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Jun 29, 2007 07:12 PM

Search Changes

We're very excited to introduce a new version of the Search function on Chowhound. It includes the much requested ability to search and sort by date, as well as other new features like exact phrase searching, AND and NOT, search by username and many more.

You can check it out by entering a search term in the search box at the top right of most pages. Also check out the advanced options for more search possibilities.

We'll be watching for any problems and issues, and fixing them as we can over the next few days. If you find any bugs or have any suggestions, please add them to this thread:

Here some basic information on using the new search from our FAQ:

How do I search for something?
In the search box, enter the keywords you're looking for. You can use exact phrases, as well as Boolean search terms. There are also options for searching just within the title, or for Chowhound posts by specific users or on specific boards. Examples of your options are:

Match a word: armadillos
Match all words: armadillo strip
Match an exact phrase: "armadillo strips"
Match any words: armadillo OR strips
Match one word but not another: armadillo NOT strip

Match only in the title: title:armadillo
Match within a board by name: board:chicago
Match items a user has contributed to: user:"john mose"
Combine commands: armadillo OR wolves NOT strip user:"john mose"

What other options are there for using search?
You can click on More Options on the search results page to refine your results. You have four options:

Between: Enter the dates you want to search. You can use actual dates (Between: 2007-01-01 and 2007-01-31) or use natural language to describe the dates (Between: 1 year ago and last month).

Sorted By: By relevance of your keywords, or by date (newest first or oldest first).

Board Group: Search within a specific subset of the Chowhound boards (all of the New York - area boards, for example) or choose a board group and then choose a specific board.

Board: Limit your search to a single Chowhound board.

-- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

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  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. I think Search is not working correctly. I've been trying to limit my search to my own city's board and the search functions runs on the term ("tapas") but dumps the other criteria (Boards, Mid-Atlantic, Pennsylvania) and I get a bazlllion results from the entire site.

      I'm sure the increased functionality will be excellent once the bugs are worked out - thanks for your help!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Mawrter

        What do you mean, it "dumps the other criteria"? I just tried your search and it seemed to work for me, returning 207 results:

        1. re: Chris VR

          I'm going to say that I'm with Mawrter. I just searched from something that I searched for a month ago (with success I might add) and was unable to produce results. Arrgh! If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

          1. re: amy_rc

            Personally, I was almost always able to find what I was looking for with the old search engine as well. But from the complaints I saw here, you and I were in a minority!

            The search function is quirkly designed, I'll agree with that. You have to fiddle around with options and read the help if you want ot get the most out of it. And I don't think that's an ideal situation. But I do have to admit that once I figured out how to use it, it does work better, and just the ability to sort results by date makes the trouble worthwhile.

          2. re: Chris VR

            Chirs, I just ran the search again and it works fine now. No idea why - or why it didn't when I posted about my problem. I wasn't saying, in my previous post, that the new search function isn't to my preference, or that I didn't understand how to use it. It was apparently buggy before, and it is running fine now.

            What I meant was, although I selected the options to narrow the search by boards (excluding blogs, recipes, articles, etc.), region and then specific board, when the search actually ran, it gave me results for "tapas" for the entire website, without using the narrowing criteria I'd selected. IOW, it dumped my selections of Just Boards, Just Mid-Atlantic, and Just Pennsylvania. Make sense now?

            1. re: Mawrter

              Gotcha! On another thread people are reporting inconsistent results and Engineering says that they know about it and are aware of it. So that probably was the culprit. Still might be- seems the problem is still happening.

        2. Not knowing if this is an easy addition or not I would like to see a "save search preferences" option become available. I normally am doing my searches on my local board (LA) and each time I have to go in and select those options. When I occasionally want to search on some other board I could individually select for that and then the search preference would revert back to my saved preferences. Any chance making that a feature?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Servorg

            I think that on one of the other threads on this board about the search function - maybe the one about reporting bugs, some users showed how to book mark searches - not quite the same, but might help you.

          2. I just wanted to register a hearty thank you for all of the obviously hard, technical and careful work that went into revamping the search function (and the places database). The "search this board" feature is awesome and combined with the places database instantly made chowhound infinitely more useful. Thanks!

            1. Thanks in advance for all your hard work. Although I'm a newbie I really value the experience I get from this website.

              I find 90% of my searches are done on my own board.

              With the new search changes I have to do the following to search on my own board:

              Search in top right search bar
              Click on "show options"
              Click on "drop down menu" pick "boards"
              Click on "drop down menu" for board group, pick "international"
              Click on "drop down menu" for board , pick "Ontario"
              Press Enter

              This has to be done every time I want to search (unless I leave that window open)

              It's quite tedious for a simple search so I'll have to 2nd the request to be able to save search preferences. Think that will be an easy fix.

              Thanks again for such a wonderful website.

              3 Replies
              1. re: LeTimmy

                There's now a "Search This Board" option available, though the results are limited (they're fine for what I typically look for).

                At the top of the page, where the board title is displayed (TECHNICAL HELP), if you look to the right you'll see a "Search This Board" option just before the "Topic Options" drop down link.

                1. re: ElsieDee

                  Ahh... didn't see that. Thanks a bunch. This is much better!

                  1. re: ElsieDee

                    That worked like a charm and solves my problem perfectly. Thanks.