WorkFlows Searching Tips

Modified on Thu, 15 Oct 2020 at 04:08 PM


The WorkFlows wizards that provide an item search in the catalog, such as the Item Search & Display Wizard offer the following types of searches:  Keyword, Browse, and Exact.

As with most wizards in Symphony WorkFlows, there are settings in the wizard properties to edit the defaults for search preferences.  Right click on the search wizard in the toolbar to change preferences such as preferred type of search, and preferred index.  E.g. you can edit the Item Search & Display wizard to always default to 'Keyword' for the type of search and 'General' as the index.

For more information, see the topic "Performing a Keyword, Browse, or Exact search" in Symphony WorkFlows Online Helps.

Keyword Searching

Keyword searching does not require the entry of all words in the phrase to be searched. When multiple search terms are entered, all terms must appear within the same bibliographic field. This is also referred to as "SAME" field searching and is the default behavior for keyword searching in Symphony.

Search type: Keyword
Search option: General
Example term:<map of the world>

·  Searches the two search terms (map & world) in any bibliographic field. 

·  Does not search the stopwords. (See below for searches containing stopwords). 

Search type: Keyword
Search option: Title
Example term: <map of the world>

·  Searches the two search terms in all title fields. The worlds can be in any order. 

Search type: Keyword (phrase with single quotes)
Search option: Title
Example term: <‘map of the world’>

·  The use of single quotation marks forces a search for those words together in a bibliographic title field, but it still ignores the stopwords. 

Search type: Keyword (phrase with double quotes)
Search option: Title
Example term: <"map of the world"> 

·  The use of double quotation marks forces a search for stopwords; therefore, the four search terms can be in any single title field, in any order.

Stopwords, Boolean Operators, Positional Operators, & Numeric Searches

Stopwords are usually articles, prepositions, or conjunctions.

Example of search titles with stopwords (as, at, be, but, by, do, for, if, in, it, of, on, to)

"as bad as can be"
"be a clown"
"by candlelight"
"for all we know"
"in a dry season"
"of time and place"
"on a hot hot day"

"at any price"
"all but the waltz"
"do a zoom do"
"if at first"
"map of the world"
 "to be a bee"

·  If the search contains all stopwords, the following message appears:
   Your search contained all stopwords. 

·  This is the message you would receive if you searched the Stephen King title: it, without quotation marks. 

Boolean Operators (and, not, or)

Examples of search titles with Boolean operators (and, not, or)

"and then there was one"
"gone but not forgotten"
"its not easy being bad"

"and in this corner"
"not so big house"
"or perish in the attempt"


Positional Operators (same, with, near)

Examples of search titles with positional operators (same, with, near)

"same place same time"
"with eye and ear"
"near miss"

"brothers are all the same"
"gone with the wind"
"night draws near"

Numeric Searches

Search type: Keyword
Search option: General
Example terms:



 (10 digit)



( 13 digit)



 *Must include hyphen.*








 *Must include hyphen.*

To search numbers in a list, type a space between each number. Symphony searches numbers separated by commas as if the numbers were not separated. Example: Symphony searches 5000 and 5,000 as the same term. 


Exact Searches

Search type: Exact
Search option: Title
Example term: <map of the world>

·  Result list includes records for all formats.

·  Caution using exact title searches: Subtitles will not be retrieved with exact searches so if you’re unsure of how the title is really entered, select another search option. For instance, a fiction title that has a subtitle ": a novel", will not be retrieved using an exact search. 

Search type: Exact
Search option: Periodical title
Example term: <time>

·  This search combination can be very useful for retrieving single word periodical titles while eliminating many of those materials produced by that publishing company. 

Phrase Searches (in specific tags)

Author/Title:        grey zane{100} and black mesa{245}

· Searches the personal author tag and the title tag.

Title/Author/Date:         good earth{245} and buck{100} and 1931{260}

· Searches the title tag, the personal author tag for author’s last name, and the publication date.

Title/Author:         good earth{245} and buck

· By not specifying the author tag, the search will be expanded to include name added entries and subject headings.

Two subjects:         wyoming authors{690} and cookery{650}

· Searches the local subject tag (690) and the Library of Congress (LC) topical heading (650).

Two subject tags:         wyoming authors{690 650}

· Searches both the local heading and the LC heading at once for the same term.

Movie ratings:         rated r{521}

If you don’t know the tag numbers, use the following synonym list:

Keyword index


MARC entries searched 



100, 110, 111, 700, 710, 711



130, 245, 440, 730, 740



600, 610, 611, 630, 650, 651, 690, 691



400, 410, 411, 440, 490, 800, 810, 811, 830, 840

Enter the synonym in squiggly brackets instead of the tag number. Dickens{au}

Other Searches

Search type: Keyword
Search option: Series
Example term: <baby sitters club>

· Searches the series title in series tags (400, 410, 411, 440, 490, 800, 810, 811, 830, 840). If the search is done as a "Title" search option, the results would be expanded to include the phrase in all other title fields (130, 245, 730, 740). 

Search type: Keyword
Search option: Subject
Example term(s): <individual biography>         <biography individual >

· Search string may be entered in direct or reverse order and retrieve the same results. 

Search type: Browse
Search option: Call number
Search library: Specific library

Click on the search configuration helper in upper left corner of search window and select BROWSE tab, to select the correct shelving class scheme for your library. 

  • <641.5> Dewey call number
  • <F592.7> LC call number
  • <xx> System-generated call number

Search type: Exact or Keyword
Search option: Title control number



10 digit)



(13 digit)   *"X" of an ISBN or an ISSN should be in upper case.*



*Must include hyphen.*







*Must include capitalization and hyphen.*



Searching Punctuation & Symbols

Symphony searches periods based on how this punctuation mark displays in the search expression. If not used as a decimal mark within a numeral, the period is replaced with spaces. If the period is used as a decimal mark, it is not replaced with a space.

Example: <vacationland u.s.a.>
Searches as: <vacationland u   s   a>

Example: <98.6: a novel>
Searches as: <98.6 novel>

Symphony replaces commas within a search expression with spaces.

Example: <goodbye, Columbus, and five short stories>
Searches as: <goodbye Columbus five short stories>

Search expressions containing hyphens are searched with the hyphen included. A search without the hyphen displays words both with and without the hyphen.

Example: <camp-out>
Searches as: <camp-out>

Only titles that include a hyphen between camp and out will display. To broaden the search to include the phrase "camp out" with and without the hyphen, use the following search: <camp out>.

Search expressions containing apostrophes can be searched either with or without the apostrophe.

Example: <barneys rhyme time>

This search retrieves the same results as: <barney’s rhyme time>


The characters in the following table do not affect searching. Some of the symbols are replaced by a space while others are simply ignored.

Punctuation name

Punctuation mark









At/Each sign



Back slash




[ ]







Exclamation point


Forward slash





Percentage sign



Plus sign

Space (Except for C++ which is indexed with both plus signs)









Superscript and subscript characters may be searched by typing the actual superscript or subscript character, or standard character equivalents.

Searching with substitution and truncation symbols

Use the ? symbol as a substitute for a single missing character in a search term.
Example: <wom?n> 

This search retrieves records containing either "woman" or "women." 

Use the $ symbol to truncate a search term. The symbol can represent a single character, many characters, or no characters.
Example: <jame$> 

This search retrieves records containing the terms "Jame", "James", "Jameson", and "Jamerson." 

These symbols may be used only at the middle or end of a term, not as the first character of the search term.

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