U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
SEC Seal
Home Previous Page
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Search Enhancements


SEC.gov Legacy Search Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This FAQ will help you use SEC.gov Search effectively.

We will continue to enhance this service on the basis of user feedback. Please email your comments and suggestions for improvement to webmaster@sec.gov.

Click here to go back to the search engine.
  1. What is the SEC.gov Legacy Search?
  2. How do I do a basic search?
  3. Is there an advanced search feature?
  4. Can I specify the number of results per page?
  5. What are the "Results by Section"?
  6. What kinds of searches can I do?
  7. What is "natural language" searching?
  8. How do I search for an exact phrase, such as "management discussion and analysis"?
  9. I want to search for a proper name. Should I capitalize the name?
  10. I did a search and found a document that I wanted to view. I opened the document, but I couldn't find the search term in the document. What do I do?
  11. How does Boolean searching work?
  12. How does the Boolean operator AND work?
  13. How does the Boolean operator OR work?
  14. How does the Boolean operator NOT work?
  15. What if I find a document that includes the terms I entered, but I want the terms to be closer together in the document?
  16. Is there a "wildcard" symbol that will allow me to search by the root of a word followed by one or more additional characters?
  17. How can I make suggestions for enhancements to the SEC.gov Search?
  18. I still need help. What do I do?

  1. What is the SEC.gov Legacy Search?
  2. The SEC.gov Legacy Search will allow you to search the full text of SEC documents posted on www.sec.gov. However, as of July 18, 2013, any new press releases, speeches, public statements, and testimonies will not be searchable using this legacy search. To search for these SEC documents, please use our new search engine powered by USASearch. Read more about our recent SEC search enhancements.

    top

  3. How do I do a basic search?
  4. Type the terms for which you are searching in the "Search Terms" box and hit Enter or click the "Search" button.

    When you receive your search results, click on the title of any document to view the full document.

    top

  5. 3. Is there an advanced search feature?
  6. Yes, the SEC.gov Search provides an Advanced Search feature.

    To use this feature, click the "Advanced Search" link that appears to the right of the "Search Terms" box.

    Select the appropriate "Search terms" box and enter your term(s).

    You may place a check mark next to any website section(s) you would like to search. To select all sections, check the "Select/Deselect All" box.

    To execute your search, click the "Search" button.

    When you receive your search results, click on the title of any document to view the full document.

    top

  7. Can I specify the number of results per page?
  8. Yes. Click the "Advanced Search" link. You may specify the number of search results (5, 10, 15, 25, 50) displayed on each page by using the "Results Per Page" pull-down menu and making your selection from the list.

    top

  9. What are the "Results by Section"?
  10. The search results are broken down by section of the SEC website. The number of results for your search term appears in parentheses next to the section. If you would like to narrow your search to a specific section, click on the title of the section, and your results will be only pulled from that section.

    top

  11. What kinds of searches can I do?
  12. You can search using "natural language" or Boolean search operators.

    top

  13. What is "natural language" searching?
  14. Natural language searching allows you to search for a concept by using the language that you would use to express that concept to another person.

    Example: fluctuations in interest rates

    top

  15. How do I search for an exact phrase, such as "management discussion and analysis"?
  16. Enter the exact phrase in quotation marks.

    Example: "management discussion and analysis"

    The use of quotation marks will find documents containing the exact phrase "management discussion and analysis." The results set will not be limited only to that phrase, however, and may also include conceptually related phrases such as "managerial discussion & analysis."

    You can also use the advanced search options and type in your phrase in the box that follows "This exact phrase:".

    top

  17. I want to search for a proper name. Should I capitalize the name?
  18. Yes. Capitalizing the proper name will cause the search engine to increase the relevance ranking of the documents containing the name and these documents will appear closer to the top of your search results list.

    Example: Joseph Kennedy

    top

  19. I did a search and found a document that I wanted to view. I opened the document, but I couldn't find the search term in the document. What do I do?
  20. Notes:

    • The search engine is a conceptual search engine rather than a key word search engine. Therefore it may retrieve some results that are conceptually related to your search terms but do not necessarily contain your precise search terms.

      Also, if you did a wildcard search, the search engine may retrieve results that include words similar to your search terms.

      Example:
      You searched on ... The search retrieved documents that contained ...
      commun* community or communication or communal, etc.

    Finding your search terms within the document:

    • If the document is in HTML (the usual web page format), or a text file, click CTRL+F (at the same time), then type your search term in the box, and click "Find Next."
    • If the document is in Adobe PDF format, click on the binocular icon, type your search term, and click "Find."
    • If you still cannot find your search term please e-mail us at webmaster@sec.gov for assistance.

      top

  21. How does Boolean searching work?
  22. Boolean searching allows you to narrow, broaden, or limit a search by connecting search terms with Boolean operators such as AND, OR, and NOT. All Boolean operators must be typed in uppercase letters.

    You can also use the features in the Advanced Search to include and exclude certain search terms in your results.

    Example: AND, OR, NOT

    top

  23. How does the Boolean operator AND work?
  24. The Boolean operator AND narrows your search by telling the search engine that all terms connected by the AND operator must be contained in a document (but not necessarily in the same sentence or paragraph). These terms can appear in any order in the document.

    Example: software AND hardware

    top

  25. How does the Boolean operator OR work?
  26. The Boolean operator OR broadens your search by locating a document containing any of the terms connected by the OR operator.

    Example: trucks OR cars

    top

  27. How does the Boolean operator NOT work?
  28. The Boolean operator NOT limits your search by locating documents that contain one term but not another term.

    Example: petroleum NOT gasoline

    This search will locate documents that contain the term "petroleum" but not the term "gasoline."

    top

  29. What if I find a document that includes the terms I entered, but I want the terms to be closer together in the document?
  30. You can use operator NEARn to locate documents that contain the terms you selected within "n" words, or fewer, of one another (where n is the number of words).

    Example: market NEAR1 timing

    top

  31. Is there a "wildcard" symbol that will allow me to search by the root of a word followed by one or more additional characters?
  32. The asterisk (*) is a wildcard symbol that searches for the root of a word followed by one or more characters.

    Example: communicat*

    This search will locate documents that contain terms such as communicate, communicates, communicated, communication, communications, and communicating.

    top

  33. How can I make suggestions for enhancements to the SEC.gov Search?
  34. We welcome your feedback regarding the SEC.gov Search. Please send us your ideas and suggestions at webmaster@sec.gov.

    top

  35. I still need help. What do I do?
  36. Send an e-mail to the webmaster@sec.gov mailbox, telling us what you're trying to find and how you've been searching for it

    top

 

http://www.sec.gov/search/searchhelp.htm


Modified: 01/10/2007