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Holly's Helpful Hints: How To Find Answers To Your Questions, Part 2

In my last helpful hint, I talked about how to use the global search tool on the home page of the community. This tool is awesome for broad searches that might include results from multiple products.

However, sometimes you just want to search for an answer in a single product. Or you're thinking about asking a question in the community and before you do, you want to make sure no one else has already asked it (and gotten an answer). In these cases, you will want to use the search bar at the top of your product community.

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The search bar at the top of your product communities is designed to search only within discussion topics related to that product. This is important to note - this is a very limited search. If you want blog posts, resources, or events, you will need to use the global search bar on the home page (here's a link to my helpful hint on that). The search tool in the Blackbaud Community uses a form of Boolean Search. This means that you can tell the community what terms to include or exclude in the search bar.

Let's work through an example:

Let's say I want to find discussions about reports in Raiser's Edge. I can start by typing "reports" into the search bar at the top of any page in the Raiser's Edge Community and hitting the search icon (or enter).
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This search yields 2,727 results.
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Even narrowing it to topics from the past month using the filters at the bottom right of the page, still yields 86 results.

We can do better.

Using Boolean search logic, I can modify my search. For example, I can use quotation marks to find exact phrases (like "custom reports"). I can use the plus sign to tell the community to look for reports OR another term (e.g. reports custom). I can use the ampersand (&) to tell the community to look for two specific words (custom & reports). And  I can use the minus sign (-) to tell the community to exclude topics from the search (e.g. reports - custom).

In the case of our example search, I want to narrow it down to conversations that are not about custom or Crystal reports. So I would reenter my search terms in the product community.
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Now my search yields 1,995 total results total, with only 40 in the past month.
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I can continue to refine my search my using the "sort by" block at the top of the page or by selecting/deselecting filters on the side until I have my ideal results.

Do you have any other tips or tricks for searching the community? Do you have an idea for a helpful hint? If so, sound off in the comments section of this blog post!

We know that we have some work to do on our search tools and hope to be able to share some improved search capabilities later this year, but, in the meantime, I hope this helps you more successfully find answers in the Blackbaud Community.
Posted by Holly Herbert on Aug 24, 2017 11:30 AM America/New_York

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Thanks Holly.  I can't wait to try this out next time I'm in the "Community".
  • Posted Thu 16 Mar 2017 10:26 AM EDT
Thank you Holly. I always appreciate your helpful hints!
  • Posted Thu 16 Mar 2017 02:34 PM EDT
Thank you, Holly!
  • Posted Fri 25 Aug 2017 09:36 AM EDT

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