Search Tools

Search is the foundation for any question. Open a search window by going to Search > Search for Word(s).



Advanced Search

The WordWheel tab shows all words that occur in the selected word list and their frequency.


Sort by various parameters, such as alphabetical ascending/descending and frequency ascending/descending.

If you click on a column heading, it will sort by that parameter. If you click the heading a second time, the order will be reversed.


You can filter by…

  • Words: This is most useful when used with wildcards.
  • Frequency: This is useful if you wish to see which words, if any, occur a given number of times or in a provided range.
  • Word-Type: You can filter by normal text, group words, ruby text, subwords, or tagwords.
  • Alphanumeric Words: Filter any words containing letters and numbers, while omitting punctuation.
  • Punctuation

Operator Description
= Equal to
< Less than
<= Less than OR equal to
> Greater than
>= Greater than OR equal to
<=> Between
a*b?c Wildcard
abc* Begins with
*abc Ends with

"Equal to" means only the words that match exactly what you type in the field will appear in the WordWheel or in the report.

"Less than" refers to words that come "earlier" in an alphabetical list ( fair is “less than” gravity)

"Greater than" refers to words that come "later" in an alphabetical list (gravity is “greater than” fair)

The asterisk (*) stands for zero or more characters. The question mark (?) stands for a single character.

Modifying or Deleting Filter Tokens

To modify a list of filter tokens, click on the filter token name.

To delete a filter token, click and drag the filter token out of the Filter box.

Part of Speech and Type

When Ignore Part of Speech is not active, a light blue icon will be superscripted at the end of a word to indicate a word that is marked with Part of Speech. The codes within the icon are better defined within the Part of Speech tab, but usually the first letter corresponds to a primary part of speech. For example, NN2 starts with an N, so this is a noun. A POS-tagged book will usually have a table at the beginning of a book as a key for any part of speech codes.

When Ignore Type is not active, a purple icon will be superscripted at the end of a word to indicate a word that is not considered Normal text: S for subwords, G for group words, T for tagwords, and RT for furigana, pinyin, or ruby text.

Copy/Copy All/Export All

If you right-click within the WordWheel table, you can Copy a specific row of the WordWheel, Copy All for the entire WordWheel table, and Export All to export the WordWheel file as a TXT or CSV file.

WordWheel Column Preferences

Right-click the header of a WordWheel column to change which columns appear in the WordWheel

Try It Out

  1. Sort the WordWheel by frequency (high to low)
  2. Copy All
  3. Paste into an excel sheet or other document and save

And Operator

The And logic operator requires two words to exist in the corpus, and you can specify how far apart the words must be. For example, you can specify that the word airplane must occur within 5 words to the left or to the right of the word fly. If you were searching in the TED Talk Corpus (English), you would get results like this:

Example Search: airplane And.5,5 fly
You take an airplane, you fly over the top, you're weightless
It's as far as you can fly on a regularly scheduled airplane
I couldn't drive a bus or fly an airplane.

Or Operator

The Or logic operator allows you to search for two (or more) words at the same time. For example, you can look for the words needless and unnecessary at the same time, and your output would look like this:

Example Search: needless Or unnecessary
People like to surround themselves with unnecessary power, right?
we've made it unnecessary for people to get reached by us.
But their governments, unnecessary to say, are relatively threatened by this.
So needless to say, I was not having a good night.

Not Operator

The Not operator allows you to search for a word while excluding search results based on its surroundings. For example, you can look for the word airplane but exclude all results of the word when the word fly occurs five words to the left or right of it.

Example Search: airplane Not.5,5 fly
scientists and engineers are on the airplane for eight hours at a stretch
I would start with the armrest between two airplane seats and two sets of elbows fighting.
when we won't even trust an airplane that required a human to fly.

Logic Favorites

You can save up to 10 logic tokens into a keyboard shortcut in the Favorites menu. After setting up a logic pattern in this tab, you can set it as a favorite by going to Favorites > Edit. Choose a quick key and then Replace with CL > OK.

Try It Out

  1. Type in two search terms.
  2. Click the space between the two search terms.
  3. Use the Logic tab interface to insert the And operator.

