Unit 4: Search Methods
Lesson 7: Wildcards
Wildcard searching is a way to find variations within a particular keyword. Use wildcard symbols to locate keywords with irregular plurals or multiple spellings.
To use a wildcard, replace the letter or character of the keyword for which you want to find variations with the symbols #, !, or ?. For example, to find records with the search terms “women” and “woman,” replace the “e” with the wildcard symbol ?. The search term “wom?n” will retrieve all records that contain the terms “woman” and “women.”
- wom?n finds woman and women
- theat! finds theater and theatre
- colo#r finds color and colour
- Review the Help function of online search tools to learn which symbol to use
- Some online search tools do not support the use of wildcards
- You cannot use a wildcard symbol as the first letter of a search term
- You may use wildcards more than once in the same search string
- Edison State College Libraries’ online catalog uses the wildcard symbol ?.
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