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How to Search to Find - 2: The Language of Proximity

Find In Context
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Find In Context allows you to build sophysticated boolean expressions using logical operators, some of which can have proximity parameters. This gives you a very high level of control over search results. You can also specify the total length of the hit; if the total length of the hit (i.e. the length of all search words plus the distance between them) is higher then what you specified, the hit will be ignored and won't show in the final search results.

With Find In Context, the options to construct logical relationships among search terms extend far beyond the traditional practice of Boolean searching (although you can still use the standard boolean operators if you like).

On this page (see other pages):

Elements of the language of Find In Context

The language of Find In Context consists of the following words and symbols (in order of decreasing priority):

The NEAR and NOT operators can be used with an additional parameter (proximity range), measured in symbols, e.g. NEAR50, NEAR240, NOT70, etc. - any number written immediately after the operator will be recognized as a proximtiy range. NOT written without a number applies to the whole file. NEAR written without a number means AND and also applies to the whole file.


Examples: NEAR50 and NOT400

1. [blue NEAR50 orange] will find all fragments of text like [blue......(any text here)] or [orange.....(any text here)] where the distance between the key words is 50 symbols or less (counting all spaces and any other special or punctuation symbols). The maximum length of a hit cannot be more than 60 symbols (50 plus the total length of the keywords).

2. [blue NEAR50 orange NOT400 juice] is the same as [(blue NEAR50 orange) NOT400 juice] and will find all fragments of text just like the example above, with the exception of any fragment which has the word juice nearer than 400 symbols on either side. The maximum length of a hit cannot exceed 60 symbols, just with the example above, but in order to determine if a fragment is a hit or not, the program analyzes a piece of text which is about 800 symbols long, looking for juice.

You can use the extended boolean expressions of that kind for both Keywords and Exclude Words.


Logical Expression Assistant

It is easy to construct even very complex search expressions using the Logical Expression Assistant. As you enter search words and sub-expressions into the fields, choose the relations between them and enter the corresponding ranges ("distances" in symbols between the elements of the search expression), the Assistant window shows you the resulting logical expression and marks the priorities with parenthesis. Click OK and the expression you entered will be copied to the main program automatically.

In the same manner you can construct complex expressions for the Exclude Words field, to filter out unwanted hits.

Find In Context - Logical Expression Assistant

How To Search To Find: Reference & Tutorial


1. Boolean Logic & Boolean Operators

2. The Language of Proximity


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Find In Context, License for 1 Computer (electronic delivery), includes tech. support and free lifetime updates
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