To search Wikiquote:

  • There should be a small search box at the side of the screen, marked search, followed by Go and Search. Just type what you're looking for into the search box and press the Enter key. Or, click Go or Search.

The difference between Go (same as enter) and Search is that Go first looks for an article with the given string as its title, and if one is found immediately goes to the indicated article. If Go fails to find an article, it then automatically executes Search which is a full-text search for the given words. Important search tips:

  • When Wikiquote Search is disabled for performance reasons, Go can still be used to look up titled pages.
  • Don't search for only words in quotes. Try the search without quotes first. If that's not good enough, put as many words as possible outside the quotes or add some more to narrow the search.
  • While Go is usually, but not always, case insensitive, Search is always case insensitive. More detail about case sensitivity is provided below.
  • Search is a treated as a secondary function of the MediaWiki software and is sometimes unreliable and even completely disabled for performance reasons. If you can't find something you're expecting to find, please try an external search engine.

Part of this page has been copied to meta:Help:Searching and adapted for MediaWiki in general. When you want to edit the text, compare the two pages to see where the edit can best be made.

External search engines edit

Various Wikipedia:search engines can provide domain-specific searches, which lets you search Wikiquote specifically. Searches are based on the text as shown by the browser, so wiki markup is irrelevant. Depending on your browser, you may also be able to use tools that allow you to search Wikiquote using Wikipedia:bookmarklets.

In general, external search engines are faster than a Wikiquote search. However, because the search engine's cache is based on when the site was indexed, the search may not return newly created pages. Similarly, the search engine's cached version of the page will not be as up-to-date as the link to Wikiquote itself. Also, when returning Wikiquote articles in a regular search, mirrors and forks of Wikiquote content frequently rank higher than the actual Wikiquote articles because of Wikipedia:search engine optimization techniques.

These issues may be less of a problem when using certain search engines that process Wikiquote differently:

  • Yahoo! includes Wikiquote as part of its content acquisition program and gets a regular datafeed.
  • Clusty downloads and processes the database regularly, generating automatic abstracts and image thumbnails and meaningfully parsing redirects, disambiguations, and categories.

Google edit

By following the links below, you can use the Wikipedia:Google search engine to search Wikiquote - either all languages, or English-only. Google indexes all namespaces.

Yahoo! edit

By following the links below, you can use the Wikipedia:Yahoo! search engine to search Wikiquote - either all languages or English-only.

Bing edit

By following the links below, you can use the Wikipedia:Bing search engine to search Wikiquote - either all languages, or English-only. Bing indexes all namespaces.

Search facility of Wikiquote edit

The native Wikiquote search feature via the search box and Search button that appears on every Wikiquote page is not available during peak hours or other periods of high server activity (which may last for days). Here are some hints for using it effectively (see also Wikiquote:User preferences help, "Search result settings" section, and Wikiquote:Go button).

Limiting results edit

Wikiquote's default search mode will turn up results with any of the words in your query. For instance, Wikipedia:search engine turns up many results containing only "search" but not "engine" or only "engine" but not "search" in addition to the ones you probably wanted, which contain both words.

To limit to results that include all words, put a "+" at the beginning of each word: +search +engine returns only pages containing both words, like Google's default mode.

You can also do a phrase search by enclosing words in quotes: "search engine" turns up a smaller set of results, which not only have both words but have them in order.

To exclude results that include some word, put a "-" at the beginning: -search -engine

Avoid short and common words edit

If your search terms include a common "stop word" (such as "the", "one", "your", "more", "right", "while", "when", "who", "which", "such", "every", "about") it will be ignored by the search system. If you're trying to do a phrase search or all-words-only search, this may result in returning nothing at all. Short numbers, and words that appear in half of all articles, will also not be found. In this case, drop those words and rerun the search.

See Wikiquote:Common words, searching for which is not possible for the stop words filtered out by the database. From there one can at least go to an article with a stop word as title. Searching for the combination of one or more words and the common word "not" gives a database query syntax error due to a bug in the software.

Case sensitivity edit

Search is always case-insensitive, so searches for "fortran", "Fortran" and "FORTRAN" all return the same results.

