Using Wildcard Characters

Wildcard characters allow you to enter pieces of information and narrow your search criteria.

You can use characters such as the percent sign (%), which represents any number of characters, or an underscore (_), which represents a single character. You can also use brackets to include ([ ]) or exclude ([^]) specific characters from your search criteria.

We have outlined a description and provided examples for each of the wildcard characters in the table.

Wildcard Character Description Examples

%

The percent sign represents any number of characters, including letters, spaces, numbers and punctuation. For example, if you want to search for a specific person, but can’t remember if the person’s last name isRichardsonorRichmond, you can enter Rich% in the Last Name field. The Search Results window displays all persons whose last names begin with Rich, and may include names like Richards, Richardson, Richie, orRichmond.

_

The underscore represents only one character. For example, you are not sure if the applicant’s first name was Jan, Jen, Jon, and so forth. In the First Name field, you can type J_n and it will return anyone a first name that starts with J and ends with N with one character in between the J and N.

[ ]

The brackets [ ] represent that you want the results to contain any of the specified character set or character range in that position If you search for [LD][ao]wson, you would receive the following results: Lawson, Lowson, Dawson, Dowson, and so forth.

[^]

The brackets containing the carat symbol allow you to exclude the specified characters or any characters within a specified range in that position If you search for M[^a]c%, the system returns all names that begin with M that do not contain A as the second letter. In other words, the search results would contain McDonald, but no MacDonald.