Using search operators

Search operators allow you to write your own advanced queries to garner precise search results in your case transcripts and notes. Once you learn to use search operators, you can advance to typing complex searches that will help you locate facts and details that might otherwise take hours of transcript review to uncover.

Full-text queries can be run from the Full Text Search box in the Search pane (or from the Full Text Search dialog box in the Full Text Query tab). See Running full-text searches.


Full-text searches use the following operators:



hmtoggle_plus1Learn about Boolean operators

Boolean operators are based on the binary logic used in computers today, producing strict true or false results. The most common Boolean operators are AND, OR, and NOT.

Search terms are not case sensitive; you don't have to enter all caps for "AND" when typing a search query. However, it is important to type spaces between the search terms and the operator being used.


Boolean Operators




AND contains both words

water AND damage

All transcripts with both the words: water and damage

OR contains either word

water OR damage

All transcripts with either water or damage, or both

NOT contains first word, but not second

water and NOT damage

All transcripts with water, but not damage


hmtoggle_plus1Learn about proximity operators

Proximity operators are useful in finding text that appears in transcripts within a specified range of words. The proximity operators used in TextMap are NEAR and BEFORE.

You can use the Nearness scroll bar to adjust the range of terms you want from zero to 100. This range is the maximum number of intervening indexed words, excluding those on the ignore list. The Nearness default range is set to five terms.



Proximity Operators





water NEAR3 mold

Both terms appear within three words of each other


water BEFORE3 damage

All transcripts where water is three words before damage


hmtoggle_plus1Learn about wildcard operators

Wildcard operators are symbols you can use as a substitute for characters or series of characters, creating a broader search with stronger results.


Wildcard Operators




Asterisk * replaces a character at the beginning or end of a search string




Finds the following: account, accountant, country, countries, and discount

Finds the following: leak, leakage, leaking

Finds the following results: withholding

Question mark ? represents any character in its place in the character sequence




Finds the following: woman, women

Finds all dates in the year 1999

Finds all timeframes of 10:00 o'clock (a.m. or p.m.), i.e. 10:00, 10:42

[ ] represents any character specified within the brackets [afp], or in a range of characters specified in its place in the character sequence [a-z]



Finds news, but not newt

Finds newt, but not news


hmtoggle_plus1Learn about numeric operators

Use numeric operators to help you locate numbers in a transcript.


Numeric Operators




<                   less than

< 50

Florida < 32803

Finds numbers less than 50

Finds Florida followed by a number less than 32803

>                   greater than

> 50

Finds numbers greater than 50

<=                 less than or equal to


Finds numbers less than or equal to 50

>=                 greater than or equal to


Finds numbers greater than or equal to 50

=                   equal to


Finds the number 50

<x and >x     not equal to

<50 and >50

Finds all numbers except 50


hmtoggle_plus1Learn about the LIKE operator

Use the LIKE operator to finds synonyms from the global and case thesauruses for the search term you specify. The global thesaurus and case thesaurus include lists of terms that have been defined as having the same meaning. You cannot add new terms to the global thesaurus, but you can add terms to the case thesaurus so you do not miss those references in a transcript search. This is especially helpful if you have a case with many similar terms mentioned that may mean the same thing.


Example: LIKE water

A search like this may return results for irrigation and wet.


Example: LIKE aspirin

For a case involving the pain reliever aspirin, you may want to add the terms: Advil®, Bayer®, ibuprofen, and Tylenol®.


Example: LIKE mold

For a case involving mold, you may want to add the types of mold strains, such as Stachybotrys, Penicillium, and Aspergillus.


For more information, see Adding terms to the case thesaurus.

hmtoggle_plus1Learn about advanced searches and operator precedence

Advanced queries can combine multiple operators and search terms. TextMap uses a hierarchy to evaluate search queries and return results in a specific order. When you combine search queries, you can use parentheses to enforce operator precedence. Searches within parentheses are evaluated before they are combined with other search operators. Parentheses have the highest precedence.

TextMap searches terms in a query in the following operator precedence.

Operator order of precedence:

Wildcard characters


Example: mold AND carpet OR drywall

In this query, "carpet OR drywall" has search precedence over "mold AND".

The same would be true if the query were reversed: "carpet OR drywall AND mold". Both queries return the same results.


Example: mold BEFORE carpet NEAR drywall

Search queries that have operators at the same precedence level are processed from left to right. In the example query, "mold BEFORE carpet" is processed first, then "NEAR drywall".

The query can be reversed by using parentheses to override the operator precedence.


Example: mold BEFORE (carpet NEAR drywall)

In this query, the search term and operator within the parentheses (carpet NEAR drywall) is processed first, regardless of the left-to-right precedence.

hmtoggle_plus1Use parentheses to enforce operator precedence

When formulating search queries with more than one search operator, we recommend you use parentheses. By using parenthesis, you can force TextMap to search the terms you type within the parentheses first, regardless of operator precedence. This allows you flexibility in formulating your own searches and garnering stronger results.


Example:  mold NEAR25 (seminar* OR train*)

This query returns results where "mold" appears in a transcript within 25 words of "seminar", "seminars", or "training".

The OR operator carries precedence because the search results do not return instances where "mold" may appear in a transcript within a range of 50 words of "seminar", "seminars", or "training".

Complex queries are advanced queries that contain two or more operators and multiple search terms. Using parentheses helps to offset search terms so you can read your queries easier.


Example: valve OR main NEAR25 crew OR LIKE employees

This query returns results for "valve" or "main" first. Then TextMap finds these terms within a range of 25 words of "crew" or synonyms of "employees". You can adjust the range of words by moving the Nearness indicator in the Full Text Query tab or simply changing the number value typed with the NEAR operator.

Because of operator precedence, this query is also the equivalent of: (valve OR main) NEAR25 (crew or LIKE employees).


Example: LIKE water NEAR50 valve* OR main

This query finds "water" or synonyms of water within a range of 50 words of "valve", "valves", or "main".

Because of operator precedence, this query is also the equivalent of: (LIKE car) NEAR50 (valve* OR main)



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