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WILDCARD Operator and Characters

Selects documents that contain matches to a wildcard search string. A wildcard search string consists of a word stem combined with special characters. The WILDCARD operator lets you define a wildcard search string, which can be used to locate related word matches in documents. For example, to retrieve documents that contain words such as "pharmaceutical," "pharmacology," and "pharmacodynamics," you can enter the following:

pharmac*

Documents are not relevance-ranked unless the MANY modifier is used, as in:

<MANY> pharmac*

The wildcard characters '*' and '?' automatically enable wildcard searching. To use other constructs, use the WILDCARD operator in conjunction with any of the characters below.

Character

Function

?

Specifies any single alphanumeric character, as in ?an, which locates "ran," "pan," "can," and "ban." You don’t have to use the WILDCARD operator when you use the question mark. The question mark is ignored in a set ([ ]) or in an alternative pattern ({ }).

*

Specifies zero or more of any alphanumeric character, as in corp*, which locates “corp,” "corporate," "corporation," "corporal," and "corpulent." You don’t have to use the WILDCARD operator when you use the asterisk; you should avoid using the asterisk as the first character of a wildcard string because it uses computing resources intensively. The asterisk is ignored in a set ([ ]) or in an alternative pattern ({ }).

[ ]

Specifies one of any character in a set, as in <WILDCARD> `c[auo]t`, which locates "cat," "cut," and "cot." You must enclose the word that includes a set in backquotes (`). The backquote character normally shares a keyboard key with the tilde (~), near the upper left corner of the keyboard. Space characters are not allowed in a set..

{ }

Specifies one of each pattern separated by a comma, as in <WILDCARD> `bank{s,er,ing}`, which locates "banks," "banker," and "banking." You must enclose the word that includes a pattern in backquotes (`). Space characters are not allowed in a set.

^

Specifies one of any character not in the set, as in <WILDCARD> `st[^oa]ck`, which excludes "stock" and "stack" but returns "stick" and "stuck." The caret (^) must be the first character after the left bracket ([) that introduces a set.

-

Specifies a range of characters in a set, as in <WILDCARD> `c[a-r]t`, which locates every three-letter word from "cat" to "crt."

 

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