Definition[edit | edit source]

Full-text search refers to a technique for searching a computer-stored document or database.

Overview[edit | edit source]

In a full-text search, the search engine examines all of the words in every stored document as it tries to match search words supplied by the user. Full-text searching techniques became common in online bibliographic databases in the 1970s. Many websites and application programs (such as word-processing software) provide full-text search capabilities. Some web search engines such as AltaVista employ full-text search techniques while others search engines index only a portion of the web pages examined by its indexing software.


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