About Optional Settings for Searching


The settings available here customize the settings that are in effect when your search is performed. If you do not change them, the pre-set options are in effect.

Default operator

The default operator is the logical connector between words in a search request. It affects how words are combined within each blank in the fill-in form as well as how words in different blanks are combined to form a search query. Searches with words connected by the and operator will retrieve documents containing all query words. Queries with or connecting search words will retrieve documents containing any of the words. Searches in which adj connects search words will retrieve documents in which the search words are adjacent to one another.

Operators may be combined to further refine a search. With the default operator setting set to and, the following search would retrieve documents containing either dog or cat or pig in the title and animal-control as an index term:

     Title Words: 
     Index Terms: 
Council Bill No.: 
   Ordinance No.: 

  Words anywhere: 

Documents per page

The documents per page setting determines the maximum number of retrieved documents which will be listed at a time after a successful query.


The icon setting determines the choice for display of navigational icons which accompany each retrieved document. If you are using a non-graphical browser such as lynx, choose Text only. If you would like hints as to what the icons mean, you might want to choose Images and Text.


The thesaurus setting determines whether a thesaurus which is available for a database is enabled. Turning the thesaurus on will (ordinarily) include synonyms and abbreviations which have been defined for a search word as alternative retrieval keys. Use of a thesaurus can also improve subject-oriented searches by including all narrower terms to an index term in a search. To find more about using the City Clerk's Thesaurus, or to download a copy, click here.


The setting for Plurals will determine whether plural forms of words are automatically included in your query. Setting plurals on will also expand a query consisting of a plural word to include the singular form.

Hit to Hit Icons

This setting, available for full-text databases with large documents in which the full text is indexed, enables navigation between words in the document which match words in the search query. This can be helpful in moving around in a large document to see the context in which text words match the search query.