4.6 Search strategies

The best strategy for locating information in the Abaqus HTML documentation involves a combination of searching for terms or phrases, determining the appropriate book or books to view, and using the table of contents to navigate to the most likely area. The Abaqus HTML documentation allows you to search at both the book level and the collection level. Familiarity with the overall structure of the documentation collection contents significantly enhances the effectiveness of searching.

This section discusses strategies to help you maximize the effectiveness of searches in the Abaqus HTML collection. The following topics are covered:

4.6.1 Determining which book to view

The book containing the most search results may not have the information for which you are searching. You will obtain search results faster if you are able to identify which book most likely contains the information you need. For example, if you are looking for information related to interactive modeling or visualization procedures, start by searching the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual. If you are looking for details on a specific analysis type or procedure, start with a search of the Abaqus Analysis User's Manual. If you are looking for an example of an analysis, start by searching the Abaqus Example Problems Manual or the Abaqus Benchmarks Manual.

If you are not sure where to start, you can search the collection level and see how many related hits occur in each book; the number of hits in each book on a particular topic may provide some guidance.

For more information about the books in the documentation collection, see The Abaqus documentation collection, Section 1.1.

4.6.2 Determining which part of the book to view

When performing a search, you can use the table of contents to find the most relevant hits. The total number of hits in the book are displayed next to the book title, which is the first entry in the table of contents. If you find many hits and are unsure where to look in the book, collapse the table of contents and look for sections with the highest number of hits. Look for section titles related to your search topic, and expand those sections. In addition, you can use the Advanced Search options to search for titles that may help identify relevant sections.

4.6.3 Specifying relevant search terms and using the table of contents to navigate search results

Specifying relevant search terms is critical to locating information. New users performing general searches should begin with obvious search terms and navigate the search results using the number of hits shown in the table of contents frame as a guide along with titles in the table of contents. As the search proceeds, more specific terms can be added to narrow the results (see Narrowing the focus of a search, Section 4.5.2, for more information).

For example, if you are looking for general information on elements, you could search for elements at the collection level. This will produce large numbers of hits in essentially every manual. If you are looking for information about new elements, open the Abaqus Release Notes. If you are looking for an overview of the Abaqus element library, open the Abaqus Analysis User's Manual. Expand the chapters on elements, and navigate using the table of contents or refine the search terms to look for more specific information. In addition, add terms such as "continuum shell" or "solid" to refine the search.