When it comes to refining your search in a screen, understanding the power of search operators can be a game-changer. These simple symbols: "+", "-", and quotation marks can dramatically narrow down your results. Let's explore how these operators work.

Search without Operators: Match on ANY word

Typing multiple words without operators in your screener Description field acts as an "OR" statement including results if it matches on ANY of the words. For example, if you enter ‘silver gold copper steel’, the screener will show results containing any of these metals. Note that our search is never case sensitive. So Steel = steel = STEEL.

Example: silver gold copper steel

The Plus Sign (+): Ensuring Inclusion

In stock screening, placing the “+” sign directly before a keyword (with no space) tells the screener that this word must be present in the search results. Multiple words with a proceeding “+” acts as an AND statement; requiring each word to appear in the results.

Searching for dividend-paying growth funds could look like this

Example: +dividend +growth

This ensures that only descriptions with both "dividend" AND "growth" will appear in your results.

The Minus Sign (-): Specifying Exclusions

Conversely, the "-" sign excludes certain terms from your search results, useful for filtering out irrelevant results.

If you’re interested in tech stocks but excluding semiconductors, your search could be

Example: -semiconductors

This search will return tech stocks while ensuring that none of the results mention semiconductors.

Quotation Marks "": Searching for Multiple Words Together in Sequence

By enclosing a phrase within quotation marks, you can search for a phrase in sequence.

If you're looking for companies specifically described with "Artificial Intelligence" rather than instances where "Artificial" and "Intelligence" appear separately, you'd screen as follows

Example: "Artificial Intelligence"

Your screener will then filter for documents where the phrase appears exactly as written. Note that quotation marks can be used with a proceeding “+” or “-” to require or exclude a phrase.


By mastering these search operators, you can transform your screener into a highly precise tool. Leveraging "+" for required terms, "-" to exclude unwanted results, and quotation marks for exact phrasing will give you a significant edge in your research endeavors. Happy screening!