Search features

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You can improve your search by using one of these features.

Wildcards

A wildcard is a special character you can put in your search to represent one or more characters. Wildcards are useful if you are not sure of the spelling of a word, or if you are looking for variations of a word. You can use wildcards at the start, end or the middle of a search.

vic.gov.au uses an asterisk * as a wildcard for multiple characters and a question mark ? as a wildcard for a single character. For example:

  • rat? - searches for rate or rats
  • rat* - searches for rat, rate, rates, ratio, ration, rationalise, etc
  • tax? - searches for tax or taxi
  • tax* - searches for tax, taxi, taxes, taxation, etc

Including and excluding words

vic.gov.au uses a default "and" when you enter multiple words - the search matches against all the words you enter. You can control this further with the following methods.

You can use Boolean Logic Operators (AND/OR/NOT) to focus your search. For example:

  • education AND policy - searches for both words (which is the default behaviour)
  • education OR policy - searches for either of the words
  • education NOT policy - searches for 'education' and will not return any matches against the word 'policy'
  • education policy NOT primary - searches for the words 'education' and 'policy' and will not return any matches against the word 'primary'


You can also use the plus or minus symbol directly in front of a word (with no space) to specify that it is included or not included in your query. For example:

  • education +policy - searches for both words (which is the default behaviour)
  • planning -roads - searches for the word 'planning' and will not return any matches against the word 'roads'
  • auditor -general - searches for the word 'auditor' and will not return any matches against the word 'general' (note - if you type the hyphen between words without a space, e.g. 'auditor-general', the search will match against all the words)
 

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