search terms correctly.
3. Use a plus sign (+) when your search term or phrase must appear in the
search results. Use a minus sign (-) to indicate undesirable terms. The plus
sign tells the search engine that a certain word or phrase is required in the
search results, and a minus sign indicates that a word or phrase must be
absent in the search results.
|+opera +house -sydney will find any documents
containing both the word opera and the word house (though
not necessarily adjacent) but not the word Sydney.
+"opera house" -sydney
will find any documents containing the phrase opera house but not
the word Sydney.
+sydney -smith will find any documents containing Sydney except, say,
Note: Plus and minus can only be used when the "Any words" is
selected. Plus and minus are ignored if the "All words" or "Exact phrase" is
Note: A phrase must be contained within quotation marks.
Note: Leave no spaces between the plus or minus sign and the term.
4. Wildcard searches can expand the number of matches for a particular
request. The asterisk (*) is used as the wildcard character.
|Searching for wh* will find the words what,
why, when, whether and any other word that starts
Searching for *her* will find the words here,
whether, together, gathering and any other word
that contains her anywhere in the word.
Searching for pun*
will find words like pun, puns, punning,
Punch, punched, punctuation,
punctured, pundits, punishment,
Punjabi, punk and puny.
5. Wildcards may be combined with the standard plus (+) and minus (-)
modifiers, quotes for phrases, as well as the field search specifiers.
|+wh* -se*ch will find all pages which have a
word that starts with wh and which does not contain a word that
starts with se and ends with ch.
"wh* are" will
find the phrases where are, who are, whose are, what are, why are, etc.
You should be aware that, because our inclusion of vintage issues on the Bikwil Web site
is a gradual process, the
search facility will not find references to words or phrases in any
issues as yet not uploaded to the site.
Furthermore, although the results of your search will usually be a list of links to
matching pages in our site, when you click on such a link you will not be taken directly
to the article in question, but rather to the top of the relevant page
— just as you will by standard Internet-wide search engines. Once there, you can simply execute a Find in your
browser for the word or phrase in question.