Use Searches

Use the Search tab to find relevant topics based on keywords that you enter.

The basic search rules are as follows:

Use Wildcard Characters

You can use the following wildcard characters in any keyword:

Symbol Description
* Replaces one or more characters when used at the beginning, middle, or end of a word. For example, “*lish”, “p*lish”, and “pub*” will all find “publish”. Also, “anno*” will find “annotative”, “annotation”, “annoupdate”, “annoreset”, and so on.
? Replaces a single character. For example, “cop?” will find “copy”, but not “copybase”.
~ Expands the tense of the word at the beginning or end of a word. For example, “plotting~” will find “plots”, “plotted”, and so on. Also, “~plot” will find “preplot”, “replot”, and so on.

Search for Phrases

When searching for a phrase, use double quotation marks (" ") to enclose words that must appear next to each other in the specified sequence. For example, enter "specifying units of measurement" to find only topics with all those words in that order. If you don't use the quotation marks around that text, Help finds all topics containing any one of the listed words, that is, all topics containing "specifying", all topics containing "units", all topics containing "of", and all topics containing "measurement".

NoteIf you can’t find the information you need through a search, try using the Contents tab.

Use Boolean Operators

With the AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR operators, you can precisely define your search by creating a relationship between search terms. The following table shows how you can use each of these operators. If no operator is specified, AND is used. For example, the query spacing border printing is equivalent to spacing AND border AND printing.

Search for



Both terms in the

same topic

"tree view" AND "palette"

Topics containing both the words "tree view" and "palette"

Either term in a topic

"raster" OR "vector"

Topics containing either the word "raster" or the word "vector" or both

The first term without the second term

"ole" NOT "dde"

Topics containing the word "OLE," but not the word "DDE"

Both terms in the

same topic, close together

"user" NEAR "kernel"

Topics containing the word "user" within eight words of the word "kernel"

NoteThe |, &, and ! characters do not work as Boolean operators. You must use AND, OR, and NOT.