Forgive me if this is utter rubbish. I use one particular online forum
quite a lot, as do many others, and a great deal of useful information
has been posted over a good few years. Finding it is the problem.
Searching for a word is OK, but not a phrase. Not a motoring forum, but
by way of example, if I search for morris minor, I can find every
message containing morris OR minor, but not morris AND minor. The forum
admin cannot help.
My thinking (this could be the rubbish part) is that the forum records
are effectively a database, and it should therefore be possible to
search for more than one word. I have tried (morris minor),
(morris+minor), +morris +minor and various permutations, without any
Might there be some magic trick that could work, or do forums not work
like that? I would like to be able to search both thread titles and
You could try Google site search, and then search for morris minor or
"morris minor" and use any other of the Google methods. To do this, just
include site:<domain name> or site:<URL> in the Google search.
Most, if not all, forums use commercial software and, given
the forum owner's inability to help, I don't think its his own
Look at the bottom of a page, particularly the index page -
you'll usually find something like "Another bulletin board
from xyz" or similar.
If you can supply that information you stand a much better
chance of getting a meaningful answer.
For example, it might be a standard feature that the forum
owner has turned off by accident.
If you can't find any identification, ask the owner what
package he is using.
The information may well indeed be contained in a database, however you
don't have access to that directly, and are instead using the forum
software to talk to it for you. Hence if the software does not support
the query type you want, you may be out of luck.
However you may be able to get some of what you want using google. But
note that this relies on the information you want being visible in a
forum page that google is allowed to index.
If you start your search term with "site:url to forum" in front of your
Say for example, searching for:
"site:screwfix.com spanner" will yield only results from screwfix.com
containing the word spanner.
"site:screwfix.com spanner+tap" will yield only results from
screwfix.com containing spanner and tap.
All the other advanced search capabilities can then be used as well:
Thank you John and all for the advice. The above is the stumbling
block, as access to the forum is limited to signed in members (it is a
club forum), so using the site: search does not work.
However, the site admin has been having another dig, and found what I
was looking for. An 'exact phrase' setting, apparently. To recap, the
original search morris minor would find either word. Now, it has to
find both words, so will find, for example 'a minor problem with a
morris'. Much better, but not perfect. Ah! I tried "morris minor"
(with speech quotes) and that finds only the two words together.
You are finding the reason or at least one of them why forums, or should
that be forii? are so terrible. You cannot do text searches and every single
one has a different keyboard shortcut set or functions.
How on earth they can be better than Usenet makes me despair.
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