The quickest way to find information in MediaWiki is to look it up directly. On the left-hand side of your screen there is a Search box with two buttons under it labeled "Go" and "Search".
If you clicked 'search', or you clicked 'go' and the page you were looking for did not exist, you will be presented with a list of articles that matched your search criteria (or a message that no matches were found).
How it works
Here's how the search works:
- Only the article content is searched - the page title is ignored.
- The article content is searched in its raw (wikitext) form - i.e., it searches the text that appears in the edit box when you click 'edit', not the rendered page. This means that content coming from an included template will not be picked up, but the target of piped links will be.
- Even if you enclose a phrase in quotes, the search looks for each word individually. e.g., if you enter "world war 2" it will return pages that contain "world" and "war" and "2".
- The search is not case-sensitive, so "MediaWiki", "mediawiki" and "MEDIAWIKI" all give the same result.
Restricting the search
If you click the 'Search' button without filling in anything, you will be taken to 'Special:Search' which gives you extra searching options (also available from any search results list)
You may find it useful to restrict a search to pages within a particular namespace e.g., only search within the 'Talk' pages. Tick the namespaces you require for this search.
By default only the namespaces specified in your preferences will be searched. Logged-in users can change their preferences to specify the namespaces they want to search by default. This can be done by selecting and deselecting boxes in the 'search' section of user preferences.