Selects documents by matching the word or phrase you specify with values stored in a specific document field. Documents are selected only if the search elements specified appear in the same sequential and contiguous order in the field value.

When you use the CONTAINS operator, you specify the field name to search, and the word or phrase to search for.

With the CONTAINS operator, the words stored in a document field are interpreted as individual, sequential units. You can specify one or more of these units as search criteria. To specify multiple words, each word must be sequential and contiguous, and must be separated by a blank space.

For example, the following title contains four sequential words:

Last Exit to Brooklyn
  1. Last
  2. Exit
  3. to
  4. Brooklyn

The following examples demonstrate how you can use the CONTAINS operator with sequential, contiguous words to match the document title listed above, assuming it is stored in a title field:

TITLE <CONTAINS> to Brooklyn

The following examples show how you can use a question mark (?) to represent individual variable characters of a word, and an asterisk (*) to match multiple variable characters of a word:


Question marks and asterisks can be used to represent characters that are part of a word but not white space that appears between words.

The CONTAINS operator does not recognize non-alphanumeric characters. The CONTAINS operator interprets non-alphanumeric characters as spaces and treats the separated parts as individual units.

For example, if you have defined a dash (-) as a valid character, and you enter search criteria that include this character, as in "on-line", this results in two individual units, as follows: