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Manitoba's Mineral Resources

How to Search Online

General Searching Tips
   Finding words and phrases
   Finding a date
   Range searches
   Reset button/Submit query button
   Displaying records after a search
   Troubleshooting: searches
Search Tips for the Bibliography of Manitoba Geology
Search Tips for the Mineral Resources Library Catalog
Search Tips for the Mineral Inventory Cards
Search Tips for Multiple Databases

General Searching Tips

It's easy to find the information you want!

  1. Type words that must appear in the fields(s) being searched or click a Browse button. If you fill in more than one box, results must meet all criteria.
  2. Click Submit Query.
  3. Records meeting your criteria are displayed as a report.
  4. To change the way records appear, select a form from the drop-downlist.

Finding words and phrases

Type the word(s) you want to find (computer software database). Additional options:

To find Type Example
variations of a word (computer, computing, computation) the beginning of the word followed by * comput*
words together, in order a phrase within quotes "computer software"
either word (or both) OR between the words computer OR software
both words, anywhere the words separated by a space computer software
one word but not another word space-hyphen immediately before the word to exclude computer -software
words near each other
(within a specified number of words)
wN between the words,
where N is the number of words
computer w5 software
words near each other in order
(preceding within a specified number of words)
pN between the words,
where N is the number of words
computer p5 software

Words joined by & / ! are evaluated in left-to-right order: red & white / blue finds items that are red and white, or items that are blue. Use parentheses to control evaluation order: red & (white / blue) finds items that are red and white or red and blue.

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Finding a date

Type a full or partial date in any acceptable format. See some examples below. If there are spaces or slashes within the date, enclose it in quotes.

"Dec 31, 2006"
"December 2006"

Range searches

To find all dates or numbers within a specified range, separate the dates or numbers with a colon (no spaces). If partial dates are used, the range includes all dates from the beginning of the first date to the end of the second. Examples:

1997:1998 returns all dates from Jan. 1, 1997 through Dec. 31, 1998 (inclusive)
"March 2005":"April 2005" returns all dates from March 1, 2005 through April 30, 2005 (inclusive)

Note that the second example above will not work in a query box that also searches text fields, because the first term, while chronologically before the second, is alphabetically AFTER the second, and will trigger an error. In this situation, use a numeric date format with the year appearing first, for example:


More examples

Symbol   Meaning Example
< less than (before) < 1998 finds dates before January 1, 1998
<= less than or equal to <= 6-15-98 finds dates on or before June 15, 1998
> greater than (after) > > 1998 finds dates after December 31, 1997
>=  greater than or equal to >= 500 finds values greater than or equal to 500
: between 1997 : 1998 finds dates from Jan. 1, 1997 through Dec. 31, 1998 (inclusive)
200 : 300 finds values between 200 and 300 (inclusive)

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Reset button

To clear query criteria, click the Reset button on the search screen.

Submit query button

To start your search, click the Submit Query button.

Displaying records after a search

A successful search finds one or more records, which are displayed in your Web browser as a report. Use the browser controls as you normally would, to browse, print, go back, and so forth. You can also:

  • Change the report's appearance. Select a form from the drop-down list on the page.
  • Jump to other locations. Click links on the report to display more detail or jump to other pages (for example, Add to Order to purchase a publication).
  • Display additional pages. Click the Next and Previous buttons on the report page.

Troubleshooting: Searches

If you are having trouble with a search, some of the most common problems are listed below. If you do not find an answer to your problem here, see WEB_MSG.HTM, which lists error messages in alphabetical order.

You see a message "Unable to recognize as a correctly formed query."

The program cannot understand the search criteria. Possible problems include:

  • Typographical errors
  • Mismatched quotes or parentheses
  • Misuse of significant punctuation, such as " - " before a word to exclude instead of " -" (note the extra space in the first example), or spaces around the colon in a range search

If you cannot determine what caused the error, try a simpler search (for example, just a few words in a box) to see if it works. If even simple searches do not work, contact the Webmaster for the site.

You see a message like "Range operation is incorrect because 'may-2006' is not less than 'jun-2006'. "

A range search is performed between two terms separated by a colon. If you are not attempting to do a range search, omit the colon or surround the term with quotes. Example:


This message may also appear if you entered a date range search in a box that also searches text fields, and while the first date may precede the second chronologically, it does not precede it alphabetically. Use a numeric format instead. Examples:



What to Do
Dialog Controls


A Choices Browser dialog box appears when you click a Browse button on a search screen.

The Choices Browser dialog box shows indexed information that you can search for. To do a search, paste an item from the dialog box onto the search form, then submit the query. This eliminates trial-and-error searching and makes searching easier. The Browser uses Index Streaming™ technology to download only the part of the index you are browsing, to minimize load on the server.

NOTE: The Browser requires Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6.0 or later.

