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This file from another list explains searching quite well.
Just switch the word Celiac with your list's name.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 08:29:22 -0500
From: "L-Soft list server at St. John's University (1.8d)"
Subject: File: "CELIAC DBSEARCH"

How to Search the Celiac or Cel-Kids logfiles

Here's a brief tutorial on how to search the logfiles and retrieve information. To get a complete explanation, send a message to


The database name "Celiac is used in these general examples. To search in Cel-Kids, just replace "Celiac" with "Cel-Kids" for both databases replace it with "Celiac Cel-Kids" without the quotation marks.

For those interested in performing multiple searches, the speed of your searches will increase, and the impact upon St Johns, our host, is reduced if you instead request copies of the logfiles. Then a search on these text files can be easily performed with the copies on your computer's hard drive. You can easily add new logfiles to update your own permanent collection. Information on obtaining copies of the files is in the WELCOME letter under the GET command or in the reference the file CMDS.

Table of Contents

1. Syntax of the commands
2. Sample database job
3. Commands for limiting the search
    A. Search operators
    B. Limiting by date
    C. Limiting to a sender
    D. Limiting by subject
    E. Limiting by record
4. Changes in searches from Listserve 1.8b to 1.8c

1. Syntax of the commands
SEArch listname word1 <word2 <...>> Search list archives

     or: word1 <word2 <...>> IN listname
     FROM date1 -> From this date
     TODAY -> From today
     TODAY-7 -> In the last 7 days
     TO date2 -> To this date
     SUBJECT CONTAINS xxxx -> Only this subject
     SENDER CONTAINS xxxx -> Only this author
     Complex boolean operations are
     supported, see database guide

If the command string is longer than a single Line, multiple lines are indicated by adding // as the first two characters of the search command.

//SEArch listname word1
  where subject contains milk
2. Sample database job
First, we are going to construct search for all messages that have the term "gluten-free" in them, and report which messages have this search term. To do so, we create an e-mail message with the following information in it, and we send it to

search celiac gluten-free

This is the output that is returned:

>search celiac gluten-free
-> 5 matches.

Item # Date Time Recs Subject
------ ---- ---- ---- -------
008891 96/11/03 22:40 30 Re: The Case for Local Support
009946 97/01/26 09:40 26 Diabetes/Celiac information
009970 97/01/27 21:27 27 Gluten-Free Prescriptions
009987 97/01/29 07:40 41 Gluten-Free Passover Foods
010041 97/02/01 18:39 79 glucosamine response 1

To order a copy of these postings, send the following command:

GETPOST CELIAC 8891 9946 9970 9987 10041

>>> Item #8891 (3 Nov 1996 22:40) - Re: The Case for Local Support indignities suffered by old Celiacs in institutions that put no credence in "Gluten-free Living". I would rather go the Dr. Kevorkian route than be put
in a nursing home under present standards.

>>> Item #9946 (26 Jan 1997 09:40) - Diabetes/Celiac information For those who are dealing with both diabetes and celiac disease, you may be interested in the recent article in GLUTEN-FREE LIIVING newsletter      ^^^^^^^^^^^ about this topic, written by Kemp Randolph (on this List). The editor is Ann Whelan. Memberships are $29 for 6 issues for 1 year. Mail checks to Gluten-Free Living, P.O. Box 105, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706.

    The remaining output is omitted

(1). The search line is use to select what is retrieve. When an exact term is not required, the * can be used as a wild card to obtain all messages. Therefore, the search should be limited by date or sender to restrict the output. The first 100 matches are returned. To obtain additional matches, a date range should be used to advance the starting point of the next search.

(2). The search routine automatically returns an index of the messages and the surrounding text of the term.

(3). From a system resource standpoint, it is more efficient to limit the search to a string of words as opposed to words that are near each other. This is accomplished by putting the search terms in single quotes.

(4). If the alternate form of the search command (search X in celiac) is use, quotes must be placed around the search term "X".

(5). Double quotes are required when case is a criteria for limiting the search to a desired use of the term.

(6). Including a space with the search term in quotes may be use to limit the letters at the begining or end of a word.

3. Commands for limiting the search

3.A. Search operators

(1). The Boolean "AND" operator is implicit:

     Search Celiac Xanthan Guar

(2). You can also make the "AND" operator explicit:

     Search Celiac Xanthan AND Guar

(3). The Boolean "OR" operator is explicit:

     Search Celiac Xanthan OR Guar

(4). The Boolean "NOT" operator is also explicit:

     Search Celiac Xanthan NOT Guar

(5). Terms can be nested:

     Search Celiac (Xanthan OR Guar) AND Gums

You may use parentheses, if there is there is a series of acceptable terms. In this case we are looking for two items. Messages with the words "xanthan gums" or "guar gums" but not "xanthan" or "guar" by itself.

The use of (Xanthan AND Guar) would only gives messages with both terms and the word "gums".

(6). Words that are close to each other can be found with the "NEAR" operator. Since it is the default, it does not need to be spelled out.

     Search Celiac Mike Jones

3.B. Limiting by date

You can also limit database searches by date. Only the internation form
os dates is used: YYYY-MM-DD or YY-MM-DD.

(1). The first technique is to search for records in a date range. Note how the dates are constructed. For Jan 01, 1995 through April 30, 1995.

    Search Celiac Xanthan from 95/01/01 to 95/04/30

(2). Another technique is to request messages since a specified date. Here is a sample search:

    Search Celiac Xanthan since 95/01/01

(3). The asterisk character can be used to retrieve all messages in a date range:

    Search Celiac * from 95/04/01 to 95/04/30

(4). To search the last seven days, use the operator (TODAY-7)

    Search Celiac * from TODAY-7

(5). For posts today use the operator (TODAY)

    Search Celiac * from TODAY

3.D. Limiting to a sender

You can restrict your search to messages from a particular sender, if you know a key part of the sender's e-mail address. For example, if you want a list of all the messages that I have sent, you could send the following:

    Search Celiac * where sender contains mjones

3.E. Limiting by subject

If you just want to see a messages with "admin" or "listowner" in the
subject header, you could send the following

    Search Celiac * where subject contains (admin or listowner)

3.F. Limiting by record

If you desire to start a search after a certain record number, the database name is changed to Celiac.nnn. Where nnn is used to denote the last record processed. This is helpful when a job executes and stops because a limit is exceeded. Also, where jobs are repeated on a routine basis to find updates to a previous discussion. This limit is very similar to the use of the GETPOST command.

    Search Celiac.nnn * where subject contains (admin or listowner)

4. Commands flows onto a second line

When a search routine is longer than 80 columns, the hyphen is used to denote a continuation on multiple lines

    Search * in Celiac -
     where sender contains mjones

5. Changes in searches from Listserve 1.8b to 1.8c

The requirement to use the job control cards around the search command is no longer required with version 1.8c. This new search command will automatically return an index of the applicable messages and the contents of each message.