Getting Started
Newsgroup Search enables you to quickly locate a specific newsgroup on the news service, or a list of newsgroups related to a topic or keywords. Once you've found a newsgroup or a list of groups, you can use your web browser's "bookmark" feature to tag your favorite discussion forums for quick access in the future.

A search may be as simple as inputting a single newsgroup title like "alt.sports.baseball", which would take you directly to the "alt.sports.baseball" group through the Direct Read News web interface, or it could be a compound search that would locate a collection of groups based on a string of keywords and wildcard characters that you might put together...

comp.systems.*|alt.fan.*|^news.admin.&|*.sport*|rec.boat*|*.jobs.*

Customizing Your Search
The Newsgroup Search engine will accept a variety of "wildcard" characters, which will aid you in finding a broad or specific collection of newsgroups, based on the way you couple the "wildcard" characters with keywords in the search field. These characters are described in further detail below.

"*" - The asterisk symbol is a wild card search character. As an example, *.sports.* would find newsgroups that have the word sports in their newsgroup title, sports.* would find all groups that start with the word sports, and *.sports would find all groups that end with the word sports.

"|" - The pipe symbol is used to join multiple searches. As an example sports.*|*.sports would list all groups that started with the word sports or ended with the word sports. It could also be used to search related newsgroups that might appear in different Usenet hierarchies, such as alt.sports.*|rec.sports.* which would find all newsgroups in the "alt" (Alternative) or "rec" (Recreation) hierarchies that utilized the word sports in their group titles.

"&" - The ampersand symbol is a limiting character, meaning a search will only yield groups with one word beyond the "&" symbol. As an example, comp.& would retrieve a newsgroup title like "comp.ai" which only had two words in its title, while a group like  "comp.ai.alife" would not be retrieved in this example because the title contains more than two total words.

"^" - This symbol is another limiting character, meaning the search will only detect newsgroup titles with no other characters to the left of the "^" symbol. As an example ^rec would pick up all newsgroups starting with the word "rec", but would ignore a newsgroup like "alt.recreation" because it does not begin with the word "rec" in this example.

Newsgroup Search Examples
In addition to the typical search requests mentioned above, we've included some other examples of how "wildcard" characters and keywords can be used together to find collections of newsgroups that might be of interest to you. As mentioned, these are just a few examples, and we encourage you to experiment with different types of search combinations that best match the kind of newsgroups you might be looking for.

^comp.*  - A search request like this would list all "comp" (Computer) newsgroups that appear in the comp category of groups. The "^" symbol prevents the search from picking up a newsgroups that doesn't begin with the word "comp".
 

This search would find the following types of newsgroup titles:
comp.forsale
comp.pc.forsale
comp.pc.ibm.forsale
comp.misc
It would not display the following types of newsgroup titles:
alt.comp.dataconversion
aus.computers
chile.comp.www
de.comp.periph.cdrom

*.pc.* - A search request like this would list any newsgroup on the news server that had the word ".pc." anywhere in its title.
 

This search would find the following types of newsgroup titles:
comp.ibm.pc.hardware
comp.sys.ibm.pc.programmer
demon.ip.support.pc.announce
ger.pc.os2
It would not display the following types of newsgroup titles:
alt.bbs.pcboard
alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
br.pc-l
alt.hk.spcc

comp.& - This search request would only display newsgroup titles in the "comp" (Computer) hierarchy, which only had two total words in the overall title.
 

This search would find the following types of newsgroup titles:
comp.databases

comp.forsale
comp.misc
comp.software-eng
It would not display the following types of newsgroup titles:
comp.admin.policy
comp.archives.ms-windows.announce
comp.cad.autocad
comp.databases.visual-dbase

comp*|*.pc.*  - This compound search would list all the newsgroups in the "comp" hierarchy, in addition to all of the newsgroups that had the word ".pc." in their titles, regardless of the hierarchy those particular "pc" groups fell under.
 

This search would find the following types of newsgroup titles:
comp.ai.genetic
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html

fido7.hardw.pc.video
symantec.support.devtools.pc.visual-cafe.java
It would not display the following types of newsgroup titles:
alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++
alt.sys.pc-clone.dell
aus.computers.mac

As mentioned earlier, since the search engine directs you to specific newsgroups, or lists of newsgroups that can be accessed through the Direct Read News web interface with a web browser, these newsgroups or group lists can be bookmarked within your browser to form future shortcuts to your favorite discussion forums.