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March 19, 2018, 01:11:09 AM *
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While SMF naturally incorporates a powerful search engine, knowing how to use it is not surprisingly the key to returning successful results!

  1. Starting a Search
  2. Syntax
    1. Quote Marks
  3. Simple or Advanced?
    1. Simple Search
    2. Advanced Search

Starting a Search

Assuming the forum is running the SMF default theme (or a derivative of it), there should be both a simple Search field (partnered by an Advanced search text link) in the collapsible top section and a Search option in the main menu. If not, the main menu Search option should still lead straight to the advanced search screen.


While you can just type (and search for) any combination of characters, you should consider using quotes to make your search really work for you:

Quote Marks

To put this in a nutshell, searching for simple machines forum will return any or all of these three words, but enclosing the search string in double quote marks (ie "simple machines forum") will return only the entire phrase.

Simple or Advanced?

Simple Search

To use the simple search (if enabled), the basic syntax outlined above is all you really need to know. But you might also like to know that this tool searches the entire forum for any or all of what you specify that's been posted during the last 9999 days (which is more than 27 years)! So, to take more control of your search, you should use the advanced search feature.

Advanced Search

Although the advanced search screen might initially seem a little intimidating if a forum has many boards and child boards, it's surprisingly straightforward when reduced to its basic components:

+  Forum Name
|- +  Search
Set Search Parameters
Search for:   by user:
Options: Message age:

Between and days.
Search order:

Choose a board to search in, or search all:

Category name

  • Some forums show the navigation tree at the top in a space-saving horizontal mode.
  • Despite initial appearances, there are really three options for how to search, with Match all words and Match any words being available from the drop-down, and "Match as phrase" still being available as described above.
  • The default * in the by user field is essentially a wildcard matching any poster. Please note that, while you can replace this with any single username for a more specific search, it's not currently possible to search for posts by multiple users except as that single wildcard.
  • Show results as messages returns the full message containing the search string (with a reply option) instead of the usual linked excerpt, but will naturally result in much larger results pages which might be significant if you are searching for a popular word or phrase.
  • Message age sets the minimum and maximum ages of posts to search.
  • Choose a board to search in provides you with another tool to narrow the scope of the search, with the default being 'all' (the whole forum or, more properly, all the boards to which you have read access).
  • The Search button not surprisingly sets the whole thing in motion, but hitting 'Enter' direct from any of the search fields is sometimes more convenient.
March 12, 2018, 02:21:06 AM
Fox: say*
March 12, 2018, 02:20:53 AM
Fox: I saw we need an event this April Fools/Easter... because two holidays are in one, why would we not want to miss having something special? (Unfortunately, there's no one here to make an event be successful.)
March 12, 2018, 02:18:17 AM
Fox: And since that's the case...  I have thought of another fun experiment idea. - What if we had an auction on who should run this site, and waited for 10 people to bid and also for a bare minimum of 24 hours. Who would bid the highest, and how much would that bid be? - The idea is more for lulz (Maybe for April Fools?), and a theory to get an idea of how much the site might be worth as well.
March 11, 2018, 03:02:31 AM
Fox: Creepy, isn't it?
March 10, 2018, 02:19:04 AM
Fox: It's frog legs now.. It's something that's dead, but somehow still manages to wiggle.
March 09, 2018, 04:12:17 AM
JamietheFlameUser: I think this place is still dead.
March 02, 2018, 09:43:18 AM
Pkmn-Master: Lol I haven't been here in like 6 years. How is everyone?
February 26, 2018, 06:15:34 AM
Salanewt: Heads up: I finally finished the Wisp animation hack, and it has been posted in the downloads section.
February 19, 2018, 09:50:20 PM
KyleRunner: "difficult thing about the army": I'm very good at taking orders, so I don't have issues with autority or discipline. The most difficult thing is to be away from my family sometimes. I lived an entire year away from my son, so I'd say that was the most hard part by far. Now it's great!
February 19, 2018, 05:51:35 AM
Fox: I'm happy to see we have plenty of people serving the country here. :)
February 19, 2018, 05:47:15 AM
Fox: Civilian here.
February 19, 2018, 03:05:38 AM
Majora: Good for you, something to be proud of. Air Force, here
February 19, 2018, 02:11:31 AM
Fox: That's good to hear... just checking if there were any possibility of doubt. What would you say was your most difficult thing about the army?
February 18, 2018, 12:39:38 PM
KyleRunner: Well, it was a destiny kinda thing, but I was very happy when I decided to join. It was just like I thought it would be (not in the beginning, though). I'm very pleased with my decision.
February 17, 2018, 11:32:41 PM
Fox: That's awesome!  Trying to figure what question I want to ask Something about how you felt when you made the decision to do the army, and whether it was different than your expectations/etc.
February 17, 2018, 01:53:41 PM
KyleRunner: Wow... My english got rusty. Anyway... I'm in the army now. My life turned 180. But I think it was for the best.
February 16, 2018, 12:45:45 AM
Fox: Hm? So where does that make you today?
February 16, 2018, 12:06:38 AM
KyleRunner: Five years ago I could not even imagine where I am today. I hope it works well for you too!
February 12, 2018, 07:22:50 PM
Fox: 2018 - The year that I will probably be working a manufacturing job. xP What would I have thought, if I told myself this five years ago. Eh?
January 28, 2018, 08:35:28 PM
Fox: You referring to changing the PC/leader sprite to someone else? - I forgot to mention that you can do this using VBA's memory viewer. (Found under Tools.)

Temple of Kraden Golden Sunrise
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