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Performing searches in a TermStar NXT terminology database

Terminology search in TermStar

Performing searches in a TermStar NXT terminology database

In our latest blog entry, you will learn different search techniques to find exactly what you are looking for in a TermStar dictionary.

In our previous posts, we saw how to create a data record filter in order to filter a large terminology database. In this post we will talk about some useful and easy search techniques which you can use in order to search a huge terminology database with many terms. Not only a terminologist, but anyone else can perform efficient searches by using the search techniques we will describe in this post.

If you are searching for a term in the dictionary, you should keep in mind the following rules:

  • TermStar NXT always searches for terms in the source language. Terms in the target language will therefore not be returned by the search. If you wish to switch between source and target languages for purposes of searching the terminology database, you can quickly do this by going to View > Display languages > Swap Languages as shown in the following figure:

Switch between source and target language

  • TermStar NXT can search for terms of all or only certain entry types (definition, synonyms, etc.). You can work with data record filters if you want to carry out more complex searches or search in fields other than the Term field.

Let’s now take a look at some easy search techniques you can use to retrieve terms you are looking for from a huge terminology database.

Searching for a term or the beginning of a term

You can search for a term or the beginning of a term in the following way:

  • Select Search > In dictionary > Find as shown in the following figure

    Search terms

  • Enter the desired term or the beginning of the term in the Search for field and click on Search. TermStar NXT does not take the case into account. You can also select a search string previously entered by clicking on the arrow drop-down key to the right of the Search for field.

  • TermStar NXT will now search for the term. The cursor jumps to the entry and alphabetically descending terms are shown below. Terms that start with the entered search text and terms that follow it alphabetically are displayed. For example, if you have entered Fil, the cursor jumps to the term File.

  • The shortcut Ctrl + F can be used to quickly bring up the Search terms window.

Searching with wildcards

You can use wildcards if you wish to search for a part of a word which appears in a certain position in a term. This type of search allows you to replace the variable parts of a search text with “wildcards” (placeholders). Searching with wildcards has the same effect as a data record filter: TermStar NXT only shows the entries that contain the search text (and not the terms that follow alphabetically, unlike in the previous search technique).

You can use the following wildcard symbols:

  1. * for any number of characters

  2. ? for one character exactly

The following table provides you with some examples of searches using wildcards:

Search text Explanation Words found
file* The term should start with "file". file, filename
*file The term should end with "file". file, batch file
*fil* The term should contain "fil". file, filing system, batch file, files, filter, filtering
fil*s The term should start with "fil" and end with "s". filing systems, filters
fil?s As above, but the wild card represents exactly one character files


As a result of searching with wildcards, TermStar NXT returns one or more matching entries or no entries at all if it has not found any matching entries. Searching with wild cards can be performed in the same way as the previous search technique, i.e., by selectling Search > In Dictionary > Find as shown in the following figure:

Searching with wildcards

Fuzzy search

If you wish to search for a word or a part of a word that appear exactly or similarly in a term, you can use the fuzzy search. To do this, you precede your search text with a percentage sign, and you can set a required level of similarity, known as the minimum quality. The lower you set this value, the more matches you will find and vice-versa. With a minimum quality of 100 percent, you will find the fewest matches, i.e. only those which match the search text exactly.

The fuzzy search has the same effect as the data record filter and a search containing wildcards, i.e. TermStar NXT only displays the entries which match your search text.

The following table provides you with some examples of searches using fuzzy search:

Search text Words found Words not found
%file file, files, lock file, filing, fill, filter fish
%filter filter, file, filtering  
%fill fill, filling, file, filing filter, filament
%60%suspension suspension, suspend  
%95%suspension suspension suspend


In order to carry out a fuzzy search, select Search > In dictionary. In the Min. quantity list, select a percentage between 50 and 100 to determine the "fuzzy quality" , i.e., the required level of similarity between your search text and the matches as shown in the following figure:

Fuzzy search

Alternatively, you can enter the percentage between the percentage signs as shown in the examples in the table above. As in the case of searching with wildcards, TermStar NXT returns one or more matching entries or no entries at all if it has not found any matching entries by using the fuzzy search technique.

You can therefore use one of the above search techniques as per your requirements. This post was not only aimed as terminologists, but also to anyone who wishes to search the terminology database. Do try out this feature offered by TermStar NXT and let us know what you think about it. We will soon be back with yet another interesting feature of Transit NXT. Stay tuned till then!

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