Connecticut Department of Revenue Services
How to Use the DRS Site-wide Search
Quick Tips and Examples  Refining a Search  Special Searches  Requiring or Excluding Terms

Quick Tips and Examples

It's easy to search with DRS Search. Just type in a few words or phrases. Try to use discriminating terms that are likely to be found only in the documents you seek. The more words you give, the better results you'll get. Here are some examples:

Search by typing words and phrases.

Pentium computer with 8x CD-ROM for sale
Inktomi Search will find documents containing as many of these words and phrases as possible, ranked so that the documents most relevant to your query are presented first. Don't worry about missing a document because it doesn't have one of the words in your search -- DRS Search returns relevant results even if they don't contain all query terms.

Identify phrases with quotation marks, separate with commas.

Pentium computer with "8x CD-ROM", "for sale"
A phrase is entered using double quotation marks, and only matches those words which appear adjacent to each other. Separate multiple phrases or proper names with a comma.

Use UPPER case to indicate exact match.

Steve Jobs, NeXT
Search terms in lowercase will match words in any case, otherwise, an exact case match is used. For example, next will find matches for Next, next, and NeXT, whereas a query for NeXT will only match NeXT.

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Refining a Search

It's easy to refine a query to get precisely the results you want. Here are some effective techniques to try:

Identify a phrase.

Before:home run records
After:"home run" records
The before query is ambiguous. Is it looking for the home page of songs like "Run, Run, Run" or baseball statistics? Identifying "home run" as a phrase eliminates the ambiguity. This is the most powerful query refinement technique.

Add a discriminating word or a phrase.

Before:"home run" records
After:"home run" records baseball
As before, the before query is ambiguous. Adding baseball makes the query less ambiguous. You'll get more total matches (because the query is broadened with an additional term), but the relevance ranking will be better.

Capitalize when appropriate.

Before:wired digital white house, baby bells, bill gates
After:Wired, Digital, White House, Baby Bells, Bill Gates
These examples, when all lower case, have a variety of possible interpretations. For example, without capitalization, wired could refer to electrical cables and not Wired Magazine. baby bells could refer to the Bells' children on the "Young and the Restless." Capitalization reduces the ambiguity. It is always a good idea to capitalize proper names.

Use a require or reject operator (+,-).

After:Barney, +Smith -dinosaur
Barney alone is ambiguous. It it looking for Smith Barney investment information or cartoon dinosaur pages? You can use the reject operator (the "minus" sign) to eliminate the cartoon dinosaur interpretation. Or, you can require that the word "Smith" be in the document. The after version above does both.

Use a field specifier.

Before:Sun workstation
After:Sun workstation,, title:Ultra
If you are looking for a particular page that you know the site or title, use the site: or title: field specifier to search for that the word or phrase in the site or title of the page.

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Special Searches

You can restrict searches to certain portions of web documents by using DRS Search field syntax. This allows you to search for web pages' titles, urls, embedded hypertext links, and any additional information defined with a HTML meta tag. The field name should be in lower case, and immediately followed by a colon. There should be no spaces after the colon and before the search terms.

Matches pages that contain at least one link to a page with in its URL. For example, you can use to see how many external links point to the State of Pennsylvania's website. Some search engines call this feature "searching backwards".
Finds pages on the web site The site field search examines the "site" part of the URL only. Therefore, will find such sites as, and, but won't match any site that ends in You can use the site field search to bring up all pages at a particular web site.

Finds pages with the word bar anywhere in the page's URL. For example:

title:"The New York Times"
Finds pages with the phrase "The New York Times" in the title portion of the document.

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Requiring or Excluding Terms

DRS Search has a simple query syntax which gives you the pinpoint search power of Boolean logic, without having to remember complex queries. The table below shows the DRS Search operators that correspond to Boolean operators:

DRS Search
default operator:
you need not use any special symbols
phrase operator:
enclose the phrase with double quotation marks

Boolean queries use the logical operators AND, OR, NOT and ADJ (adjacent). Suppose you wanted to find plain paper color laser printers made by companies other than HP. This query can be specified in Boolean logic as:

(laser ADJ printer) AND (color OR (plain ADJ paper)) AND NOT (HP OR Hewlett-Packard)
Using DRS Search operators, the complex query above may be typed into the search box as:
+"laser printer" color "plain paper" -HP, -Hewlett-Packard
This query specifies that:
  • All returned documents must contain the phrase "laser printer".
  • Documents containing one or more of the terms "laser printer", color, or "plain paper" will be ranked at the top (the more terms matched, the higher the ranking).
  • None of the documents returned will contain either HP or Hewlett-Packard.
Statistical Weighting and DRS Search Searches
A traditional Boolean search returns an unsorted list of all items that match the search condition. DRS Search goes considerably beyond this by using advanced statistical search technology to return the results sorted with the "best" matches listed at the top. Unlike plain Boolean searches, DRS Search automatically weights your query terms based on their statistical uniqueness. Common terms, such as "shall," get a much lower weighting than less frequently occurring terms, such as the phrase "golf courses."

DRS Search's advanced statistical weighting allows you to just type in relevant words and phrases, and the system will provide the answer to your query in the top few documents! Since there are cases in which it is convenient to narrow a query using Boolean operators, DRS Search Server allows you to use the + and - Boolean operators. With DRS Search, you get the accurate ranking of statistical searching combined with the information filtering of Boolean searching.

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