Searching for Pages
Searching is a powerful tool that let's you find pages on a specific topic. There is a search bar located at the left of every screen where you would enter your search criteria.
Basic Search Tips
Avoid short and common words This is the most likely cause of an unexpected failed search. If your search terms include a common "stop word" (such as "the", "one", "your", "more", "right", "while", "when", "who", "which", "such", "every", "about", "onto"), then your search will fail without any results. Short numbers, and words that appear in half of all pages, will also not be found. In this case, drop those words and rerun the search.
Words with special characters In a search for a word with a diaeresis, such as Sint Odiliënberg, it depends whether this ë is stored as one character or as "ë". In the first case one can simply search for Odilienberg (or Odiliënberg); in the second case it can only be found by searching for Odili, euml and/or nberg.
Phrase Search for a phrase by enclosing it in double quotation marks.
Wildcard You can use a wildcard *, at the end of a search term only. To search for pages with the words "boat" or "boats" search like this: "boat*". You cannot use "*boat" to find Riverboat, etc.
Namespaces searched The search only applies to the namespaces selected in the preferences. To search the other namespaces check or uncheck the tickboxes in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page. Depending on the browser, a box may still be checked from a previous search, but may no longer be effective. To be sure the box is in effect, uncheck and recheck it.
Searching the image namespace means searching the image descriptions, i.e. the first parts of the image pages. For searching the titles, use Special:Imagelist.
The wikitext is searched The wikitext (source text, what one sees in the edit box) is searched. This distinction is relevant for piped links, for interlanguage links, special characters (if ê is coded as ê it is found searching for ecirc), etc.