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  How to search in PO for a phrase?

+ 5 like - 0 dislike

I tried to find contributions containing "form factor", but the search always produced lots of unrelated papers, and i didn't find the wanted one, neither of the following queries worked:

"form factor"

form factor


How can I restrict the search to the wanted phrase (consecutive words)? I wouldn't mind seeing also variations such as "form factors".

asked Sep 10, 2014 in Support by Arnold Neumaier (15,787 points) [ revision history ]
retagged Sep 11, 2014 by dimension10

How about searching "physicsoverflow, form factor" in google? That's how I used to search for SE posts.

1 Answer

+ 4 like - 0 dislike

If the PhysicsOverflow search doesn't work (admittedly, it's not very good, and google and bing are raising people's expectations), you can use PhysicsOverfind, a google-powered custom search for PhysicsOverflow.

It's a slight development over using site:physicsoverflow.org in google as @JiaYiyang suggested, as Dilaton and I are currently able to add synonyms to the search (e.g. searching for "superspace formalism" should yield results for "green-schwarz formalism").

For future access, this can be found below the footer, under the "Collapse Sidebar" button.

answered Sep 11, 2014 by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ no revision ]
edited Sep 11, 2014 by dimension10
Most voted comments show all comments

@dimension10 Great idea! There exists a plugin that allows to integrate Google custom search into the site, either replacing the Q2A search function by GCS or let the user select the desired search engine. I tried it, and it works fine. Shall I once install it? With small adaptations to the plugin, we could preserve the name PhysicsOverfind (it's great, I like it).

@polarkernel That's great - it's easy to put the widget in the sidebar without a plugin, but it would be great if it could replace the search at the top... but I have a few questions:

  • Would the custom search widget be linked to the search widget linked in my answer, so that any search synonyms, etc. still work when added from the custom search settings?
  • How would the results appear?

If the results don't come within PhysicsOverflow (but instead on a separate page on google.com/...), or if the synonyms aren't in sync, then I guess it would be better to just add the widget (without a plugin) in the footer.

@dimension10 I think all your requirements should be fulfilled. You should get the results of your customization, so you and Dilaton may continue to add sysnonyms.

I have installed it once, so you may test it and alter the configuration, if required. If you don't like it, just switch it off under AdminPanel->Plugins and let me know.

@polarkernel It's pretty good! I'd suggest the following changes:

  • Since the search text placeholder already says it's a search engine, the "search" button should be restored to the old one (the magnifying lens icon).
  • "Google Custom Search" can be changed to "Google PhysicsOverfind"

These can be done with javascript, I know, but I think it would be cleaner to do it server-side.

@dimension10 Are you sure that we are allowed to change the Google branding? It is an image of size 119x16, sent by Google. I could replace it, however, I was not yet able to create a text with a height of 7 pixels that fits onto this image, are you?

Most recent comments show all comments

@polarkernel Ok, it's quite unimportant to add PhysicsOverfind there, and it's best to not mangle with copyright issues, so I guess it's ok the way it is.

Huh, why should there be any copyright issue if we call if PhysicsOverfind on our own site? BTW the word search is truncated

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