Query Language

Boolean and Proximity Operators
Free-Text Queries
Vector Space Queries
Property Value Queries
Query Examples
List of Property Names

You can search for any word or phrase on a Web site by just ust typing the word or phrase into a query form and clicking the button to execute the query (for example, the Execute Query button on the sample query form). Searches produce a list of files that contain the word or phrase no matter where they appear in the text. <>

This list gives the rules for formulating queries: <>

  • Multiple consecutive words are treated as a phrase; they must appear in the same order within a matching document.
  • Queries are case-insensitive, so you can type your query in uppercase or lowercase.
  • You can search for any word except for those in the exception list (for English, this includes a, an, and, as, and other common words), which are ignored during a search.
  • Words in the exception list are treated as placeholders in phrase and proximity queries. For example, if you searched for “Word for Windows”, the results could give you “Word for Windows” and “Word and Windows”, because for is a noise word and appears in the exception list.
  • Punctuation marks such as the period (.), colon (:), semicolon (;), and comma (,) are ignored during a search.
  • To use specially treated characters such as &, |, ^, #, @, $, (, ), in a query, enclose your query in quotation marks (“).
  • To search for a word or phrase containing quotation marks, enclose the entire phrase in quotation marks and then double the quotation marks around the word or words you want to surround with quotes. For example, “World-Wide Web or ““Web””” searches for World-Wide Web or “Web”.
  • You can use Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) and the proximity operator (NEAR) to specify additional search information.
  • The wildcard character (*) can match words with a given prefix. The query esc* matches the terms “ESC,” “escape,” and so on.
  • Free-text queries can be specified without regard to query syntax.
  • Vector space queries can be specified.
  • Activex™ (OLE) and file attribute property value queries can be issued.

Boolean and Proximity Operators

Boolean and proximity operators can create a more precise query.
To Search For Example Results
Both terms in the same page access and basic

access & basic
Pages with both the words “access” and “basic”
Either term in a page cgi or isapi
cgi | isapi
Pages with the words “cgi” or “isapi”
The first term without the second term access and not basic
access & ! basic
Pages with the word “access” but not “basic”
Pages not matching a property value not @size = 100
! @size = 100
Pages that are not 100 bytes
Both terms in the same page, close together excel near project
excel ~ project
Pages with the word “excel” near the word “project”

Hints: <>

  • You can add parentheses to nest expressions within a query. The expressions in parentheses are evaluated before the rest of the query.
  • Use double quotes (“) to indicate that a Boolean or NEAR operator keyword should be ignored in your query. For example, “Abbot and Costello” will match pages with the phrase, not pages that match the Boolean expression. In addition to being an operator, the word and is a noise word in English.
  • The NEAR operator is similar to the AND operator in that NEAR returns a match if both words being searched for are in the same page. However, the NEAR operator differs from AND because the rank assigned by NEAR depends on the proximity of words. That is, the rank of a page with the searched-for words closer together is greater than or equal to the rank of a page where the words are farther apart. If the searched-for words are more than 50 words apart, they are not considered near enough, and the page is assigned a rank of zero.
  • The NOT operator can be used only after an AND operator in content queries; it can be used only to exclude pages that match a previous content restriction. For property value queries, the NOT operator can be used apart from the AND operator.
  • The AND operator has a higher precedence than OR. For example, the first three queries are equal, but the fourth is not:

    A AND B OR C
    C OR A AND B
    C OR (A AND B)
    (C OR A) AND B

Note   The symbols (&, |, !, ~) and the English keywords AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR work the same way in all languages supported by Index Server. Localized keywords are also available when the browser locale is set to one of the following six languages:
Language Keywords
Spanish E, O, NO, CERCA
Italian E, O, NO, VICINO


Wildcard operators help you find pages containing words similar to a given word.
To Search For Example Results
Words with the same prefix comput* Pages with words that have the prefix “comput,” such as “computer,” “computing,” and so on
Words based on the same stem word fly** Pages with words based on the same stem as “fly,” such as “flying,” “flown,” “flew,” and so on

Free-Text Queries

The query engine finds pages that best match the words and phrases in a free-text query. this is done by automatically finding pages that match the meaning, not the exact wording, of the query. Boolean, proximity, and wildcard operators are ignored within a free-text query. Free-text queries are prefixed with $contents.
To Search For Example Results
Files that match free-text $contents how do I print in Microsoft Excel? Pages that mention printing and Microsoft Excel.

