Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

The Basic Search

To enter a query, type in a few descriptive words and press the Enter key or click the Search Website button for a list of relevant results. Our search uses text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search.

Your Results

Every search result lists one or more excerpts from the web page to display how your search terms are used in context on that page. In the excerpt, your search terms are displayed in bold text so that you can quickly determine if that result is from a page you want to visit.

Sometimes a "Did you mean" appears. What does it mean?
A single spelling suggestion is returned with the results for searches where the spell checker has detected a possible spelling mistake.
Sometimes a "You could also try" appears. What does it mean?
Our search may be able to provide an alternative to the words that you are searching for. Perhaps you are searching for the word "snow closure", but we know that important pages are listed under the phrase "college closure". Clicking on the link is a good bet!

Refining Your Search

By default, our search only returns pages that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include "and" between terms. For example, to search for "electrical" and "engineering" enter "electrical engineering". To broaden or restrict the search, include fewer or more terms.

"OR" Searches

The search supports the logical "OR" operator. To retrieve pages that include either word A or word B, use an uppercase "OR" between terms. For example, to search for an office in either "electrical" or "engineering", enter:

Excluding Words

You can exclude a word from your search by putting a minus sign ("-") immediately in front of the term you want to exclude. Make sure you include a space before the minus sign.

will return pages about engineering that do not contain the word "electrical."

Phrase Searches

You can search for phrases by adding quotation marks. Words enclosed in double quotes ("like this") appear together in all returned documents. Phrase searches using quotation marks are useful when searching for famous sayings or specific names.

Certain characters serve as phrase connectors. Phrase connectors work like quotes because they join your search words in the same way double quotes join your search words. For example, the search:

is treated as a phrase search even though the search words are not enclosed in double quotes. Our search recognizes hyphens, slashes, periods, equal signs, and apostrophes as phrase connectors.

Restricted Searches

You may also narrow searches by restricting queries in certain ways.

Restrict Type Query Syntax Example
to specific directories site: site:www.pcc.edu/about/
to specific file types like PDF, docs, etc. filetype: filetype:pdf
to search only the page title allintitle: intitle: intitle:closure
to search only the url allinurl: inurl: inurl:about