Search rules and tips

You can use special characters, formatting techniques and keywords when performing a text-based search for projects and companies. You can use both a simple keyword search and a more advanced search with keywords, wild cards, special operators, and special characters. 

This section covers the following options for search rules and tips:  



Besides quotation marks and parenthesis, punctuation should be avoided in your search terms. Not all punctuation is removed in search strings and when present can return false positives. Note that all capitalization is ignored in all searches. 

Quotation marks

Quotation marks can take multiple arguments and combine them into a single argument. Quotation marks can be used in combination with any of the operators except NEAR, which has its own set of rules explained below.


Parentheses must have matching opening and closing sets:  ((  ))  or  ( )   Mismatched parenthetical sets return no or incorrect results. 

Note: You can use Notepad++ to help you locate instances where a parentheses is missing.   

Using the operators OR and AND 

You can use the operators OR and AND to logically include words and phrases in your searches to better qualify your results. 

Note: You must capitalize OR and AND for the operators to work.  




OR is the default value for spaces in any query. Used between terms, OR returns results for all terms and typically increases results. In most cases, OR does not require parentheses.

ExampleDunn Edwards OR Kelly Moore - This returns any project that has the word DunnEdwardsKelly, or Moore, regardless of the presence of the other arguments.

Example: “Dunn Edwards” OR “Kelly Moore” - These return any instance of the phrase “Dunn Edwards” and any instance of the phrase “Kelly Moore”.


AND combines arguments and requires that the two arguments on either side of AND both be present in the search target in order to get results. AND is the equivalent of the word "All." Using AND typically reduces results.

Example: “Dunn Edwards” AND “Kelly-Moore” AND “Pittsburgh Paint” - This string only returns documents that have ALL of these three search terms.

Using Smart Search and Exact Search

You can use Smart Search and Exact Search to find exactly the words you are looking for.  

Search typeDescriptionExample
ExactThe exact word is looked for in the search.

Searching for Concrete returns just that word. The words concreted, concreting, are not returned.


The exact word and any words stemming from that word are found.

Searching for landscaping returns that word and any words that share the stem landscap, such as landscaper, landscape.