Skip to main content
OCLC Support

Wildcards and truncation

Use wildcard and truncation symbols to expand or focus searches. The system retrieves up to 300 matches to search terms when you use wildcards or truncation.

 Note: For non-Latin script search terms, truncation can be used for Bengali, CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), Devanagari, Tamil, and Thai scripts only. For other supported non-Latin scripts, use browsing for automatic truncation.

Name Symbol Function Usage Example
Number sign # Wildcard
  • A minimum of three characters must precede the symbol.
  • Replace one character in a search.
  • A minimum of three characters must precede the symbol.
wom#n retrieves woman and women
Question mark ? Wildcard
  • A minimum of three characters must precede the symbol.
  • Replace 0 to 9 unknown characters in a search term.
  • Followed by a number, replace the specified number of unknown characters (?n — question mark followed by a number from 1 to 9).

encyclop?

dia retrieves encyclopedia and encyclopaedia

re?4tion retrieves recreation, refraction, relaxation, etc.

Asterisk * Truncation
  • A minimum of three characters must precede the symbol.
  • Add to the end of a word to retrieve variant endings.
  • A minimum of three characters must precede the symbol.
  • Search returns records with 0 or more characters in place of the truncation symbol.
connect* retrieves connectconnectionconnectivity, etc.
  • Was this article helpful?