Using Wildcards

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Wildcard searches are similar to truncation searches. However, in wildcard searches the symbol is inserted within a word and used as a substitute for a letter (or letters) within a word.

This search technique helps us find items containing words that have some letters in common, but not all the letters (e.g., color and colour, advertise and advertize). Wildcard searches also help us locate items when we are not sure how to spell a word (e.g., Carlson and Carlsen). In addition, they help us locate items when different forms of words are created by internal changes (e.g., woman and women, man and men).

Wildcards broaden our searches, increase the number of items retrieved, and help us locate items we might miss due to how words are spelled.

NOTE: The symbol used to create wildcard searches varies quite. Also, some search tools have wildcard search symbols that will substitute for multiple letters. Therefore, reading the search help files in the tool you're using would be a good strategy before investing too much time in searching with wildcards.

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