Searching for "special" characters on the forum

I was trying to find if there’s anything on T+A on this forum, but that results in “No results found.”

Yet I know it’s definitely been mentioned in threads, including this one having it in the title:

Or posts mentioning it:

I’ve tried XML escaping or HTML encoding the plus sign (assuming that’s the problem), but so far no cigar. Anyone have a clue?

I find the forum search capability is hopeless. Your best bet is maybe to use Google which does seem to index the posts here (although not the beta group posts of course).


Generally I find that the forum search works very well for me (wondering what problems @davidhendon has), but never tried special characters. And indeed seems impossible:

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I would qualify that as hopeless, a search with common or relevant terms you can’t search for. Have to agree with @davidhendon here.

In Google search, encapsulating a search string in double quotes and specifying the website will search for that exact string only on that website. But it doesn’t work when I try it with T+A, for example:

site: "T+A"

It appears that, despite including it in a specific search string, Google search ignores the + character unless it’s context relevant and one of at least two in the search term (such as c++, for example).

From the official Google Help Page:
Generally, punctuation is ignored, including @#$%^&*()=+[]\ and other special characters

The same is true for Microsoft Bing as well.

I’m stumped for an answer. Maybe there is a less well known search engine that will respect the string content explicitly?

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Oooh I’ve found one is a Russian search engine. (I’ve never come across it before. Caveat emptor and all that.)

Issuing the search string approach I gave above:
site: "T+A"

Returns the results you wanted and even returns, for example, T&A:

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The special characters are one thing, but I have found everything I wanted for the past year that I have been here. Certainly the vast majority of things people should be searching for (like “speaker cable” or “(at)Clare.newsome delivery” :wink: ) can be searched and found.

I would not call it hopeless if I can’t search for one particular thing, T+A :slight_smile: so I am wondering what issues David has

It’s likely the plus sign is ignored entirely by most search engines, so you have to get creative. With Google, using the intitle operator with the asterisk wildcard character and quotes returns a single thread with “T+A” in the title:

site: intitle:"T*A"

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