Commonwealth of Massachusetts Citizen's Guide to State Services

Search for words or phrases:

Tips for Searching

At its simplest, a query can be just a word, phrase, or item number. But with the tips on this page, you can modify your query to give you more useful results.

Use AND to find both words. For example: house and senate will find only pages that have both senate and house
Use OR to find all instances of either one word or another, for example: abbott or costello This query finds all pages that mention Abbott or Costello or both.
Use NEAR to find words close to each other. For example, both system and manager and system near manager look for the words system and manager on the same page. If you use NEAR, the returned pages are ranked in order of proximity, so the first items on the list will have the words closer together than items lower on the list.
Use AND NOT to exclude certain text from your search. For example, if you want to find all instances of surfing but not surfing the Net, search for surfing and not the Net
Use * to look for words that start the same. For example, key* will find key, keying, keyhole, keyboard, and so on.
Use ** to search for all forms of a word. For example, sink** will find sink, sinking, sank, and sunk.
Put quotation marks around phrases if you want the search engine to take them literally. For instance, "Ways and Means" would find the phrase ways and means. Ways and Means (without the quotes) would produce a list of pages that have both means and ways, but not necessarily in the same phrase.