Smarter Searching

In addition to our new Advanced Search page, the Scribd search box now supports advanced operators (similar to Google), so you can more easily find what you're looking for.

Here's a list of the new operators, along with some examples. Give it a try!


The OR operator ("|") can be used to search for documents about either cats or kitties:

cats | kitties

The AND operator can be used to search for documents about both space and exploration. The AND operator is used by default, but can be made explicit with the "&" symbol:

space & exploration

The NOT operator ("-" or "!") can be used to exclude documents about landscapes when searching for Vista:

Vista -landscape

You can surround phrases in quotes, for instance to search for famous quotations:

shakespeare "to be or not to be"

You can use the proximity operator ("~") to search for a group of words within a certain distance of each other. For instance, to search for the words "Saturn", "rings", and "size", all within a span of less than 10 words:

"Saturn rings size"~10

The quorum operator ("/") can be used to do fuzzy matching. If you would like to find documents that have at least three of the five words "college", "university", "learning", "study", "library":

"college university learning study library"/3

OR operator precedence is higher than AND, so "looking for cat | dog | mouse" means "looking for ( cat | dog | mouse )" and not "(looking for cat) | dog | mouse".

Important note on parentheses: You can use parentheses to override the normal precedence order; however, nested parentheses are not allowed. The NOT operator cannot be used within parentheses, only at the top level.