SOLR: Search Operators and Special Characters

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Below are some common search operators that you may run into using SOLR search and how they factor into searching.

In the case of the example search terms --> Ektron - 14th Annual Synergy Conference - Tentative

The query implies that all of the search terms (Ektron, 14th, Annual, Synergy, Conference, Tentative) will be searched for and have to exist in the document for it be found/returned. Note that in the query sample given it has a space between the '-' and the following word token.

But if the search terms were as follows Ektron -14th Annual Synergy Conference -Tentative, (Note in this case the '-' is not followed by a space), then query implies that the terms (Ektron, Annual, Synergy, Conference) should be present however the document should not have any occurrences of (14th, Tentative).

In summary, the following special characters have special meaning with regards to search:

'-' not operator, when preceding a word token.

'+' operator, when preceding a word token implies an AND operator. The term after the + symbol definitely exists somewhere in the documents searched.

'*' wildcard operator when followed by or preceded by a word token. Use wildcards to look for spelling variations and alternate word endings.

() characters serve to group tokens with AND/OR operator. Search terms within parentheses are read first, then terms outside parentheses is read next.

" operator surrounding word tokens will cause the word tokens to be treated as is and as a phrase.

All other special characters are treated as white spaces, such as '.'.