Advanced Fulltext Search Options
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  (Slightly altered from an old mysql page.)

MySQL (the database this collection is built on) uses a very simple parser to split text into words.  A ``word'' is any sequence of characters consisting of letters, digits, `'', and `_'.  Any ``word'' that is present in the stopword list or is just too short is ignored.  The default minimum length of words that will be found by full-text searches is four characters.  Also common words, those that occur in at least 50% of the documents, are also ignored (e.g., 'in', 'the', 'prime' ...)

We can also perform boolean full-text searches by using one or more of the nine special characters:

+ - < > ( ) ~ * "

When any one of these characters is present, the 50% threshold is not used.

+
A leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in every row returned.
-
A leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any row returned.
By default (when neither plus nor minus is specified) the word is optional, but the rows that contain it will be rated higher.  This mimics the behavior of MATCH() ... AGAINST() without the IN BOOLEAN MODE modifier.
< >
These two operators are used to change a word's contribution to the relevance value that is assigned to a row.  The < operator decreases the contribution and the > operator increases it.  See the example below.
( )
Parentheses are used to group words into subexpressions.
~
A leading tilde acts as a negation operator, causing the word's contribution to the row relevance to be negative.  It's useful for marking noise words.  A row that contains such a word will be rated lower than others, but will not be excluded altogether, as it would be with the - operator. 
*
An asterisk is the truncation operator.  Unlike the other operators, it should be appended to the word, not prepended.
"
The phrase, that is enclosed in double quotes ", matches only rows that contain this phrase literally, as it was typed.

And here are some examples:

apple banana
find rows that contain at least one of these words.
+apple +juice
... both words.
+apple MacIntosh
... word ``apple'', but rank it higher if it also contain ``MacIntosh''.
+apple -MacIntosh
... word ``apple'' but not ``MacIntosh''.
+apple +(>turnover <strudel)
... ``apple'' and ``turnover'', or ``apple'' and ``strudel'' (in any order), but rank ``apple pie'' higher than ``apple strudel''.
apple*
... ``apple'', ``apples'', ``applesauce'', and ``applet''.
"some words"
... ``some words of wisdom'', but not ``some noise words''.

