Anchored searches

Two characters are used to specify that a search hit should occur at the beginning or at the end of the text. ^ at the beginning of a term or phrase constrains the search to happen at the start, $ at the end force it to happen at the end.

As this function is implemented as a phrase search it is possible to specify a maximum distance at which the hit should occur, either through the controls of the advanced search panel, or using the query language, for example, as in:


which would force someterm to be found within 10 terms of the start of the text. This can be combined with a field search as in somefield:"^someterm"o10 or somefield:someterm$.

This feature can also be used with an actual phrase search, but in this case, the distance applies to the whole phrase and anchor, so that, for example, bla bla my unexpected term at the beginning of the text would be a match for "^my term"o5.

Anchored searches can be very useful for searches inside somewhat structured documents like scientific articles, in case explicit metadata has not been supplied (a most frequent case), for example for looking for matches inside the abstract or the list of authors (which occur at the top of the document).