Search doesn't work for three letter words?

  • I tried searching one of my forums for a three letter word (an abbreviation of three words) and the results I get say that it doesn't exist, even when I am looking at one instance of the word/abbreviation :whistling: . I can't find an option to allow three letter words to be searched, how can I fix this?

    • Official Post

    Why would Search work for a word like "the" but not for the abbreviation that caused me to create this thread?

    It doesn't exactly search for the word, but for the*. This means the search will actually match other words such as theater and yield posts that include this word (or any other starting with the), but the search will never match a post where the only possible word is the (*). The confusion comes from our search highlighter which will highlight all words that start with the, regardless if this has actually been matched by MySQL.


    (*) No matter what you set the minimum word length to, the is a stop-word and is therefore always ignored by MySQL, see https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refm…n/fulltext-stopwords.html for a complete list.

    • Official Post

    I still do not know why my search was unable to return any results for the three letter abbreviation.

    In the default configuration MySQL will not add words below 4 characters to the search index at all. This is the same as if the word wouldn't exist at all in that specific message.


    If you have access to the MySQL configuration (which requires a virtual/dedicated server) you can lower this limit, afterwards you'll have to rebuild the search index to have the new limit take effect on existing messages.

  • I still do not know why my search was unable to return any results for the three letter abbreviation.

    You need change that on your server end for MySQL. Default is 4 character minimum, as pointed out. I was able to use 3 keyword search with phpBB because that uses it own search (allowing 3 keyword) as well as MySQL to pick from. Keep in mind some common words may be ignored like And and The, plus others.

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