The Return results containing pull-down menu in the Search PDF window contains a Boolean query menu option for searching with Boolean expressions. Boolean expressions include AND, OR, and NOT. Acrobat recognizes these Boolean operators when you invoke a search.
You can use all the previously listed criteria when you want to use the Boolean expressions option. To search with Boolean expressions you need to search an index file. Boolean operators are not recognized when searching the current open document or when browsing folders.
- AND operator. Use AND between two words to find documents that contain both terms, in any order. For example, type Paris AND France to identify documents that contain both Paris and France. Searches with AND and no other Boolean operators produce the same results as selecting the All Of The Words option.
- OR operator. Use to search for all instances of either term. For example, type email OR e-mail to find all documents with occurrences of either spelling. Searches with OR and no other Boolean operators produce the same results as selecting the Any Of The Words option.
- ^ (exclusive OR). Use to search for all instances that have either term but not both. For example, type cat ^ dog to find all documents with occurrences of either cat or dog but not both cat and dog.
- (). Use parentheses to specify the order of evaluation of terms. For example, type white AND (whale OR Ahab) to find all documents that contain either white and whale or white and Ahab. (The query processor performs an OR query on whale and Ahab and then performs an AND query on those results with white.
- NOT operator. Use before a search term to exclude any documents that contain that term. For example, type NOT Kentucky to find all documents that don’t contain the word Kentucky. Or, type Paris NOT Kentucky to find all documents that contain the word Paris but not the word Kentucky.
- Multiple words. Words appearing together such as “Acrobat PDF” can be included in quotes. You would supply “Acrobat PDF” in the field box (include the quotes) and all instances where these two words appear together are reported in the search results.
If the words are not contained within quotes, the words “Acrobat,” “PDF,” and “Acrobat PDF” would all be returned in the search results. This behavior is similar to how you perform searches in Web browsers.
- Searching and, or, not. If you want to search for a term where these three words are part of the term, you can by distinguishing between words you search for and using operators. To search for something like “Ben and Jerry’s” as a term, you would type “Ben and Jerry’s” within quote marks.
If you want to search for two terms and a Boolean operator you might use “Ben and Jerry’s” AND “Ice Cream” NOT yogurt. The results report back to you the documents where the words “Ben and Jerry’s” and “ice cream” are contained in the files and the words “Ben and Jerry’s yogurt” are not reported in the search results.