Web Team Newsletter - June 17, 2008

Helpful Search Technique

Frustrated with hundreds or thousands of results from your searches? Learn an advanced search technique called a Boolean search.

Bool-what? Bool-ee-en (or bōō'lē-ən per Dictionary.com). A Boolean search allows you to search using AND, OR, and NOT to form logical combinations of words. For example:

(math OR english) AND textbooks

will find documents where "math" or "english" is found and where "textbooks" is also found.

Learn more About Boolean Searches [page removed].

Add a Title to Documents for Better Search Results

The Title of a document is used by most search engines as the linked text in search results and is also used to aid in the indexing of the file by the search engine.

If you have Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), Adobe PDF files, and/or other documents on the Ohlone College website - or a website outside of Ohlone College - you can get better search results for information on your website by simply adding a descriptive "Title" to your documents.

"Title" does not refer to the filename of a file or to the heading or title typed into the document. "Title" refers to the Title field in the document's Properties.

Screen shot of search results showing helpful and not-so-helpful underlined link text.The screenshot to the right shows helpful and not-so-helpful search results (larger version); in summary:

  • No-so-helpful titles:
    • Microsoft Word - Holistic Nurse Research web.doc
    • Microsoft Word - Environment Checklist
    • Microsoft Word - Paper_1.doc
    • Microsoft Word - secur+pix_syllabus.doc
    Also note that each of these links to an Adobe PDF document not an MS Word document.

  • Helpful titles:
    • Application for Graduation - Admissions and Records - Ohlone College
    • Application for Facility Use - Civic Center Rentals - Ohlone College

The default Title for a MS Word file is "Microsoft Word - filename.doc" - not very helpful for identifying a document.

Frequently, you will copy one file and revise it for another purpose. In that case, the new file's Title is the same as it was for the original file - which is probably not an accurate description of the revised file.

And, when a MS Word file is converted to an Adobe PDF file, the Title remains "Microsoft Word - filename.doc" which is now misleading about the file type (i.e., says it is a Word document when it is really a PDF document).

How to Add a Title to Your Documents

Go to the Properties dialog of the you are creating or editing and enter an accurate and informative Document Name/Title.

  • Screen shot of descriptive Title in Properties of an MS Word file.For MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) files:
    • File > Properties
    • Select the Summary tab in the Properties dialog
    • In the Title: field, enter a short descriptive title for this document

  • Screen shot of descriptive Title in Document Properties of an Adobe PDF file.For Adobe PDF files:
    • File > Properties
    • Select the Summary tab in the Document Properties dialog
    • In the Title: field, enter a short descriptive title for this document

A good Title format is: Short Title - Department - Ohlone College. For example:

  • English Requirements - International Programs and Services - Ohlone College
  • Academic Dishonesty Policy - Office of Student Services - Ohlone College
  • Agenda March 5, 2008 - Board of Trustees - Ohlone College
  • Minutes February 6, 2008 - Faculty Senate - Ohlone College

Questions? Comments?

Please email the Web Team at webteam@ohlone.edu with comments and questions. Thank you!