Solaris Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide

Searching for Specific Information

Like a book, a help volume has an index of important words and phrases that you can use to find help topics on a subject. You can browse or search the index of the current volume, selected volumes, or all help volumes available on your system.

Figure 3-9 Index Search dialog box


Because the help index can be quite large even for a single volume, index entries can be expanded or contracted. A + (plus) sign indicates that the index entry relates to more than one help topic. The number shows the count of help topics. You can click the index item to list the topics.

For instance, the result of an index search for the word "display" is shown in Figure 3-9. The -36 prefix tells you that there are 36 index entries that contain the keyword "display." Clicking any title marked by a + (plus) expands the list and the + (plus) changes to a - (minus) sign. The last index entry shown in the figure has been expanded in this way.

To Search for Topics Using the Help Index

Note -

The help index is available only in a general help window.

  1. To open the index, click the Index button.

    The index lists all of the entries for the current help volume. You can choose All Volumes to view an index for all available help volumes or choose Selected if you want to select only certain volumes.

  2. Select the Entries with field, type the word or phrase you are looking for, and press Return.

    Index searches are not case sensitive. Wildcards such as * (asterisk) and ? (question mark) can be used (see "Pattern Searches" below).

  3. Select the index entry you want to view.

    If the entry has a + (plus sign) prefix, the list will expand to show additional choices. Then select a help topic to view.

    You may view as many topics as you want.

  4. Click Close when you are done.

Pattern Searches

In a pattern search certain characters (known as "wildcards") have special meaning. You can combine these characters in a variety of ways.

Two frequently used wildcards are asterisk (*) and question mark (?). The * matches any string of characters (including no characters), and ? matches any single character. Other wildcards include:

. (period)--matches any character

| (vertical bar)--specifies two search patterns and matches either pattern (logical OR)

( ) (parentheses)--encloses a pattern expression

To search for a character that has special meaning in a regular expression, precede the character with a \ (backslash).


mouse.*clicking--matches entries that contain the word "mouse" followed by any number of characters followed by "clicking"

mouse | click--matches entries that contain the word "mouse" or "click"

(session | style)*manager--matches entries that contain "Session Manager" or "Style Manager"