The search function is designed to help you find the content you need, as quickly as possible. You can simply search for certain words or phrases - or else use more sophisticated techniques - see Custom searches.

 You can save searches, print them and share search links via email. You can also set up search change alerts and view saved searches and previous searches.

Search page
Search results
Save search & alert
Print search
Share search
Previous searches

Search page

Click 'Search' on the main menu to open the search page.

1 Search within: Restricts your search to particular types of content. The default is 'All content excluding Commentaries' as most searches wish to exclude them.

2 Search type: 'Document titles only' looks at document titles and not text within documents. 'Document titles and text within' searches for words and phrases in entire documents.

3 Search phrase: The default setting 'Custom query' ' is the best option for most searches. See Custom searches below for tips on using advanced search techniques. Use 'All words from the phrase' to ensure results include all of your search words and 'Exact phrase' to limit results to documents containing the exact phrase. 


Custom query and All words from the phrase 

Results will both include 'Pensions Act, 1990' and 'S.I. No. 41 of 2010 - National Treasury Management Agency Act, 1990 (Social Welfare and Pensions Act, 2009) Delegation of Functions Order, 2010'

Exact phrase

Results will include 'Pensions Act, 1990' and 'S.I. No. 531 of 2008 - Pensions Act, 1990 (Disclosure of Information) (Amendment) Regulations, 2008 but exclude 'S.I. No. 41 of 2010 - National Treasury Management Agency Act, 1990 (Social Welfare and Pensions Act, 2009) Delegation of Functions Order, 2010'

4 Search bar: Type in individual words or phrases or use advanced query options for extra precision - see 5 below.

5 Custom query tips: Click the link to see a list of the query options you can use. These are reproduced here:


Boolean: AND
Example: pensions AND social act
Results include all words either side of AND. Here, the results must include both ‘pensions’ and ‘social act’.

Boolean: NOT
Example: pensions NOT social act

Results exclude any findings that include the term following NOT. Here, the results must include ‘pensions’ and must not include ‘social act’

Boolean: OR
Example: mifid OR mifir
Results include any of the terms listed. Here, results would include ‘MiFID’ and/or ‘MiFIR’.

Phrase: " "
Example: "Member States" or "Member States" AND "stricter provisions"
To specify a particular set of words, put them within double quotes. AND/NOT/OR can also be used.

Wildcard: *
Example: bank*

The * stands for any number of unspecified characters. Here, results could include ‘bank’, ‘banks’, ‘banker’, ‘banking’.

Wildcard: ?
Example: CR?

The ? stands for any single character. Here, results could include ‘CRR’ and ‘CRD’.

Proximity: " "~
Example: "retain stricter"~7

Specify how close to each other two search terms should be. Here, ‘stricter’ must occur no more than 7 words later than ‘retain’.

Fuzzy: ~
Example: roam~

Use to search for similarly spelt terms (or mis-spellings). Here, results could include ‘roam’, ‘roams’, ‘road’, ‘foam’, ‘ream’.

Grouping: ()
Example: (adopt OR retain) AND stricter

Search for one combination, another combination, or both. Here, results would include ‘stricter’ plus ‘adopt’ and/or ‘stricter’ plus ‘retain’.

Boosting: ^
Example: adopt^4 retain or "adopt or retain"^4 stricter provisions

To increase the relevance of any word or phrase in the search, use the caret symbol^ and boost factor 4. 


Search results

Search results pages comprise 7 areas:

7 areas on the search results page

1 List of results: You can see the number of results returned by the search and a list of all results and the document status - see Page statuses and icons.

2 Order of results and number of results per page: The default order setting is relevancy to the search terms used, but you can also sort by title. The default number of results shown on the page is 50, but for searches that produce a large number of results, you can choose to view 100, 150 or 200 results at a time.

3 Refine results: Refine your search further by clicking one of the checkboxes. The figures in brackets show how many documents match each category.

4 Search within results: Add extra terms to your search using this search bar:

Add extra term to search within results

This will add an extra filter and narrow the search results further:

Search results including extre term

To add further filters from the options shown in the sidebar, click on the selections you require. Each time you make a selection (eg 2016 in the example below), you need to wait until the page refreshes before making a further selection (eg 2015).

5 Expand results: Expand your results by clearing search terms and removing refinements:

Clear refinements to expand search

  1. Click the red minus icons to remove any of your refinements.
  2. Click 'Clear refinements' to remove all refinements at once.
  3. Click the cross icons to remove the search terms to their left.

6 New search: Click New search to start afresh.

7 Search tools: See Save search & alert, Print search and Share search below.

Save search & alert

From a search results page, click 'Save Search & Alert' to save your search for reuse another time. You can also create an alert to receive notifications when there are changes to your search results (or even when there are no changes). You can suspend or reactivate an alert at any time.


Saved searches

To see your saved searches, go to My Profile - Saved searches

Click 'Edit Search' to rename the search or change the alert settings. To remove the search, click 'Delete'.

See also Page alerts and email notifications for more Better Regulation alerts.

Print search

From a search results page, click the print icon to to print out your list of results.

Share search

From a search results page, click 'Share' to create an email in your default email application.

Previous searches

To view previous searches, click 'Previous searches' in the page header or go to My Profile - Previous searches.

The Save column shows any searches that have been saved (see Save search & alert above). To save any other searches, click the + symbol in the Save column.

To clear the list of previous searches, click the 'Click list' button at the bottom of the page.