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Windows on the Web
Suppose you want to search the Web for information on the Kentucky Derby. You type Kentucky Derby, click on Submit and end up with 10,000 hits for sites about hats, the state of Kentucky and maybe even a link to a famous fried chicken purveyor's home page.
When you type several words for a search, most Web search engines deal with each word separately, so any site containing at least one of the words in its index entry will appear in the results list. Putting a plus sign (+) between the words limits your search to sites that include all the words. Enclose the words in quotation marks, and the search engine treats it as a phrase and looks for an exact match. Alta Vista's search help suggests using the asterisk (*) wildcard to search on all variations of a word (for instance, use rock* to find rock, rocks, rocket and so forth). With Lycos, put a period (.) after a search word and it will find only exact matches-no variations. Most search engines also let you restrict a search to certain portions of a page. For example, with Infoseek you can type a field name like title, link, site or url, followed by a colon and the search text.
Whichever search engine you use, look at its help page for instructions and tips.