Maximizing Your Search Returns

Blog Post created by geonetadmin on May 20, 2010
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The Esri Support Services' Online Support Resources group understands the importance of having effective search mechanisms available to sift through all of the Support areas, especially since we use our own site as a resource, just like you do. As we continue working to improve the capability of our Support site search tools, we want to make sure that when using the Support site search, you understand what the tools are actually searching and how to maximize your search results to find what you need.

General Support Site Search Tips

Here are a few general tips that may improve your search experience:

  • If you are searching for information on a released product, be sure to use the Support search tool at To search for information about products in beta or pre-release, such as ArcGIS 10, use the search available at
  • When searching for information on a bug, be sure to use the complete bug number with its NIM prefix. The current search is not configured to recognize sub-string text, so you must enter, for example, NIM576784 and not just 576784.
  • Support search does not recognize or utilize search operators (such as double quotes, and, or, + or ~). The best results come from using a good combination of search terms and post-search filtering.

Post-search Filters

A quick way to fine-tune your search results is to use the search results page filters. You can easily filter content by source, and this speeds up finding what you need.

Searching Old User Forums

The old User Forums are full of valuable information. In response to feedback indicating that our old User Forum search was hard to find and use, we have made a few improvements.

  • The old User Forum content has been indexed and is now searchable.
  • You can now search the old forums (forums only) using the new search at

When searching for User Forum content, it is best to select a specific conference using the ‘Select Conference’ drop-down menu, if possible, rather than ‘Select All’ areas. This reduces the search time and narrows search results.

Remember that the forums search is limited to searching only forums. The search bar on the main Support and Resource Center pages also provides results from the old forums; however, these results are included among results from other Support areas, such as the knowledge base.

- Online Support Resources group, Esri Support Services