Searching methods

On Our Website

You have probably used our search box, here in the top-right corner (or slightly lower here in the forums section).

Below we have compiled other ways to maximize your searching power, on our website and elsewhere. I hope you’ll share your searching tips too.

As an example, the other day we had a customer having trouble doing a print in PAC Display. Just searching for print in the search box yields too many results:

From the search page, I can narrow down further using this drop-down box. In this case, I’m looking for any bug reports so I pick “KnowledgeBase.”

Have you ever seen something like: “Results 1 - 3 of about 5”? Notice the circled option below to repeat the search with omitted results included. Sometimes more good results are there!

I can also click on OptoKnowledgeBase here under the Support tab:

This page lets me limit the search further. Here I picked Product, and typed in PAC Display.

At this point you can use the browser’s Ctrl+F (find) to search this list.

Note: Use caution with the Ctrl+F in Mozilla Firefox as the default is to Match Case. You may want to un-check this box to maximize your results further:

Other Options

Did you know you can use Google to search for a specific term on a specific site?

For example, say I’m looking for information on using an EOM (end-of-message) character. If I used’s site-specific search on, using this syntax:


Like so:

I get many hits, including a few inside of pdfs.

Click here for more from google on “operators and more."

In this example, searching for just EOM gets me too many hits. Maybe I remember writing a post, as mstjohn, about EOMs but can’t find it. If I search for:

mstjohn EOM takes me right to it. Yay.

On Your Harddrive

I’ve also had good luck with using Google Desktop, especially to find emails I’m sure I sent in Outlook. Sadly, like Google Powermeter, this handy app is being discontinued. Bummer.

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this but I favor the old-school DOS prompt for speed, especially when searching for a strategy I can’t find. Remember the command prompt? Remember DOS?

For example, if I know there’s an OptoScript example that’s installed with PAC Control (and has moved since 9.0). I know it starts with “OptoScript” but can’t remember the rest.

I change directories to my root (circled in red), then search all subdirectories (using the /s) for anything that starts with OptoScript and has a .idb extension, like all PAC Control strategies have. Faster than a windows search, I get:

What’s your favorite way to find things?


Or if you just want to search the forums, you can tell Google as such…

Put this into your Google search;


This way, you only get forum results.

Is there any plan to fix the search built in to the site to behave more like the google search Ben suggests? I’m having trouble finding the “Advanced Search” link that used to work well, and it appears the standard search still omits many posts that the google search finds.

I feel your pain. We are working on a whole new site, but that’s still a ways off.
What’s odd about our internal site search is that it’s “powered by google” yet big google still usually does a better job. heavy sigh

Until the new site/search solutions, we did a little video about using the one Ben suggests above: