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Special Characters: Summary

This table summarizes how to use the basic search operators described in this chapter. You may include any of these operators multiple times in a query.

Notation
Find result
Example

term1 term2
with both term1 and term2
[ carry-on luggage ]

term1 OR term2 term1 | term2
with either term1 or term2 or both

[ Tahiti OR Hawaii ]
[ Tahiti | Hawaii ]

"term"
with term (Put quotation marks around terms that are stop words […]

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This page was last modified on: Sunday February 26, 2012

The .. Operator

Specify that results contain numbers in a range by specifying two numbers, separated by two periods, with no spaces.

For example, specify that you are searching in the price range $250 to $1000 using the number range specification $250..$1000.

[ recumbent bicycle $250..$1000 ]

Find the year the Russian Revolution took place.

[ Russian Revolution 1800..2000 ]

tags (keywords): fine tune, narrowing search, numbers, […]

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This page was last modified on: Thursday July 12, 2007

The OR and | Operators

Specify synonyms or alternative forms with an uppercase OR or | (vertical bar).

The OR operator, for which you may also use | (vertical bar), applies to the search terms immediately adjacent to it. The first and second examples will find pages that include either “Tahiti” or “Hawaii” or both terms, but not pages that contain […]

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This page was last modified on: Tuesday May 1, 2007

The ~ Operator

Find synonyms by preceding the term with a ~, which is known as the tilde or synonym operator.

The tilde (~) operator takes the word immediately following it and searches both for that specific word and for the word’s synonyms. It also searches for the term with alternative endings. The tilde operator works best when applied […]

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This page was last modified on: Sunday December 16, 2012

The - Operator

Precede each term you do not want to appear in any result with a “–” sign.

To find pages without a particular term, put a – sign operator in front of the word in the query. The – sign indicates that you want to subtract or exclude pages that contain a specific term. Do not put […]

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This page was last modified on: Tuesday May 1, 2007

Quotation Marks Replace the + Operator

Google elimiated the + operator in October 2011 and expanded the capabilities of the quotation marks (” ”) operator. In addition to using this operator to search for an exact phrase, you can now add quotation marks around a single word to tell Google to match that word precisely. So, if in the past you would […]

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This page was last modified on: Sunday February 26, 2012

Quoted Phrases

To search for a phrase, a proper name, or a set of words in a specific order, put them in double quotes.

A query with terms in quotes finds pages containing the exact quoted phrase. For example, [ “Larry Page“ ] finds pages containing the phrase “Larry Page” exactly. So this query would find pages mentioning Google’s co-founder […]

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This page was last modified on: Tuesday May 1, 2007

Crafting Your Query by using Special Characters

By using special characters and operators, such as " ", –, ~, .., *, OR, and quotation marks around a phrase, you can fine-tune your search query and increase the accuracy of its results.
For details, click an operator above or look in the following seven pages:

Quoted Phrases
Quotation Marks Replace the + Operator
The – Operator
The ~ Operator
The […]

...read all of: Crafting Your Query by using Special Characters

This page was last modified on: Sunday February 26, 2012

Advanced Features

Note: Nancy uses this page for presentations on her favorite Google features. You can find more information about these features in other sections of Google Guide.

Like a race car, there are special features if you want more control over your searches.
When you don’t find what you’re seeking, consider specifying more precisely what you want by using Google’s Advanced Search Form, which

is easy to use
allows you to select or exclude pages with more precision than by only specifying search terms and […]

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This page was last modified on: Friday February 2, 2007

Special Notation

Note: Nancy uses this page for presentations on her favorite Google features. You can find more information about these features in other sections of Google Guide.

You can fine-tune your search query and increase the accuracy of its results by using special characters and operators, such as +, –, ~, .., OR, and quotation marks.
Force Google to include a term by preceding the term with a “+” sign.

  

The + operator is typically used in front of stop words that Google would […]

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This page was last modified on: Friday February 2, 2007



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By Nancy Blachman and Jerry Peek who aren't Google employees. For permission to copy & create derivative works, visit Google Guide's Creative Commons License webpage.

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