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Stemming and Wildcard 101

What is Stemming?

Stemming will automatically look for variations of any words you have entered in your search. For example, it will look at the word "heated" and reduce the word back to "heat". It then also looks at variations of "heat" such as "heated, heating, heater, heats, heat..." and so on. Stemming has no limitation on the number of variations that are returned. 

English stemming can be found in the settings, which you can get to by performing any search and locating the small grey cog button that is situated on the top-right of the search results page, just above your search results. This will open the settings popup window. It is switched ON by default. 



This is a more selective form of stemming. If you only want certain words to be stemmed, you can add an asterisk at the end of the word you want to be stemmed.

There are two wildcards, the question mark ? and the asterisk *. Wildcards can only be used in the middle or at the end of the word. One ? represents one character, the * represents an unlimited number of characters, i.e.:

car? (will give you cars, card, care…)

car(will give you car, carton, carbon, cardio…)

English stemming is automatically switched on, so if you search in English you will automatically be encompassing variables of your search term. This can be very broad when searching for short words especially, for instance searching for “cat” will get you patents that mention “location”. Much like Google and Bing, PatSnap will search up to 1500 wildcard variations per query. The limit is in place to ensure that you only get the most relevant search results returned.


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