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Posted on February 6th, 2007
HTML Tips and Tricks

By the time you read through this  guide you should have a general understanding of how to search IPB Forums correctly and a general idea how to find what you want on the web without going through hundreds of pages. I'll also cover how to use the Pixel2life Tutorial Search.  Inside IPB Help Files they only give you a brief guide and to a new member trying to understand finds this very confusing if not frustrating.

Part 1: - How To Use Search On IPB Forums
Part 2: - How To Search Tutorials on Pixel2Life

Part 1: - How To Use Search On IPB Forums

What IPB Tells Us:

The search feature is designed to allow you to quickly find topics and posts that contain the keywords you enter.

There are two types of search form available, simple search and advanced search. You may switch between the two using the 'More Options' and 'Simple Mode' buttons.

Simple Mode

All you need to do here is enter in a keyword into the search box, and select a forum(s) to search in. (to select multiple forums, hold down the control key on a PC, or the Shift/Apple key on a Mac) choose a sorting order and search.

Advanced Mode

The advanced search screen, will give you a much greater range of options to choose from to refine your search. In addition to searching by keyword, you are able to search by a members username or a combination of both. You can also choose to refine your search by selecting a date range, and there are a number of sorting options available. There are also two ways of displaying the search results, can either show the post text in full or just show a link to the topic, can choose this using the radio buttons available.

If the administrator has enabled it, you may have a minimum amount of time to wait between searches, this is known as search flood control.

There are also search boxes available at the bottom of each forum, to allow you to carry out a quick search of all of the topics within that particular forum.


That's not all that helpful and doesn't really explain to a new user how to use the forum search correctly hence we always get members asking do you know where I can find or I've searched the forums and cannot find it and someone will always reply with the easy way out:- which doesn't tell the person asking much at all, if they wanted to search Google they wouldn't be on your help Forum asking would they? And we are all guilty of using that little guy. Ban him he's useless. :P

Using IPB Forum Search
I'm using screen shots from Pixel2Life Forums for the purpose of this tutorial your site may differ slightly from ours but the results will be the same.

If you go to our Forum at the top of the screen under the banner you'll see:
Toplist | My Assistant | My Friends | Members List | New Posts | Search Forums | Help/FAQ's | Home

Go to Search Forums and it will come up like the following image below:

Go to More Search Options so you have a screen like the example posted below in front of you.

Now lets take a look at how to search and search correctly so we pull up the correct results or as close as possible to what we're searching for. IPB has a setting in the Administrators Control Panel that allows a minimum search word length. On Pixel2Life we have it set at 3, allowing shorter search words can return 1,000's of  results, such as 'if', 'at', I, Me etc. Note, this will not have any effect if you are full text search, so if a your search keywords were How To Slice A Layout - (To and A this will give you errors) as posted below

Sorry, an error occurred. If you are unsure on how to use a feature, or don't know why you got this error message, try looking through the help files for more information.

The error returned was:
One or all of your search keywords were below 3 characters or you searched for words which are not allowed, such as 'html', 'img', etc, please go back and increase the length of these search keywords or choose different keywords.

or you may get one similar to:

Unfortunately your search didn't return any results.
Try broadening the search parameters by searching by different keywords or altering the format of your search.
Remember to use the wildcard '*' to increase the number of matches.

Now I want to find out how to slice a layout but my keyword search terms won't search for me so I'm going to change them around and remove words with 3 or less.

 So this is how I search, if I was looking for help how to slice a layout this is what I would type into
Search by Keywords Slicing Layout

Filter by Member Name (optional) leave this blank unless your 100% certain you recall a member writing something on it, it will only show search results mainly from that member. I rarely use this and find it a lot quicker using my methods.

Search Where Your looking for a tutorial or some sort of help topic so it won't be in general posts nor will it be in Forums News so the most sensible place would be to search in the drop down select Tutorial Free For All

Search in child forums if sub category is chosen? Make sure this is ticked.

Refine Search

Search posts from any date as chances are your question has been previously answered somewhere on the Forums.

Newer Make sure you tick newer, you don't want to find results posted 5yrs ago giving you answers for outdated software etc.

Sort results by Last posting date

descending order yes tick this

Search Where Search entire post

Result Type Show results as topics

So your before you search it should look like:

And your top search result would show you:

The Ultimate Layout Slicing and Coding Guide

Bingo, wow that was easy not only do I find what I need but I find this person has written an entire website on how to slice a layout so I'm going to go read through the tutorial and then come back if I have any questions I don't fully understand and post my questions.

Take a look inside the topic you'll see all your keywords highlighted in yellow as the image below shows.


