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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 (12,640 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 (1,955 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

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

@Dilaton Because Google may probably want it to be known as Custom Search (I haven't read the license, or any human-readable form that might exist). About the truncation, clear your cache.

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