Search Help needed

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Posts 663
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Oct 3 2020 8:42 AM

Hi,

how can I have a search string= x OR y OR z OR aa

but then exclude a phrase= "x of death"

from the results?

I tried this= {shadow OR copy OR model OR picture OR corresponds} EXCEPT "shadow of death"

and = {shadow OR copy OR model OR picture OR corresponds} BUT NOT "shadow of death"

Neither works.  Help?

Posts 51
Lucian Benigno | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 3 2020 9:03 AM

Hi!

I'm AFK, but I'd try AND NOT:

(shadow OR copy OR model OR picture OR corresponds) AND NOT "shadow of death"

Posts 24250
Forum MVP
Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 3 2020 9:04 AM

It depends exactly what you are trying to do - you could try this:

(shadow OR copy OR model OR picture OR corresponds) ANDNOT "shadow of death"

This will find articles that contains one of the first sets of words so long as the same article does not contain shadow of death

But it means that if it contains model and shadow of death it won't return it.

Posts 9015
LogosEmployee

You can use ANDNOT, as already suggested, but that will exclude an article from the search results if "shadow of death" occurs anywhere in the article, even if there are other instances of "shadow" you might be interested in.

A more targeted search operator is "x NOT INTERSECTS y". This finds "x" only when it doesn't overlap with "y". So you can search for:

shadow NOT INTERSECTS "shadow of death"

to find all the occurrences of "shadow" that aren't part of that phrase.

This can be combined with your other terms to make a more complex query:

(shadow NOT INTERSECTS "shadow of death") OR copy OR model OR picture OR corresponds

You can even go further and exclude irrelevant phrases from your other terms:

(shadow NOT INTERSECTS "shadow of death") OR (copy NOT INTERSECTS "do you copy") OR (model NOT INTERSECTS "model trains") OR picture OR corresponds

Posts 663
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 3 2020 10:58 AM

Great!  Thank you all so much.  Very helpful.

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