Better Searches in HELP
Idea shared by Frank Goebel [Team CDE] - November 12, 2014 at 9:17 AM
This will be written with BLS-2015 in mind but it may play out well in other CDE products.
We have had a couple topics where I've provided an answer after another user was looking for an answer that they had tried in help. With apologies to both (as they may recognize themselves here, this isn't intended to belittle anything but to try to turn it into a learning experience for everyone), because they had both reported an unsuccessful HELP search, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at it.
The HELP files are fine, and the search terms tried were arguably valid, but neither worked. So I looked at the thread of conversations in both issues to see if I could find some commonality, some sort of working point on which to build.
In the first, the user's search was for the term "lock out rule" and my responses read "lockout". And I was successful, although I went to the manual instead of HELP because the user had reported it not found in HELP. But a second look was the term: "Lockout" (one word) searched will find it, "Lock out" (two words) did not. The hint here is that if a two-word phrase can also be used either hyphenated (like "lock-out") or as a single word as I used, try it all possible ways (that you can think of). That is, don't give up on an initial failure, but see if some other structure of the same term can work.
In the second, a user was trying to get subs' phone numbers to show on web-uploaded standings and couldn't figure out where that setting was located. Search terms were all multiple-word phrases and none worked. Two of them included the word "phone" and, looking at what the issue subject was (to include a phone number), those multiple-word phrases didn't work, but if a search was done for just one word, a common denominator, "phone" in this case, would have provided multiple hits on the search. There were, to be honest, a total of 22, but a look through the list of hits (in BLS help, double-click on a particular line) would display the help item, and there's an abbreviated title of each line which can help narrow it down a bit when there are so many.
So, what's the lesson here? I take two things from this, from the two different solved issues. One is to try various phrasing or spacing of a term, to try it as one or two words for those situations where it can apply (non-bowling examples can include "web site" or "website", "home schooled" or "home-schooled" or "homeschooled"). Two is to simply the search a common, simpler term and then pare down results from what's found. In a perfect world, we will all know the best Keywords (or "Key Words"?) to use. Of course, one can always post a question here and I do not in any way want to discourage someone from asking for help when it's needed. We're all human, after all.
TeamCDE Volunteer
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