|Edited: 03/07/08 16:35
The extra search module is fairly easy build, but it seams that some users have trouble in finding what they are looking for, specially when they seek specific topics or themes.
We therefore decided to create a more extensive guide on how to effectively use the extra search function.
You find this function by pressing the extra search link on the control panel, located on the right side of your screen. You now find yourself in the extra search layout.
Here you find two areas. One is the Search Query and beneath you'll find the Search Options
For the actual search are the fields located in the Search Query important.
In the Search for terms field you write your search terms. Make sure your terms have more then three characters, then terms with less the four characters will be ignored. Using more then one term will increase your odds for a match when combined with Search for all terms, mind though that if you use too many terms the outcome can be no results at all, so using up to three terms should provide best balance between accuracy and amount of results. Should you only have one term, the chances to have a huge amount of results are high and therefore not being any helpful, since some terms may be present in topics or themes that have nothing to do with what you are looking for.
Example: You are looking for topics related to the Yaki Susanowa's weaponary, so you type Yaki Susanowa in the top most field. You now get allot of results, some that might relate to how to cap the Yaki Susanowa or other things that you are not looking for.
To avoid that, you need to specify your query a bit more. Therefore use not only the terms Yaki Susanowa, but also add the term weapons. That should now return more accurate results.
You can specify your sear even more. If you know who was the author that posted something regarding your query, then you can put the authors name in the Search for Author: field.
You also can exclude terms from your query by using NOT between the search terms, as an example Yaki AND Susanowa AND weapons NOT capture. The word AND will force the search to only return result where both terms Yaki Susanowa and weapons are found. The word NOT will force the search not to return results where the term capture is present. This way you can make sure that posts that address something you are not interested in, get listed in the results.
Now we will address the second part of the search layout, the Search Options.
To avoid the results return hits from wrong forums and therefore list topics that have nothing to do with what you are looking for, you can use the drop-down menu on the left side of the Search Options named Forum:, just select the forum in which you want the search to be performed, avoiding that if you are looking for a script related topic, returned results do not include topics from the creative forum.
If you are not sure in which forum the info you are looking for might be located, then you can just use the filter Category:. Choosing the option english forum will restrict the search to those forums an ignore all the others.
It's also annoying when your query returns topics that have 100 or more pages, which will take some time to find the actual information you are seeking. Therefore you can use the option Display results as: and then choose ether to display the results as topics or single posts. Using the show as single posts is very helpful, since you get straight to the info you were looking for and don't need to waste any time in searching within endless topics.
On the right side of the Search Options you can choose whether the search should look for topics/posts that are not older then the specified age depending on your choice you can avoid the return of results that are to old and/or even outdated.
Another option is to have your query search within topics titles and messages or just limit it to search within the post's text.
Beneath that there is another option where you can choose based on which criteria your results should be sorted and also if they should be sorted ascending or descending.
You can also decide how many characters should be used in the preview for each result.
Now you just need to press the search button at the bottom of the page to start your search.
Note: The search engine has some limitations, specially when using search terms that are too general. You will soon notice that when you try to input terms like argon in the search field and the search tells you that no match was found.
This is the consequence of the amount of posts that are in the forums, over 2 million(!) posts are just to much for the search engine, so that general terms get ignored. This is not some faulty function, but it is intended. Would it not be this way, then the search engine would bring the server to its knees. The forum would get very slow and to open a topic with 100 and more pages would take several minutes to be displayed.
There is a workaround for those who are looking for those kind of terms:
Google provides with its advanced search a very effective method that allows you to search for topics within the forums.
At Google site, just click on Advanced Search, located on the right side of the search field. Then enter your query in the field marked as all these words:. Should you know the exact wording or phrase then use the field this exact wording or phrase:. If you are not sure if one or more of your terms are included in the post you are looking for, then use the one or more of these words: field. Also if you want that posts that have specific term should be excluded, then put them into the any of these unwanted words: field.
To avoid Google searching the entire Web for your query, but just on the Egosoft forums, use the Search within a site or domain: field and input forum.egosoft.com. Now just press enter or press the "advanced search" button on the bottom right to start your search.