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Advanced Search Techniques: Wildcards & Masking


Masking and Wildcard Symbols

Wildcard symbols are used for masking a string of characters in your search term. Masking is useful when a word has different spellings, is hyphenated, if you are uncertain about the spelling, and for capturing plurals or specific endings.


humo#r = humor, humour

Use # for alternative spellings within a word


birth! = birth, births BUT NOT birthdays, birthing

Use ! for one character


facilit!!! = facility, facilities BUT NOT facilitation

Use one ! per character


These symbols can be used in MN-CAT Plus as well as many of the article databases at the U. Some databases assign a different symbol so be sure to check each database as you search.

Click here to go to MN-CAT Plus and try out these search techniques.