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Reveal Review Publication

Boolean Connectors, Wildcards, Proximity and Fuzzy Searches

Connectors are logical operators which facilitate searching of multiple terms in relation to each other. Boolean expressions are true or false depending on whether the relationship between the search terms exists within the document or data.

The Wildcard is an additional search technique that can be used to maximize your search results. Wildcards are used in search terms to represent one or more other characters and to expand the collection of documents returned in a search.

In addition to wildcards, there is an option search for words in Proximity to other words, which returns only documents that are near the other word.

Finally, Fuzzy searches allow you to accommodate for misspelled words or OCR inadequacies that may have flipped letters or incorrectly translated a a word from a poor image.


There will be differences in expressions depending upon the Query Syntax selected under User Settings - General. We note below syntax that is specific to Standard (based upon dtSearch) or Elastic (based upon Lucene) query syntax.


Allow you to combine or connect search criteria, and also exclude certain search criteria.

  • AND returns all documents or records where all connected terms specified in the expression are found.

  • OR returns all documents or records where any connected term specified in the expression is found.

  • NOT returns all documents or records where one connected term in the expression is found to the exclusion of the other.

  • Elastic syntax notes:

    • + or - to indicate AND or NOT.

    • AND, OR and NOT (also written &&, || and !) are also supported.

    • NOT takes precedence over AND, which takes precedence over OR.

    • Examples:

      • apple AND pie to find apple pie or "pie using apple and walnuts" (not order-specific).

      • apple OR pie to find any document containing apple, documents containing pie, or any containing apple pie.

      • apple NOT pie to find documents about apple trees or the song "Scrapple From The Apple" that do not reference pie.

    • Phrases require surrounding quotes ("). If quotes (") are not used, OR will be implied between the words. Example:

      • "apple pie" - finds documents containing the complete phrase "apple pie".

      • apple pie - finds documents containing the words apple or pie.

  • The * wildcard can be used to replace zero or more characters in a search, and find stems of the word.

  • The ? wildcard can be used to replace an individual character in a word.

  • The ~ wildcard is used to specify a stemming search when set after a word root in Standard search syntax. The tilde acts as a Fuzzy or Proximity operator under Elastic search syntax (see below), so if set at the end of a word will turn up variants of up to one character for the specified term (so term~ is interpreted as the equivalent of term~1).

  • The ! wildcard is not supported in the Standard search but may be used when searching with Lexis Nexis syntax.


    While leading * or ? wildcards in a search term are not recommended in Standard query syntax because of their impact on performance, search terms beginning with a wildcard are specifically not permitted under Elastic search.


  • qu?ck bro* to find quick brochure, quack broth.

  • Sn?der to find Snyder and Snider.

  • Bett* to find Betty, Bettie, Bettey, Bette (but will also find better and other words that stem from Bett).

  • book~ to find books, bookends, bookstores in Standard query syntax; or book, books, cook in Elastic query syntax.


Allows you to search for a set of words or a phrase within a certain number of words. Be sure to put the words to be searched inside of quotation marks, then when using Reveal Elastic query syntax a tilde immediately followed by the number of words you'd like to search. Reveal Elastic query syntax does not support using the Standard query syntax (dtSearch-based) w/ as a proximity indicator.

Elastic Examples:

  • "fox quick"~5 finds fox within 5 words of quick.

  • “Staci Otto”~2 finds Staci Otto, Staci Noreen Otto or Staci N. Otto (where punctuation is treated as a word).

  • "Agreement Letter"~2 finds Agreement within two words of letter.

Standard Examples:

  • fox w/5 quick finds fox within 5 words of quick.

  • Staci w/2 Otto finds Staci Otto, Staci Noreen Otto or Staci N. Otto (where punctuation is treated as a word).

  • Agreement w/2 Letter finds agreement letter, letter of agreement (not order specific).


You can search for terms that are similar to, but not exactly like our search terms. Takes into account common misspellings or typos and inaccurate OCR translations. Enter the text combined with a proximity search number to indicate how many letters you'd like to search.

For Elastic syntax the fuzziness character is ~ at the end of a term, optionally followed by a number expressing how many characters may be changed in the search.

Elastic Examples: quic~ (or quik~1) brwn~ foks~2 could be quick brown fox or quick brown foxes or quick bran folks.

For Standard syntax the fuzziness character is one or more % in a term, the number of percent signed used expressing how many characters may be changed in the search.

Standard Examples: qui%k% bro%% fo%%s could be quick brown foxes or quirky broad folks.


Multiple terms or clauses can be grouped together with parentheses, to form sub-queries: (quick OR brown) AND fox. This is particularly important in specifying the logic of expressions combining different connectors.