1. Pretty self explanitory. However, Google it's not: operands such as AND, OR and "" don't affect your results. However, it will search word fragments: a search for AT2k will also bring up posts that have, for example AT2ks (plural) in it...but they won't be highlighted. In cases like that, you can just juse your browser's search function (control/command-F) to smoke them out.
Also, something to keep in mind: you're searching posts, not whole threads. A thread may contain the words endcap, PVC and AT2k, but if one single post doesn't, you'll get no results.
2. You can filter results based on who said your keywords. This is an AND function: your keywords will be in the posts of who you chose. This can be more or less useful depending on how you display your results (which we'll talk about in #7). Depending on how results are displayed, you'll get threads which don't immediately show who you were looking for.
2a. Remember how keywords can search inside of words? You can turn that function off for names. Click on "Match exact name" and it'll search by exactly what you typed. With it off, a search for user "car" would return Carbon and Carrtoon, among others. Of course, if you know you're typing an exact user name, you'll get the same result as having it checked...since usernames are unique.
3. You can filter your results in this window. If you're searching for information on how to build a SNAP, for example, there's no reason reason to search in Modifications. Highlight Homemades, and you're done. You can also Control-click (Command-click on a Mac) to select multiple forums.
3a. ...doesn't seem to do much. We don't have child forums here (nested forums), so it won't affect your results (at least, not from what I've seen).
4. Tell the search if you want results going forward in time, or back. The dropdown menu is this:
So, if you know that what you're looking for is older, you can filter out your results.
Having "older" or "newer" selected really shouldn't make a difference if you choose "any date", but it sometimes seems to (at least, it has for me). Play around with this area if you aren't finding anything, and you've checked over your keywords.
5. Pretty self explanitory. Do you want to look in the whole post, or just titles? If you want a specific thread about something, just search the title. Otherwise, you may end up with a random comment in an unrelated thread. If you're looking for something specific, try searching titles first, and then get broader from there.
6. Sort it up or down. Here's the dropdown with what you're sorting up or down:
The useful one here is "poster name". If you're looking for a thread from a certain person, this will organize all the threads by name, in alphabetical order.
7. This is useful depending on what you're looking for. If you're looking for someone saying something in an unrelated thread, viewing your results as posts will pull those posts out of their related threads, and show them in a row. However, you're not seeing them in the context of their threads. Showing results as threads will show you titles, but you may not see who (or what) you're looking for by glancing down the list.
This is useful in conjuction with 2. Say you're looking for information from Boltsniper about the FAR. You can search for keyword FAR, filter by Boltsniper, and then sort your results by poster name. You'll get every thread created by Boltsniper where he mentions the FAR, all grouped together.
8. Frost Vectron pointed out this tip: If you come across a multiple page thread that has the word(s) you're looking for, you can use the "Search Topic" option found at the bottom of each thread, just after the last post. Put your keywords in here, and NH will bring up the posts with the keywords you put in. It makes pin-pointing things in multi-paged threads much easier.
Play with your keywords. Remember, you're searching each post, or just the title of the post. If you're not finding anything, try being more general.
Experiment. There are many ways to sort and display your results to ferret out what you're looking for. If you end up with a list of threads that don't seem to apply, remember that someone mentioned what you're looking for in there, somewhere. Turn it to post view and find it.
Turning it over to the 'Haven: what pearls of searching wisdom do you have? Also, this is based on my experience: if something here is wrong, please correct me.
Edited by Carbon, 17 June 2007 - 07:40 AM.