MySQL Stopwords

MySQL by default does not index the following words:
"a", "a's", "able", "about", "above", "according", "accordingly", "across", "actually", "after", "afterwords", "again", "against", "ain't", "all", "allow", "allows", "almost", "alone", "along", "already", "also", "although", "always", "am", "among", "amongst", "an", "and", "another", "any", "anybody", "anyhow", "anyone", "anything", "anyway", "anyways", "anywhere", "apart", "appear", "appreciate", "appropriate", "are", "aren't", "around", "as", "aside", "ask", "asking", "associated", "at", "available", "away", "awfully", "b", "be", "became", "because", "become", "becomes", "becoming", "been", "before", "beforehand", "behind", "being", "believe", "below", "beside", "besides", "best", "better", "between", "beyond", "both", "brief", "but", "by", "c", "c'mon", "c's", "came", "can", "can't", "cannot", "cant", "cause", "causes", "certain", "certainly", "changes", "clearly", "co", "com", "come", "comes", "concerning", "consequently", "consider", "considering", "contain", "containing", "contains", "corresponding", "could", "couldn't", "course", "currently", "d", "definitely", "described", "despite", "did", "didn't", "different", "do", "does", "doesn't", "doing", "don't", "done", "down", "downwards", "during", "e", "each", "edu", "eg", "eight", "either", "else", "elsewhere", "enough", "entirely", "especially", "et", "etc", "even", "ever", "every", "everybody", "everyone", "everything", "everywhere", "ex", "exactly", "example", "except", "f", "far", "few", "fifth", "first", "five", "followed", "following", "follows", "for", "former", "formerly", "forth", "four", "from", "further", "furthermore", "g", "get", "gets", "getting", "given", "gives", "go", "goes", "going", "gone", "got", "gotten", "greetings", "h", "had", "hadn't", "happens", "hardly", "has", "hasn't", "have", "haven't", "having", "he", "he's", "hello", "help", "hence", "her", "here", "here's", "hereafter", "hereby", "herein", "hereupon", "hers", "herself", "hi", "him", "himself", "his", "hither", "hopefully", "how", "howbeit", "however", "i", "i'd", "i'll", "i'm", "i've", "ie", "if", "ignored", "immediate", "in", "inasmuch", "inc", "indeed", "indicate", "indicated", "indicates", "inner", "insofar", "instead", "into", "inward", "is", "isn't", "it", "it'd", "it'll", "it's", "its", "itself", "j", "just", "k", "keep", "keeps", "kept", "know", "knows", "known", "l", "last", "lately", "later", "latter", "latterly", "least", "less", "lest", "let", "let's", "like", "liked", "likely", "little", "look", "looking", "looks", "ltd", "m", "mainly", "many", "may", "maybe", "me", "mean", "meanwhile", "merely", "might", "more", "moreover", "most", "mostly", "much", "must", "my", "myself", "n", "name", "namely", "nd", "near", "nearly", "necessary", "need", "needs", "neither", "never", "nevertheless", "new", "next", "nine", "no", "nobody", "non", "none", "noone", "nor", "normally", "not", "nothing", "novel", "now", "nowhere", "o", "obviously", "of", "off", "often", "oh", "ok", "okay", "old", "on", "once", "one", "ones", "only", "onto", "or", "other", "others", "otherwise", "ought", "our", "ours", "ourselves", "out", "outside", "over", "overall", "own", "p", "particular", "particularly", "per", "perhaps", "placed", "please", "plus", "possible", "presumably", "probably", "provides", "q", "que", "quite", "qv", "r", "rather", "rd", "re", "really", "reasonably", "regarding", "regardless", "regards", "relatively", "respectively", "right", "s", "said", "same", "saw", "say", "saying", "says", "second", "secondly", "see", "seeing", "seem", "seemed", "seeming", "seems", "seen", "self", "selves", "sensible", "sent", "serious", "seriously", "seven", "several", "shall", "she", "should", "shouldn't", "since", "six", "so", "some", "somebody", "somehow", "someone", "something", "sometime", "sometimes", "somewhat", "somewhere", "soon", "sorry", "specified", "specify", "specifying", "still", "sub", "such", "sup", "sure", "t", "t's", "take", "taken", "tell", "tends", "th", "than", "thank", "thanks", "thanx", "that", "that's", "thats", "the", "their", "theirs", "them", "themselves", "then", "thence", "there", "there's", "thereafter", "thereby", "therefore", "therein", "theres", "thereupon", "these", "they", "they'd", "they'll", "they're", "they've", "think", "third", "this", "thorough", "thoroughly", "those", "though", "three", "through", "throughout", "thru", "thus", "to", "together", "too", "took", "toward", "towards", "tried", "tries", "truly", "try", "trying", "twice", "two", "u", "un", "under", "unfortunately", "unless", "unlikely", "until", "unto", "up", "upon", "us", "use", "used", "useful", "uses", "using", "usually", "v", "value", "various", "very", "via", "viz", "vs", "w", "want", "wants", "was", "wasn't", "way", "we", "we'd", "we'll", "we're", "we've", "welcome", "well", "went", "were", "weren't", "what", "what's", "whatever", "when", "whence", "whenever", "where", "where's", "whereafter", "whereas", "whereby", "wherein", "whereupon", "wherever", "whether", "which", "while", "whither", "who", "who's", "whoever", "whole", "whom", "whose", "why", "will", "willing", "wish", "with", "within", "without", "won't", "wonder", "would", "would", "wouldn't", "x", "y", "yes", "yet", "you", "you'd", "you'll", "you're", "you've", "your", "yours", "yourself", "yourselves", "z", "zero"