Go is always case-insensitive for the first character of the article title, and in most cases for the entire title. Go is case-sensitive only if an article has a name including a mixture of capitalized and uncapitalized letters and is neither all initial cap or all lower case following the first word. For example, consider the article French and Indian Wars. Entering 'french and indian wars' and pressing "enter" or Go will not take the reader to this article. However, 'French and Indian Wars' will work, as will 'french and Indian Wars'. If the article name were 'French And Indian Wars' or 'French and indian wars' entering any capitalization variant would suffice. Redirects can be used to work around this problem. For example, searches for any miscapitalization of 'Isle of Wight' match Wikipedia:Isle of wight which redirects the user to the actual article named Wikipedia:Isle of Wight.

Wildcards edit

You can use some limited wildcards if you really want to. Look up "fulltext search" on and look down under 'boolean search' for the details. However, wildcard searches are slower, so go easy on the poor server.

Words with special characters edit

In a search for a word with a Wikipedia:diaeresis, such as Sint Odiliënberg, it depends whether this ë is stored as one character or as "ë". In the first case one can simply search for Odilienberg (or Odiliënberg); in the second case it can only be found by searching for Odili, euml and/or nberg. This is actually a bug that should be fixed -- the entities should be folded into their raw character equivalents so all searches on them are equivalent. See also Wikiquote:Special characters.

Words in single quotes edit

If a word appears in an article with single quotes, you can only find it if you search for the word with quotes. Since this is rarely desirable it is better to use double quotes in articles, for which this problem does not arise. See the manual of style for more info.

An apostrophe is identical to a single quote, therefore Mu'ammar can be found searching for exactly that (and not otherwise). A word with apostrophe s is an exception in that it can be found also searching for the word without the apostrophe and the s.

Namespaces searched by default edit

The search only applies to the namespaces selected in the user's preferences. To search the other namespaces check or uncheck the tickboxes in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page. Depending on the browser, a box may still be checked from a previous search, but without being effective any longer! To make sure, uncheck and recheck it.

Searching the image namespace means searching the image descriptions, i.e. the first parts of the image description pages.

Redirects can be excluded edit

Check or uncheck the tickbox "List redirects" in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page.

The source text is searched edit

The source text (what one sees in the edit box, also called Wikipedia:wiki text) is searched. This distinction is relevant for Wikipedia:piped links, for Wikiquote:interlanguage links (to find links to Chinese articles, search for zh, not for Zhongwen), special characters (if ê is coded as ê it is found searching for ecirc), etc.

Delay in updating the search index edit

For reasons of efficiency and priority, very recent changes are not always immediately taken into account in searches.

At the moment, the search engine uses an index that isn't updated at all. This is temporary.

Multi-lingual Wikiquote search edit

There is a meta-search available that allows you to search different language Wikiquotes at the same time.

Multi-lingual Wikiquote search (disabled)

You can also do this using Google.

Using Mozilla to automatically search edit

Listed below are ways to search Wikiquote with Mozilla-based browsers, including Mozilla Suite, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape 6 and 7, and Beonex Communicator.

Search Wikiquote from the sidebar search tab or address bar edit

Works with: Mozilla Suite, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape 6/7, Beonex Communicator.

Mozilla, Beonex Communicator, and Netscape 6 & 7 come with a sidebar that allows a user to search the Wikiquote site, and Firefox has a toolbar item to do the same. To install the search plugin that tells Mozilla how to search Wikiquote, do the following:

  1. Go to one of the following sources of Wikiquote search plugins. The Mycroft plugins are sometimes out of date, and plugins from the second source may work better.
    1. Search plugins from Mycroft
    2. Alternative search plugins
  2. There are versions for many languages, so pick the language local to your area.
  3. If JavaScript is enabled, clicking on the name of the search plugin will automatically install the search plugin.
  4. If you can't install the search plugin automatically, the second source above lets you right-click on the plugin and save it to disk, or download a ZIP file containing all available plugins. Save the downloaded .src file in the searchplugins directory where Mozilla is installed and restart the browser to use the new plugin.

