A wildcard is a placeholder character that, when included in a search word, will be matched against any zero or more characters in found documents. It is somewhat like the Joker in a deck of playing cards, from which it gets its name.

Ontolica interprets an asterisk (*) to be a wildcard character when it is placed at the end of a search word. This wildcard character has no special effect if placed at the start or in the middle of a search word (this is a limitation of the SharePoint search engine).

For example, a search for “wed*” would find pages that include the words “wed”, “wedding” and “Wednesday”, but not “newlywed”.

Note: You can configure the Ontolica SharePoint Search Result Web Part to apply an implicit wildcard to the end of all search words, but this demands extra computing resources and can make rankings less accurate; however it often works well for people searches. See “Ontolica SharePoint Search Result Web Part” for details.

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