Better search needed.

I hate posting up questions someone’s already asked.

So, I like to search first. But seriously… why does the search feature only have an option for “keywords” in the boolean OR sense?

___ OR ___ OR ___ … is hardly specific. In fact, the more keywords I use, the less specific it’s going to get.

  • Why can’t we have an “AND” in there? That way the more words I use, the more it narrows my findings down.
  • What about a tickbox for “[_] only show threads with all keywords”?
  • How about quotes, so I can type in an exact phrase? Then I could type in specific menu items or errors I’m having issues with.

At the moment, search for anything like “Apply Visual Transform” or “Add Constraint (with Targets)” comes up with too much random crap to prove useful.

…and it’s growing daily - help!!! :eek:

Please give us better search options.

Have you tried to use Google Advanced Search or create a custom search? You can create your own custom search engine that looks for things only in Blender Artists or the Blender Manual.

I guess that kind of works for me… thanks.

I would still like it if we had a better search though. I had to sign up to google and everything to do it. Be cool if the local search engine got upgraded.

thanks for the feedback, I’ve been appalled at how simplistic the search engine is: no wildcards or booleans or phrases. Try searching for somebody by name like John Smith. No useful results. Ridiculous!
However, as a patch, I’m glad jrboddie1 mentioned that outside engines can be focused as mentioned. I’m off to do that now!

edit: 10 minutes later, no luck. the Google custom search engine can only parse linked webpages I think. I could not get any variation of the recommended URL formats to get even one hit on ‘IPO’. Scripted pages that rely on databases, as I imagine most forums are, can’t be searched unless the engine knows how. (somebody prove me wrong please)

In this age of free but poorly documented software, we are increasingly asked to rely on the forums and the user-base, but search for the answer first. Despite recommended forum behavior, I’ve noticed that this AND other tech forums are all failing to provide anything but a window on the latest newb postings. I’m becoming one myself, to hell with politeness and economy of noise. The cost is extreme redundancy and hours or days for a live response. Sigh.

Some research reveals that vBulletin, the foundation of this forum, is known for horrible search tools. Guess it’s age is showing.

Off to look for another solution.

Go to to create a custom search engine. You will need a Google account to use it.

Name your custom search engine. Then enter:

as the site to search.

I just tried it and got lots of hits for ‘IPO’.

thanks jrboddie1, that seems to work. Don’t know why my other attempts didn’t! nice! cookie for you. (the organic kind)

I’m on a couple of other forums that have similar problems. (Terragen!), have to give that a shot as well.

No need to sign in for a custom search engine, just use Google site search which will allow you to use all the normal Google search operators.

rigging -shapekey

As far as updating the forums own search function, it would be easy to add a radio box selector to the search box to choose between vBulletin and Google site search. Another option is Sphinx which is more complicated to setup. Personally, I just use Google site search all the time for most sites anyway, so I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble of updating the local search.

I already have a Google account, so that’s no issue.
Site search seems more like a site-hosted tool rather a user-tool. (I just tried it out.)

Besides, I’ve already built two custom search engines, one for this forum, another for the the Terragen forum, (has similar issues). I now have a Google Custom Search button in my Firefox toolbar that goes to a page with all my CSEs. Poke button, pick the CSE of choice, type in query, go. My search productivity has already jumped way up. (been distracted all morning reading relevant threads, yippee!)
Best tip I’ve had in a while. :yes:

Sorry, I didn’t mean Google Site Search™.

By “site search” I meant you type “” in the search box along with your search terms. “site:” is an operator. Did you check my link? It showed exactly what I meant. The example I linked above shows the results of a search of “”. Simple.

An explanation of “site:” and other Google search operators:

my bad, didn’t see the colon

Thats cool I did not even know about that !

I second that the search engine is bad bad bad !! No matter what you do you get hundreds of unrelated results whenever you search for anything, this makes the search useless. but there is always someone to rag on you about not searching!

While the search is not great you can still easily find solutions to some of the most common questions. There are some questions that come up again and again. I can understand that new users may not know the best terminology to search for but there are still long term users asking the same things who should know. A couple of common questions releate to Yafaray installation (search for ‘yafaray’) and where to find the center new/center curser buttions in 2.5 (search for ‘center 2.5’).
If I try and find an answer to someones question, many times I don’t know the answer or even considered the problem. I use the search button (set the output as posts not threads), google search and search the blender wiki.
I get the impression the first thing some users do when they get a problem is to start a new thread. All I’d suggest is to at least make some effort in sorting it yourself, you’ll learn so much more by doing this. If your still stuck then fine ask a question.


I would like to be able to search for posts with BLEND files attached. More likely to get a working solution that way.

An absolute search would be nice too. If I search for particle system it gets treated as two words. What I would like to see is the ability to search for “particle system” as a single phrase.

Well again, you can just use Google. They’re the experts. An example (clickable links):

“particle system” +“Attached Files”


“particle system” +“Attached Files” +".blend"

Not perfect, but you can use it now.