Boolean Search

A comprehensive guide to boolean logic when searching for content

Lexer Listen allows you to build your queries using boolean language, giving you the flexibility and power to ask all types of questions of your data. Every time you search in Google, you’re using boolean logic. Our products use this same approach, and the options below will help you understand that control.

Search modifiers

There are 8 modifiers that you can use when crafting your search.

Modifier

How it works

AND

And is used to combine words and phrases

OR

OR is used to expand the results of your search

NOT

NOT is used to exclude words and reduce the results of your search

""

Quotation marks are used to indicate a whole phrase

()

Parentheses or brackets are used to indicate a component of the entire search.

*

Asterisk wildcards are used in conjunction with partial words to return all words that match the structure

?

Question mark wildcards are used in conjunction with partial words to return all words that match the structure, but only by one letter

~

Tilde is both a proximity search and a fuzziness search

Modifier examples

Modifier

Example

Explained

AND

AFL AND tickets

will return all mentions of the AFL and tickets. You can also use + in place of AND, as an example "AFL +tickets".

OR

AFL OR tickets

will return all mentions of the AFL, as well as all mentions of tickets.

NOT

AFL NOT tickets

will return all mentions of the AFL, and exclude any mentions of tickets. You can also use - in place of NOT, as an example "AFL -tickets".

''''

"AFL tickets"

will return any mentions of "AFL tickets" exactly as it displays. If you didn’t use the quotation marks, and instead wrote AFL tickets, the platform will automatically put an OR into the search and make it AFL OR tickets, which is probably not what you want!

()

(AFL AND tickets) NOT (scalping OR seats)

makes it explicit that you want AFL AND tickets results, but you want to exclude scalping OR seats. The use of brackets is often where users have issues with creating a string, if your string is broken, pay close to attention to open & closed brackets

*

*oodle

replaces the * with any combination or number of letters to form other words, so the example to the left might return "poodle", "noodle", "labradoodle" etc.

?

AF?

will return any words that have one letter after AF (ie. AFL, AFW, AFC). Lex?r would return Lexer, Lexar, Lexur, etc.

~

See below

tilde is both a proximity search and a fuzziness search. Let’s dig into these a bit deeper below.

Notes on using tilde

Proximity

Tilde is used when you’re looking for words near to other words. The phrase “Gorman Raincoat” expects all the terms in that exact order. However, a proximity query allows the specified words to be further apart or in a different order in a sentence. Just add a ~ after your usual phrase query and specify the maximum number of spaces you’d like between the words. Example: “Gorman Raincoat”~6 would pick up posts like “Gorman makes the best Raincoat around”, “I went to Gorman after pay day and bought a Raincoat” etc.

Fuzziness

Tilde is used when you’re looking for words that are similar to, but not exactly like, your search terms. For example, searching for Lexer~2 will return terms that are a maximum of two changes from the query. A change includes the insertion, deletion or substitution of a single character, or transposition of two adjacent characters. Lexer~1 should be sufficient to catch 80% of all human misspellings. This is very handy if your customers are often misspelling your brand name - i.e. we get Lexar a lot!

Additional info

UTF-8 Characters

UTF-8 characters (eg. é, ß, ü) will only match exactly, even in cases where an “equivalent” ASCII character exists. For example, touché will not match an Object containing “touche”.

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