Locating Misspellings, Typos, and Approximations

The approximate pattern matcher lets you find "looks roughly like" or "sounds like" information. To invoke a fuzzy match precede the word or pattern with the '%' (percent) character.

This pattern matcher locates items by examining how "closely" the text matches your query item. It uses percentages of difference as a measure, and will default to finding items with 80% similar content. You may specify a different percentage on the query line by following the '%' with a two digit number that represents the value you desire.

It is important to note our method is far superior to the "soundex" method found in many other tools. Here's why:

  • Handles character transpositions and omissions.
  • Can be used on non-word items like addresses.
  • Will match foreign language constructions.
  • Finds accidental OCR errors or character insertions.


Expression           Will Find
ronald %regan        Ronald Raygun, Ronald Re~an, Ronald 8eagan
%75MYPARTNO9045d/6a  Anything within 75% of looking like MYPARTNO9045d/6a
mo* %quadaffi        mohamar kadaffi, Mo Qadaffi, etc...

Since fuzzy searching by its very nature tends to bring back more than you really wanted, it is always a really good idea to try to "anchor" your fuzzy term with another keyword. (Like the %regan example).

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