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Proximity operators

Discover how to use proximity operators in Connexion and FirstSearch to indicate relationships and positions of search terms in relation to each other when searching WorldCat indexes.

You can use the following proximity operators in Connexion and FirstSearch to indicate the relationship and, optionally, the position of search terms in relation to each other.

 Note: Proximity operators are not available in WorldCat Discovery,, and WorldShare.

Proximity operators Function Examples
with (or w) Finds both terms, in the order typed, with no words between.
  • ti:aluminum w wiring
  • Enclose phrase in quotation marks – ti:"aluminum wiring"
 Note: The with (or w) operator should be entered without any following numbers. If a following number is entered, the operator behaves as if you entered near (or n). If you enter ti:aluminum w2 wiring, the system will run a search for ti:aluminium n2 wiring.
near (or n) Finds both terms, in any order, with no words between. ti:moon n eclipse
Followed by a number (1 to 9), finds both terms, in any order, with no more than the specified number of words between. ti:chicken n3 egg



  • Type operators between search terms to combine them.
  • For Word searches, if you do not want the system to use with and near as operators, enclose the word in quotation marks. For example, to search for the title Neighbors Near and Far, which includes near and and, normally treated as operators, type ti:neighbors "near" "and" far.
  • Do not use for browsing (scanning indexes).
  • Do not use for derived searches.
  • Do not truncate a music publisher number or Government Document Number in a combined search; type the complete number.