This tab can modify the word-type, word list, and language of a word. It can also specify the tagwords associated with the word. This tab is usually empty, except for special books like the Dead Sea Scrolls. Books published by WordCruncher in the future will use the Part of Speech tab for grammatical tags.

Unlike other tabs that simply modify the search for words, this tab can be used to look for references or attributes used within the table of contents. Behind the scenes, metadata is added to the text to structure a book into a table of contents.

Reference Tab in Search Window

This kind of search does not look for any individual word. It will simply show results for all references or attributes indicated in your search. This can be useful for looking up things as an index or finding specific categories of text by keyword, gender, topic, etc. The image below, for example, shows all texts that have a keyword attribute of Administrative Law.

Attribute Search Results of Administrative Law

Only available for books that have text tagged by part of speech.

Part of Speech Tab in Search Window

The Part of Speech tab lets you modify a word’s part of speech. You can either modify a specific word’s part of speech or add a wildcard for a part of speech, which will look for any word with the specified part of speech.

The search example below will look for any adjective that precedes the noun “girl.”

Example of an adjective wildcard followed by girl as a noun in the search bar

Searching for variant part of speech

You have two options when searching by part of speech:

  1. Find all variants of the selected code

    This option lets you find all tags that are a variant of the selected tag. For example, you could expand your search to all types of nouns instead of just proper nouns.

  2. Find only the selected code

    Your search will only include the specific code you choose. For example, you could see all proper nouns without including any other nouns.

Example of a word looking for all variant part of speech

Note: Some parts of speech, especially primary parts of speech like nouns or adjectives, do not have a code assigned to them. The text may have singular nouns and plural nouns, but they don’t have anything tagged as just nouns. Because of this, looking for a noun with Find only the selected code selected will produce 0 results.

The Phrase Lists tab in the search window allows you to save search queries so that they can be reused.

Save a search query by creating a phrase list

  1. Click on the Phrase Lists tab in the search window. If you do not see a tab for Phrase Lists, go to More... and select Phrase Lists.
  2. In the Phrase Lists tab, go to Options > Create a phrase list.
  3. Near the bottom of this window, provide a description for the phrase list.
  4. Click on the Add... button.
  5. In the Build Search Entry window, add your search query to the Search entry box.
  6. Once you have added the search query to the search entry box, click on the Save and Next button or press the Enter/Return key on your keyboard.
  7. Make sure to press the Save button before closing out of the Create a Phrase List window.

After creating a phrase list, then you can select the phrase list and press the Insert button to add it to your search query at any time.

Create a phrase list from an external list

If you have a list of hundreds of words or phrases, it would be a pain to type in each word or phrase into WordCruncher manually. This web tool will help you convert your list into a WSLX file, which can then be imported into WordCruncher. To create a phrase list from your external word/phrase list:

  1. Go to the Phrase List Creator web tool.
  2. Paste your list of words and phrases into the Words/Phrases text box. Make sure each item is on a new line.
  3. Press the Create a Phrase List button. This will prompt you to download a WSLX file.
  4. Add the WSLX file to the Phrase Lists tab in the WordCruncher search window by following the instructions in the next section.

Share a phrase list

You can share your phrase lists with another user! Phrase lists are saved on your computer as an WSLX file at C:/Users/{Your Username}/AppData/Local/Brigham Young University/WordCruncher 7.1/Phrase Lists/.
Note: Your AppData folder is hidden by default. To unhide your AppData folder:

  1. Open your File Explorer.
  2. In the upper-left corner, click on the View tab.
  3. Check the box next to Hidden items.

WSLX files available for download from WordCruncher's Github

You can send these WSLX files to anyone. To add the WSLX file to the Phrase Lists tab:

  1. Click on the Phrase Lists tab in the Search Window. If you do not see a tab for Phrase Lists, go to More... and select Phrase Lists.
  2. In the Phrase Lists tab, go to Options > Import a phrase list.
  3. Select the WSLX file from your File Explorer.
  4. The Phrase List will now show up in the Phrase Lists tab.