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OCLC Support

Search WorldCat

Find out how to access and use the Search WorldCat window in Connexion client.

Purpose of the Search WorldCat window

  • Search interactively for bibliographic records using one of two search entry areas:
    • Command Line Search - Type any kind of search–keyword, numeric, derived, or browse–using full search syntax (index labels, punctuation, qualifiers). Precede a browse string with the Scan (sca) command.
    • Keyword/Numeric Search - Enter and select the parts of a search and qualifiers in text boxes and lists and let the client supply the correct search syntax automatically.
       Note: To reduce the size of the window to show only the Command Line Search: Click Expand/Collapse. Click again to show both search areas. The client keeps the selected view until you change it.
  • Limit search results.
  • Click a button to open the Search WorldCat Options window to set additional search options.

Access the Search WorldCat window

  1. Navigate to Cataloging > Search > WorldCat, or click Search WorldCat button, or press <F2>.
    • If you are logged on to OCLC Connexion, the Search WorldCat window opens immediately.
    • If you are not already logged on, the Logon OCLC Connexion window opens. As soon as you complete the logon and close the Welcome window, the Search WorldCat window opens automatically.
  2. Alternative: By default, the client displays a quick tool for searching or browsing WorldCat:
    WorldCat quick search box
    Enter a command line search or browse string, and then click the search WorldCat button to send the search.
  3. Enter search term(s) and select an index for each. Combine multiple terms by selecting a Boolean operator. 
  4. (Optional) Limit search results by:
    Available search limits
    • Language
    • MARC format 
    • Internet resources only (or exclude internet resources) 
    • Library of Congress-produced records only 
    • Microforms (or exclude microforms) 
    • Year(s) of publication 
    • Material types 
    • Language of cataloging
  5. Click Settings to open a window and specify more parameters for searching. 
  6. Click OK to send the search. 

See more about how to search WorldCat interactively. See Searching WorldCat Indexes for comprehensive information on indexes.

Search WorldCat window: Features and buttons

Feature How to use
Command Line Search area
Command Line Search text field For experienced searchers: Enter any type of full syntax search or browse string. Include an index label, correct punctuation, and the search or browse term with no spacing and in that order. Optionally for searches only, include qualifiers and/or Boolean operators to combine multiple search terms.

 Note: Precede a browse string with sca (Scan command).


Select a previous command line search or browse query in the drop-down list of the text box. The client keeps up to ten previous searches.

See Command line searching and Keyword, numeric, and derived searches and browse queries for more information.
Keyword/Numeric Search area
Retain Search text field Select  or deselect the option to retain the most recent search in the Search for box(es) between logon sessions.
  • With this option selected, the client keeps search terms, indexes, and Boolean operators.
  • With the option cleared, the client keeps only your last index selections and up to the last ten search terms you entered (click the arrow in a text box to see this list).
  • A check mark indicates that the option is selected.
Default: Check box is deselected.
Customize lists button (Customize lists button) The button appears above both the index drop-down lists and the Material Type list.

(Optional) Click to open the Customize Short List of Indexes window to customize the short index or material type list by adding, removing, or changing the position of indexes in the list.
Plus/Minus buttons (Plus button and Minus button) These buttons appear next to Customize lists button above the index drop-down lists and Material Type list and also above the Language list.

(Optional) Click to toggle between the two buttons to switch between a short condensed list of ten of the most used keyword/numeric indexes and a comprehensive list of all indexes.

Click Plus button to expand or Minus button to collapse the index lists.

Default:  (short list displays)
Search for ... in text fields and index lists
  1. Enter a keyword, numeric, or derived search term in a text field and select the index you want to search in the adjacent list on the right.

    Combine search terms using and, or, or not in the text box if you want to search multiple terms in a single index.

     Note: Click Plus button if you want to expand or Minus button to collapse the index lists. Click Customize lists button if you want to customize the short index list.
  2. (Optional) Combine searches in more than one index: Enter up to two other search terms in the other text boxes, select different indexes for the terms, and select a Boolean operator from the list to the left of a text box. 


Select from up to 10 previous searches in each text box drop-down list.

See more on guided searches.

Boolean operator lists (AND, OR, NOT) (Optional) If combining search terms in different indexes, click a Boolean operator from the drop-down list to the left of the appropriate search entry box to indicate how you want to combine the terms:
  • AND - Finds records that contain both terms in the same record.
  • OR - Finds records that contain either term.
  • NOT - Finds records that contain the first term but not the second term.
Default: AND

 Note: To include and, or, not as a keyword in a search statement, enclose in quotation marks.
Language list (Optional) Select a language to limit search results to records in that language.

 Note: Click Plus button if you want to expand or Minus button to collapse the list of languages. Click Customize lists button if you want to customize the short list of languages.

Default: Any (or last used)
Format list (Optional) Select a MARC format to limit results to records in that format.

Default: Any (or last used)
Internet list (Optional) Limit searches to internet sources only (click Internet) or eliminate internet sources (click Not Internet).

Default: Any (or last used)
Source list (Optional) Limit a search to items cataloged by the Library of Congress/Program for Cooperative Cataloging (click DLC).

Default: Any (or last used)
Microform list (Optional) Limit searches to items only in microform (click Microform) or exclude items in microform (click Not Microform).

Default: Any (or last used)
Years text field (Optional) Enter a year or range of years to limit a search to records for items published in the specified time.
Year qualifiers - Examples
Example For this type of year qualifier
1994 Single year
199? Decade
19?? Century
1994- Single year and all later years
-1994 Single year and all earlier years

Range of years
 Note: For keyword searches, if Date1 has code u (missing digit), substitute 0 (e.g., For 19uu, type 1900).

Default: Blank (or last used)
Material Type list (Optional) Select a material type to limit results to records describing that type.

 Note: Material types are much more specific than the primary Format limiters.

Default: Any (or last used)
Apply Language of Cataloging Limiter check box Select the check box and select the language you want from the list to limit all searches by that language of cataloging.
  • The setting persists after logoff unless you change it.
  • The limiter is applied to all searches whether you enter them in:
    • Command Line Search box
    • Keyword/Numeric Search area
    • Quick search box on the toolbar


Button name Click the button to...
Settings Click to open the Search WorldCat Settings window to:
  • Change how WorldCat search results display.
  • Select options for searching SCIPIO records.
Enter Diacritics Open the Enter Diacritics and Special Characters window to enter a diacritic or character in a search term.
Expand/Collapse Change views of the Search WorldCat window:
  • Full view (default) - The full window displays with a Command Line Search area for entering full search syntax and a Keyword/Numeric Search area for entering the parts of a guided search.
  • Collapsed view - Only the Command Line Search area displays.
OK Send the search (or press <Enter>).

You can send only one search. The client sends only the search you last entered.

 Note: If you have searches entered in both command line and guided search areas, check the text labels in the two areas to see which are in boldface. Boldface indicates the currently active area.
Cancel Cancel the search and close the window.
Clear Search Clear search terms in both the command line and guided search areas. In the guided search area, the client keeps only the last keyword/numeric index you used.