To make Wikiquote your default search engine in Mozilla, Beonex Communicator, and Netscape 6/7:

  1. Go to Edit, Preferences.
  2. Expand the Navigator tree and choose Internet Search.
  3. Choose Wikiquote as your default search engine.

With Wikiquote selected as your default engine, searches can be conducted via the search sidebar tab, search box, or the web address bar.

Search Wikiquote using a bookmarklet edit

Works with: Mozilla Suite, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape 6/7, Beonex Communicator.

Wikiquote can also be searched via a bookmarklet.

In Mozilla Firefox, follow these steps:

  1. Right click in the search field at the top of the page, and select "Add a Keyword for this Search".
  2. Enter "Wikiquote Quicksearch" for the name.
  3. Enter "w" (without the quotes) for the keyword.
  4. Change the bookmark folder if you wish, and click "Add".

In Mozilla Suite, Netscape 6/7 and Beonex Communicator, follow these steps:

  1. Right click on the following web address and select "Bookmark this link":
  2. Go to Bookmarks, Manage Bookmarks. Choose the bookmark you have just created. Highlight the Bookmark and click Properties.
  3. In the dialogue that comes up, put a lowercase w in the keyword box.
  4. Click OK and close the properties box, then close the bookmark manager.

In Camino, use the Mozilla Suite directions. Use Get Info (cmd-I) in the bookmarks manager to bring up the properties dialogue.

To search, go to the web address bar, enter "w SEARCH_QUERY" (without the quotes), and press enter.

Search Wikiquote via an update to prefs.js edit

Works with: K-Meleon.

Wikipedia:K-Meleon has a search button that can be used to search Google. Wikiquote can also be searched. To switch search engines do these things:

  1. Close K-Meleon.
  2. Open up prefs.js with a text editor. The file should be in your K-Meleon\Profiles\PROFILE_NAME\RANDOM_STRING.slt\ directory.
  3. Add this line, and save prefs.js.
user_pref("kmeleon.general.searchEngine", ""); 

Open up K-Meleon and press the search button to search Wikiquote. To go back to Google or to use another search service, edit prefs.js and delete this line:

user_pref("kmeleon.general.searchEngine", ""); 

Make sure K-Meleon is closed before editing prefs.js.

Advanced: Wikiquote search field for Opera browser edit

All Opera versions 6, 7, and 8 use a customizable text file called search.ini. This file should only be edited while Opera is not running. The following example replaces one of the existing pre-defined search engines. It is up to the user to avoid conflicts of shortcut key (key=). By default 'w' is taken by the search, so either this or the Wikiquote one should be changed. Furthermore the 'Search Engine ##' should be replaced with a free number: '12' is free by default. The Search.ini editor makes editing trivial (see external link).

[Search Engine ##]
Is post=0
Has endseparator=0
Search Type=8

Opera 8 edit

Opera appears to take a copy of the "search.ini" and load it into an internal buffer of some type. After editing the file with your new entry you must change the "File Version" at the top of the file to allow for your changes to be seen in the browser.

New search buttons to drag edit

A new kind of search has been added, which no longer requires manual editing. This will create a button on the mainbar, which can then be put anywhere you wish, even in the start panel.
See for a Wikiquote search button.

Older Versions edit

Most importantly, in 7.0, you should back up your customized search.ini because the file is overwritten by the Opera installer. This is no longer true in 7.10 and later.

In Opera 6 and 7.0, the menu accelerator letter is defined by the & in the name. In current versions the accelerator is automatically generated and may no longer be the same as the key.

More information (External Links) edit

Searching with TomeRaider edit

After downloading the Wikiquote:TomeRaider database one can search the Wikiquote version offline. One can also search for parts of words.

Searching the page history edit

To search the text that appears only in the page history, you must export the text to XML format first.

If you cannot find an appropriate page on Wikiquote edit

If there is no appropriate page on Wikiquote, consider creating a page, since you can edit Wikiquote right now. Or consider adding what you were looking for to the Requested articles page. Or if you have a question to be answered by Wikiquote, ask it at the Reference desk.