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 ommissions
  • 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...
Note: 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).