Vector Space Queries

The query engine supports vector space queries. Vector queries return pages that match a list of words and phrases. The rank of each page indicates how well the page matched the query. <>
To Search For Example Results
Pages that contain specific words light, bulb Files with words that best match the words being searched for
Pages that contain weighted prefixes, words, and phrases invent*, light[50], bulb[10], "light bulb"[400] Files that contain words prefixed by “invent,” the words “light,” “bulb,” and the phrase “light bulb” (the terms are weighted)

  • Components in vector queries are separated by commas.
  • Components in vector queries can be weighted by using the [weight] syntax.
  • Pages returned by vector queries do not necessarily match every term in the query.
  • Vector queries work best when the results are sorted by rank.

Property Value Queries

Property value queries can be used to find files that have property values that match a given criteria. The properties over which you can width=60%>Words and phrases in the file and textual properties
Filename Name of the file
Size File size
Write Last time the file was modified

ActiveX property values can also be used in queries. Web sites with files created by most ActiveX-aware applications can be queried for these properties:<>
Property Name Description
DocTitle Title of the document
DocSubject Subject of the document
DocAuthor The document’s author
DocKeywords Keywords for the document
DocComments Comments about the document

For a complete list of property names, see the List of Property Names later on this page.<> Relational Operators

Relational operators are used in relational property queries. <>
To Search For Example Results
Property values in relation to a fixed value @size < 100
@size <= 100
@size = 100
@size != 100
@size >= 100
@size > 100
Files whose size matches the query
Property values with all of a set of bits on @attrib ^a 0x820 Compressed files with the archive bit on
Property values with some of a set of bits on @attrib ^s 0x20 Files with the archive bit on

Property Values

To Search For Example Results
a specific value @DocAuthor = Bill Barnes Files authored by “Bill Barnes”
Values beginning with a prefix #DocAuthor George* Files whose author property begins with “George”
Files with any of a set of extensions #filename *.|(exe|,dll|,sys|) Files with .exe, .dll, or .sys extensions
Files modified after a certain date @write > 96/2/14 10:00:00 Files modified after February 14, 1996 at 10:00 GMT
Files modified after a relative date @write > -1d2h Files modified in the last 26 hours
Vectors matching a vector @vectorprop = { 10, 15, 20 } ActiveX documents with a vectorprop value of { 10, 15, 20 }
Vectors where each value matches a criteria @vectorprop >^a 15 ActiveX documents with a vectorprop value in which all values in the vector are greater than 15
Vectors where at least one value matches a criteria @vectorprop =^s 15 ActiveX documents with a vectorprop value in which at least one value is 15

  • Be sure to use the pound (#) character before the property name when using a regular expression in a property value, and an “at” (@) character otherwise. The equal (=) relational operator is assumed for regular-expression queries.
  • File name (#filename) is the only property that supports regular expressions with wildcards to the left of text. This is the only case where wildcards to the left are efficient..
  • Date and time values are of the form yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss. The first two characters of the year and the entire time can be omitted. Dates and times are in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
  • Dates and times relative to the current time can be expressed with a minus (-) character followed by zero or by more integer unit and time unit pairs. Time units are expressed as: (y) for years, (m) for months, (w) for weeks, (d) for days, (h) for hours, (n) for minutes, and (s) for seconds.
  • Currency values are of the form x.y, where x is the whole value amount and y is the fractional amount. There is no assumption about units.
  • Boolean values are (t) or (true) for TRUE and (f) or (false) for FALSE.
  • Vectors (VT_VECTOR) are expressed as an opening brace ({), followed by a comma-separated list of values, then a closing brace (}).
  • Single-value expressions that are compared against vectors are ecial meaning:
    • ^ matches everything but following classes. Must be the first character.
    • ] matches ]. May only be preceded by ^, otherwise it closes the class.
    • - range operator. Preceded and followed by normal characters.
    • Anything else matches itself (or begins or ends a range at itself).
  • Between curly braces ({}) the following syntax applies:
    • |{m|} matches exactly m occurrences of the preceding expression. (0 < m < 256).
    • |{m,|} matches at least m occurrences of the preceding expression. (1 < m < 256).
    • |{m,n|} matches between m and n occurrences of the preceding expression, inclusive. (0 < m < 256, 0 < n < 256).
  • To match *, ., and ?, enclose them in brackets (for example, |[*]sample will match “*sample”).

