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Essentials of Search

Searching in Knoodl is simple. Simply type in one or more search terms (words or phrases that describe what you want to find) into the search box at the top of any page, and press the search button (or hit the return key).

Knoodl will show the pages that matched your terms, with the best match listed first, followed by the next-best match, etc. The results will be divided into two groups: vocabulary pages that contained your search terms in the names, and any other pages that contained your search terms in the pages' content. Simply click on any of the results to go to those pages.

Your search may product a lot of results, but rather than show all of them at once (which would take longer and be more difficult to read), Knoodl breaks the results up onto different pages, again with the pages that best match your terms first. Hopefully, you'll find what you're looking for on the first page, but if not, simply click on "Next Page" to view the next page of results.

Search Scope

There are three different search scopes:

  • Search the site - this will search the entire Knoodl site for pages that contain your search terms;
  • Search this community - this is available only if you are in a community, and searches only the community you are in for pages that contain your search terms; and
  • Search this wiki/vocabulary - this is available if you are in a wiki or vocabulary, and searches only the wiki or vocabulary you are in for pages that contain your search terms.

When you simply press the "Search" button (or press return), Knoodl chooses the wiki/vocabulary mode if you are in a vocabulary, or the community mode if you are in a community, or the site mode otherwise. Knoodl also shows you the default mode by giving a hint in the search box (e.g., "search the site"). Of course, if you want to search a different scope, simply pull down the "Search" menu to see the types of searches that are available, and click on the one that you want.

Choosing Search Terms

Choosing the right search terms is key to getting useful results. Try simple terms or concepts that you might expect to find in a vocabulary or on a page. Or, try several related terms. Of course, if you know the name of a vocabulary term or wiki page, that works, too!

Some common words (like "the", "and", "a", "this", and many more) occur so frequently that they often hinder search results, so these common words are ignored when searching.

If you are not finding any results, the first thing to do is to check your terms for misspellings or typos. Then, double check the scope of the search to make sure Knoodl searched the scope you wanted. Otherwise, you may have to think of different search terms, perhaps by thinking of synonyms or more general words.

Sometimes you'll find too many results. In these cases, make sure the search scope is what you wanted and isn't larger than you expected. (For example, make sure you didn't search the entire site rather than just your community.) If the scope was okay, then you may need to add additional terms to your search to let Knoodl narrow down the results for you.


Knoodl searches are NOT case sensitive. In other words, searching for airplane will produce the same results as AiRPlanE and AIRPLANE.

Automatic AND

Knoodl automatically searches for pages that contain all of the your search terms, so there is no need to put "AND" between your terms. However, the order of your terms is important, so put the most important terms first.

Searching for Phrases

If there is a particular phrase that you are trying to find, simply enclose the phrase with double quotes to tell Knoodl to find the whole phrase rather than just the individual terms. For example, searching for "steering wheel" will return pages that contain that phrase, rather than pages that contain the word steering and wheel in any order or position.

If you know the exact name of a vocabulary term or wiki page, enclosing the name in quotes will bring those pages to the top of the results. But be sure that you use the exact name, otherwise using double quotes may actually push the pages you're looking for lower in the results.

Excluding Terms

Sometimes you want to find pages that contain some terms but that do NOT contain other terms. This is often helpful in narrowing down a large set of results. To do this, simply put a hyphen or dash ('-') character before any of the terms that should not appear in the search results. For example, searching for vehicle car -airplane truck will return pages that contain the terms vehicle, car and truck but that do NOT contain airplane.

You can also use the '+' character to specify that a specific term is to be included in the pages. For example, searching for +vehicle +car -airplane +truck will return pages that contain the terms vehicle, car and truck but that do NOT contain airplane.

You can group terms together with parenthesis if there are multiple terms that are to be exluded or included. For example, +(vehicle car truck) -(airplane spacecraft) will return pages that contain the terms vehicle, car, and truck but that do not contain airplane or spacecraft.


Searching Knoodl only returns results for pages that you can read, so there's no need to worry whether people will be able to see parts of your pages (or even find that they exist) if they don't have permission to see them.

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