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Wikitravel:Search help

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The Mediawiki software we use for making Wikitravel provides a nice full-text search engine system. To search for any name or term used in articles on Wikitravel, type the word or words into the Find box on any Wikitravel page and hit the OK button.

Articles that match the search terms in the title of the article will be listed, followed by articles that match the search term in the article text. The first 50 or so articles that match will be shown on the search results page; you can use the View links to change the number and order of result article links.

When you enter more than one word into the Find box, articles that match any one of those words will be used. You can modify this behavior as follows:

  • Use a plus sign (+) to indicate that a word must be in the results. Searching for +California +wine will give results that must have both the words California and wine in them.
  • Use a minus sign (-) to indicate that a word must not be in the results. For example, searching for wine -California will find articles that mention the word wine but not the word California.
  • Use double quotes (") to indicate a phrase that should be considered as a whole. For example, searching for "California wine" will find only articles that contain the words California and wine right next to each other in that order.

You can modify the way full-text searching works using the user preferences page.

When there are no search results

First, double-check that you've spelled everything right, and you used the correct search syntax above.

IF the word you searched for only has 1, 2 or 3 letters, then you may not get a result. This is because common words like an and the appear too often, and are eliminated by the 3 letter limit. Try an advanced google search on www.wikitravel.org (http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=+site:www.wikitravel.org) instead.

If you are looking for an article name with 1, 2 or 3 letters in it, or one of the words in the title only has 3 letters in it, try the Go search, rather than the Search search. Or if you are certain the article exists, try the Special:Allpages index.

But if your search really did come up empty, it probably means we don't have an article about your subject. We're sorry about that; our goal is to be a complete and world-wide travel guide, and apparently we haven't covered something you're interested in.

If you'll permit us to make excuses for a second: the Wikitravellers who write, , illustrate, and lay out Wikitravel are just people like you, who come in off the Internet and start helping out. We're all volunteers with limited spare time, there's only so many of us, and we've only been at this since July 2003. And it's a big world out there; there's bound to be gaps in our coverage. But believe us: we're trying as hard as we can to get those gaps filled.

There are a couple of things you can do from here:

  • Request an article. You can use the Requests for articles page to add a request for a new article. There's no guarantee that the article will be complete, or even started, any time soon, but it's good to know for us what people are looking for but not finding.
  • Start a new article yourself. You can start a new article yourself, about the subject you searched on. Even if you don't know much about the subject, and just add a stub article, it can help a lot. Other people will find the article you start, and they can add more info, until eventually it's a real article that's helpful to travelers!

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