Query Examples
Example Results
@size > 1000000 Pages larger than one million bytes
@write > 95/12/23 Pages modified after the date
Apple tree Pages with the phrase “apple tree”
"apple tree" Same as above
@contents apple tree Same as above
Microsoft and @size > 1000000 Pages with the word “Microsoft” that are larger than one million bytes
"microsoft and @size > 1000000" Pages with the phrase specified (not the same as above)
#filename *.avi Video files (the # prefix is used because the query contains a regular expression)
@attrib ^s 32 Pages with the archive attribute bit on
@docauthor = John Smith Pages with the given author
$contents why is the sky blue? Pages that match the query
@size < 100 & #filename *.gif Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) files less than 100 bytes in size

List of Property Names

These properties are always available for queries. Additional properties may also be available depending on the configuration of the Web server.<>
Friendly Name Datatype Property
Access DBTYPE_DATE Last time file was accessed.
All (not applicable) Searches every property for a string. Can be queried but not retrieved.
AllocSize DBTYPE_I8 Size of disk allocation for file.
Attrib DBTYPE_UI4 File attributes. Documented in Win32 SDK.
ClassId DBTYPE_GUID Class ID of object, for example, WordPerfect, Word, and so on.
Change DBTYPE_DATE Last time file was changed (includes changes to attributes).
Characterization DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Characterization, or abstract, of document. Computed by Index Server.
Contents (not applicable) Main contents of file. Can be queried but not retrieved.
Create DBTYPE_DATE Time file was created.
DocAppName DBTYPE_STR | DBTYPE_BYREF Name of application that created the file.
DocAuthor DBTYPE_STR | DBTYPE_BYREF Author of document.
DocCategory DBTYPE_STR Type of document such as a memo, schedule, or whitepaper.
DocCharCount DBTYPE_I4 Number of characters in document.
DocComments DBTYPE_STR | DBTYPE_BYREF Comments about document.
DocCompany DBTYPE_STR Name of the company for which the document was written.
DocCreatedTm DBTYPE_DATE Time document was created.
DocEditTime DBTYPE_DATE Total time spent editing document.
DocKeywords DBTYPE_STR | DBTYPE_BYREF Document keywords.
DocLastAuthor DBTYPE_STR | DBTYPE_BYREF Most recent user who edited document.
DocLastPrinted DBTYPE_DATE Time document was last printed.
DocLastSavedTm DBTYPE_DATE Time document was last saved.
DocManager DBTYPE_STR Name of the manager of the document’s author.
DocPageCount DBTYPE_I4 Number of pages in document.
DocRevNumber DBTYPE_STR | DBTYPE_BYREF Current version number of document.
DocSubject DBTYPE_STR | DBTYPE_BYREF Subject of document.
DocTemplate DBTYPE_STR | DBTYPE_BYREF Name of template for document.
DocTitle DBTYPE_STR | DBTYPE_BYREF Title of document.
DocWordCount DBTYPE_I4 Number of words in document.
FileIndex DBTYPE_I8 Unique ID of file.
FileName DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Name of file.
HitCount DBTYPE_I4 Number of hits (words matching query) in file.
HtmlHRef DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Text of HTML HREF. Can be queried but not retrieved.
HtmlHeading1 DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Text of HTML document in style H1. Can be queried but not retrieved.
HtmlHeading2 DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Text of HTML document in style H2. Can be queried but not retrieved.
HtmlHeading3 DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Text of HTML document in style H3. Can be queried but not retrieved.
HtmlHeading4 DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Text of HTML document in style H4. Can be queried but not retrieved.
HtmlHeading5 DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Text of HTML document in style H5. Can be queried but not retrieved.
HtmlHeading6 DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Text of HTML document in style H6. Can be queried but not retrieved.
Path DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Full physical path to file, including file name.
Rank DBTYPE_I4 Rank of row. Ranges from 0 to 1000. Larger numbers indicate better matches.
RankVector DBTYPE_I4 | DBTYPE_VECTOR Ranks of individual components of a vector query.
SecurityChange DBTYPE_DATE Last time security was changed on file.
ShortFileName DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Short (8.3) file name.
Size DBTYPE_I8 Size of file, in bytes.
USN DBTYPE_I8 Update Sequence Number. NTFS drives only.
VPath DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF Full virtual path to file, including file name. If more than one possible path, then the best match for the specific query is chosen.
WorkId DBTYPE_I4 Internal ID for file. Used within Index Server.
Write DBTYPE_DATE Last time file was written.

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