This topic isn’t for the loyal members of this forum, but for the new members. Especially the ones that never were active on a forum, so that they can find things easier. First I will explain the possibilities of the search-tools, then I will give you some examples of combining them.
There are four kinds of searching on this forum:
1. Comprehensive search
2. Forum search
3. Subforum search
4. Members search
1. Comprehensive search
We will divide this page into 4 parts, so that we can discuss it easily.
The red part (1) speaks for itself, I think. In this text entry box, you have to fill in the words you wish to find. You can use some words/symbols for more specific searches:
|apple banana||Find posts that contain at least one of these words|
|+apple +juice||Find posts with both words|
|+apple -juice||Find posts with 'apple' but not 'juice'|
|apple*||Find posts with 'apple' and/or 'applesauce'|
|"Some Words"||Find posts with the phrase 'some words of wisdom', 'some words' but not 'some noise words'|
In the pink part (2) you can select the forum(s) where you want to perform the search. When you want to search in multiple forums, you can press CTRL and then select a few. Next to this, you can select if the search has to be in child forums. For example, when you search for Niko in “GTA IV Subcategory”, without selecting this, you will get 4 pages of results. When you select it, you will get 9 pages of results. So the search was performed in every GTA IV forum.
You can search through the posts of a member by using the light blue part (3). It is handy to use combined with other parts, but we will talk about that later on. When you select “Match Exact Name”, it has to be precisely the correct name. For example, when you select it, Dutchy3010 will give you results, but Dutchy won’t. When you turn it off, Dutchy and Dutchy3010 will give you results. But, when Dutchy2020 also exists, you will get the results of as well Dutchy2020 as Dutchy3010 when you only type Dutchy.
In the last (yellow) part, you can give your search some more specific information. You can choose from how long ago you want to search. That can be older and newer, so when you want to know something from 2005, you can say “365 days ago” and select “older”. But when you know that it is posted in April, you can choose for “30 days ago” and then select “newer”.
Next to that, you can sort your results by Last Posting Date, Number of Replies, Poster Name and Forum Name. You can order it descending or ascending. You can search in the entire post or only in titles. Finally, you can show the results as topics or as posts.
Now we discussed the opportunities, we now can discuss about combining these. I will explain it by using some examples.
I want to find a topic about the things you can do before you start the main storyline of SA. I only know that it was posted by Girishb, I don’t know when it is posted.
Filter by Member Name > GirishB. Select “Match Exact Name”, because we are certain that it was his full name. Then we select Show results as posts, because the post of girishb is the only thing I’m interested in. Because we don’t know the date, we will select “any date” and “newer”. We choose GTA San Andreas (subcategory) and select the child forums. Finally, we will search for “storyline”. The time I write this it is the first post (url=http://www.gtaforums.com/index.php?showtopic=406389&view=findpost&p=1059126161]Click[/url]).
I’m curious about what Dutchy (I don’t know her full name) posted in the coding forums.
Fill in “Dutchy” and deselect “Match Exact Name”. Next to that, select the Mission coding forum. Finally, we will search by posts and search from any date and newer.
I don’t know if there is a topic about favourite vehicle in the GTA IV forums.
Of course you can search for “vehicle”, but you will get way more topics then which you are interested in. A better way to search for this, is to search only in topic titles. Select GTA IV (Sub Category), and make sure that it searches also in child forums. Choose for every date and newer. Then type “vehicle”. Of course you will get many results, but less then when you are searching through the whole topic. For example, you can find this topic quit easy.
Of course there are way more ways to combine the search opportunities, but this will give you a general idea of how many possibilities you have within the comprehensive search. Last thing that I want to say about the comprehensive search, is that you can select “simple mode”:
When you use this mode, you can only select the forum(s) and most relevant/most recent first. But I don’t think you will use this a lot, because all those opportunities you can find in the comprehensive search.
2. Subforum search
The subforum search isn’t only the text entry box at the right bottom of the page. In my opinion, the sorting opportunities (yellow) are also part of the subforum search. You can sort them by:
- Last Post Date
- Topic Title
- Topic Starter
- Number of Replies
- Number of Views
- Topic Start Date
- Last Poster
The second (red) part, is just searching through the forum. But it won’t search through child forums, so if you want to search through more than one forum, you have to use the comprehensive search! You can use the symbols/words from the table in the first part, though.
I want to find the most viewed non-pinned topic in IV Cheats & Tricks.
First, you have to go to that forum. Select "number of views", "descending" and from "the beginning". Like you can see, Hell of a lot Cheats / Tricks and MAPS! is the most viewed non-pinned topic (53,576 views).
I want know if there are any unanswered topics in the GTA Chinatown Wars Subforum
Of course you have to go to the GTA CTW subforum. Then select "number of replies", "ascending order" and from "any date". Like you can see, there are non-locked topics in this subforum.
3. Topic search
So, you found a topic that you think is interesting. But it is a bit big, like this topic. It’s about quotes in SA.
You heard a funny sentence, and wanted to post it, but only if it has never posted before. What do you have to do? Right, search! You heard the sentence “Tiny-balled idiota!”.
So, you fill in, “idiota”. There aren’t any matches to display... You search again, perhaps “idiota” is misspelled. This time, you are using “balled”. And yes, somebody (123robot), replied “Tiny-balled pshyco!”. So it is already posted, but not the right words.
I want to find all posts in a topic from one person.
Perhaps 123robot has more funny sentences. So you go back to the topic, and fill in “123robot” at “posted by”. Because you are sure it is the exact name, you can select “exact match”. You can also try 123 (and turn off "exact match"), but you will get more than one person. Also Lazlow123 posted in that topic.
4. Member search
The fourth, and last, search is about members. First, we will look at what you can see when you find a name. Of course, the name of the member. Then his/her level. Most of the members doesn’t have a level. Only Moderators and Administrators will have something in that space (moderators: MOD and administrators: ADMIN). In the third pillar will be the group. For example: Members, Moderators, Administrators, Modding Staff, Rockstar Games, The Connection…. The date of registration, postcount, E-mail, AOL and ICQ will follow.
The first drop down menu will automatically be at “search all available”. Then it doesn’t matter which name/word/character you add in the text entry box. You can also choose for “Name begins with” and “name contains”. Besides that, you can select in which group the member has to be. Again, you can choose from ascending and descending. This time, you are also able to say how many matches there has to be on the same page. Finally, you can sort it by Member Name, Total posts and join date. Now we will combine some of these.
I want to look if there is an Administrator which name begins with a D.
Select “name begins with”, and fill in “d”. Then select “Administrators”. There is a match: DigitalD.
I want to know which member of The Connection has the most posts on this forum.
Select group “The Connection”, sort by “Total posts” and use “descending order”. In first place is Papanesta, with currently 16,144 posts.
Which of the moderators has the earliest join date?
Select group “moderators”, and then select “join date”. This time, use “ascending order”. Raindancer is registered on November 12, 2001.
Corrections and additions are appreciated! Remember: always use the search-tool before you create a topic.