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What To Do

  1. To make the Browser dialog box display words or terms (complete entries), use the Words List or Terms List control at the bottom of the dialog box.
  2. Select a word or term from the list:
    If scroll bars do not appear, click in the list and use the keyboard keys to navigate.
    Type one or more characters in the Find box and click Go To to move to that item or the nearest match in the list.
  3. Click Paste to paste the word or term onto the search form.
  4. [optional] Paste additional items, in which case an "OR" search will be done (cat / dog).
  5. Click the Submit Query button on the search form.

Dialog Controls

Each part of the Browser dialog box is explained below.


Type one or more characters then click the Go To button to move to that item (or to the closest matching item) in the Choices List.

Choices List

The Choices List consists of two columns, Hits and Keys. The Keys list shows indexed information that you can search for. You see words or terms, depending on which option is selected at the bottom of the dialog box. The Hits list indicates the number of records that contain that word or term in the field you are searching (see the "Field" list at the bottom of the dialog box).

Words List / Terms List

A term is a complete entry, such as the title of a document. If a field has both types of indexes, you can switch between them by selecting Words List or Terms List. For example, the Terms List for a Title field shows the complete title of each document ("New Marketing Survey"), while the Words List shows each word individually. This means you can search for either a single word (just "marketing") or a complete term.


The Field list shows which field's index you are viewing. This is useful when a box searches more than one field. For example, a box labeled "Any word or phrase" could search several different fields. Select a different field from the list to see information stored in that field. You can paste criteria from any field listed, to search for the pasted item(s).


Click Paste to paste the selected item from the Choices List into a box on the search form. You can paste more than one item (one at a time). A Boolean "OR" symbol is added between items that you paste. For example, if you paste "sales" and "marketing" the search form will contain sales / marketing. When you submit the query, you will find documents that contain either the word sales OR the word marketing (or both). Before submitting the query, you can change the Boolean symbol to & (which represents AND) or ! (which represents NOT).


The Browser buttons on a search form don't appear or don't work.

Browser buttons are an option that the administrator may have included on a search form. They provide access to a dialog box that allows you to browse indexes. To display Browser buttons and run the Choices Browser, you need Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6.0 or later.

The Choices Browser dialog box is empty.

Try selecting a different field from the "Field" droplist in the Choices Browser dialog box. If the droplist does not contain any other fields, the textbase may be inaccessible, missing, or damaged, contact Another possibility is that your web browser does not support the requirements listed above. Obtain a newer version of the browser.

To verify that the problem is with the Choices Browser itself (and not with the search screen), do a simple search in the same search box. If the search does not work, then the problem is not specifically with the Choices Browser.

Choices Browser technology supplied by Inmagic, Inc. Java and all Java-based trademarks and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.

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Searching Tips for the Bibliography of Manitoba Geology

type individual terms or phrases in keywood to find title, author, report/map no. (i.e. 77-2 or 1978PIL-1)
type 52m* (in NTS box)  to find all quadrants of 52M
use browser to find specific author, NTS area, title
type * in publication sales box to limit search to materials published by Manitoba, Innovation, Energy and Mines, Manitoba Geological Survey
click here for advanced query screen for additional field search choices to limit search

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Searching Tips for the Mineral Resources Library Catalogue

Type this… To find…
economic geology a phrase (those words, in that order)
geochemical / geophysical either word (or both)
geochemical & geophysical items that contain both words (items that contain just one of the words will be ignored)
economic geology ! cu-zn “economic geology” but not “Cu-Zn”
massive p5 sulphide* “massive” preceding “sulphide” by 5 words or fewer. You can include an asterisk at the end of either word. Do not string together phrases (clinton w5 white house).
volcanic w5 deposit* “volcanic” within 5 words of “deposit*” (before or after). Do not include phrases.

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Searching Tips for the Mineral Inventory Cards

Type this… To find…
53e NTS area 53E including all quandrants (i.e. 53E/5, 53E/10)
53e!53e/5 NTS area 53E, all quadrants excluding 53E/5
nts p5 53e cards featuring NTS area 53E
product p5 gold cards featuring gold as the commodity
bissett p5 mines “Bissett” preceding “mines” by 5 words or fewer (e.g. Bissett Gold Mines Limited). Do not string together phrases (bissett w5 gold mines).

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Search Tips for Multiple Databases

Type the word, phrase and/or NTS area you want to find in the appropriate box. The search will be queried across the three databases. There may be zero results for one or more database, or multiple results in others. If you wish to narrow your search, you may wish to go to the specific database query screen. To find variations of word stems, type an asterisk at the end of one or more words (comput* tech*). Use the symbols & / ! between words or phrases to represent Boolean AND, OR, NOT. Include a space before and after the symbol. Use the proximity operators w# (within) and p# (preceding) to find words near each other.

For additional help, please contact the library at or (204) 945-6569.

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