So lets try the search terms layout searching ALL Forums and you'll see it brings up a lot of useless results over 30 pages and only showing results limited to first 1000, the secret ingredient is to use several keywords as I have posted previously relating to your search question and ask yourself what is it your actually searching for? You want to learn how to slice a layout so your keywords would be - slice layout

Always have your Forum Rules/Guidelines and FAQ's  in an easy to find place so members and guests (yes guests as well as they may like to read the guidelines or FAQ's without having to register and) don't have to spend hours searching and playing guessing games trying to find them, they should be in prominent places on your site.

If you have an auto welcome make sure they're added into that and your members will always have their own handy guide.

You can also use these examples using the wildcard '*'  to search with:

slice*  layout*  It will find topics/posts with 'slice and/or 'slicing' 'layouts' for example.

Before you go and post your question do a quick Forum Search chances are your question may have already been asked and answered.

Search ALL Forums and use Search posts from... Any Date if you cannot find what your searching for.

Try to use different search words relating to your question don't type a 3 letter word as you'll find it brings up 100's of topic's

Always post your topics with proper descriptive keywords so other members searching can find your topic easily, posting a topic with "Help Me"  or "I Need Help" doesn't do anyone any favors and chances are your topic will be ignored by everyone unless the curious want to see what help your needing.

If you posted a question and need to go back to find your answer but cannot recall where you posted it or cannot pull it up in search just click on your username under Options - Find members Topics

Part 2: - How To Search Tutorials on Pixel2Life

Pixel2life has over 24,000 tutorials over 21,000 of those are live viewable and searchable to the public, every graphic, web designer and coder should have Pixel2Life as their first stop place for searching a specific tutorial we're sure to have what your looking for even if it's how to get breast enlargements lol yes we even have that. :P If not post in our tutorial requests forum and we'll be sure to find you an alternative or one of the members will write a tutorial for you.

Pixel2Life uses Boolean Search methods.

What is a Boolean search?
Boolean searching allows you to narrow down your search by using special terms before your keywords.
It's very useful because it can help you make sure you don't get 1,000's  of results when you search.
It came from George Boole back in the 1800's
if you wish to go into indepth detail you can read more from wikipedia

With Boolean searching you use the following:
Boolean term                                                Why?
AND                                                               To make sure a keyword is included
AND NOT (ANDNOT, NOT)                                 To make sure a keyword is not included
OR                                                                 To give alternative keywords

But how do we find what we're looking for? Quite easy actually even if you have never used it before, just type in your keywords:- example: sig banner (under photoshop) will bring up 5 pages of sig banner and assorted banner tutorials

On every page of Pixel2life at the top of the screen you'll see:

this has a dropdown selection covering:-

2D Graphics
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Image Ready
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Photoshop
Corel Painter
CorelDraw and Corel PhotoPaint
Macromedia Fireworks
Macromedia Flash
Macromedia FreeHand
Paint Shop Pro
Quark and QuarkXPress
D Graphics
D Studio Max
Autodesk Combustion
Blender D
BodyPaint D
Cinema D
Lightwave D
Maya D
Rhino D
Swift D
Ulead Cool D
Wings D
Audio Editing
Adobe Audition
Sound Forge
Business Applications
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft Publisher
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Access
Desktop Programming
C++ General
Visual Basic
Visual C++
Game and Skin Editors
D GameStudio
Game Maker
Valve Hammer Editor
Application Skinning
General Photography
Scanners and Scanning
Operating Systems
Mac OS X
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Video Editing
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere
Avid Xpress Pro
Macromedia Director
Sony Vegas
Website Development
Adobe Flex
Adobe PageMaker
ASP Coding
CGI Coding
CSS Stylesheets
General Website Development
HTML Tips and Tricks
Java Development
Macromedia ColdFusion
Macromedia DreamWeaver
Microsoft FrontPage
PHP Coding
Ruby on Rails

Please Note: This is completely seperate from our Forum Search and will NOT show results on tutorials from the Forums.

As you can see quite the selection choice so your searching has already been simplified for you. All of our tutorials are checked whilst they're in the pending queue and tutorial titles and descriptions changed so searching is made even easier for you. Dead tutorials are removed weekly to keep our database as up todate as it can be.

If you come across a tutorial that's not working please use our report

Did you know that you can now install a Pixel2Life Search Box on your own website so that you and your users can search the Pixel2Life Database direct from your website?

1. Make sure you are a member of Pixel2Life. If your not a member the signup is free and you can do this here

2. Make sure you have a developer key! A Pixel2Life Developer Key gives you access to all our current and upcoming API developer tools, so if you haven't got one, register your key HERE!

3. Fill out the form on the Search Bar API page and it will generate the required code for your site!

4. Paste the code into your webpage and you're done! You can style the form further if desired with CSS etc and if you have any problems post in our Site Support Forum.
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