The Calvin and Hobbes Extensive Strip Search, C.H.E.S.S., is able to search on words of four characters and longer. Shorter words are considered to be noise words. Words that appear in the index a lot of times, are also considered noise words. So searching for "calvin" or "hobbes" won't give any results at all. The normal search functionality searches for any word you enter. Strips that match all the words you enter are displayed first. Because of this behaviour, it's best to enter a descriptive text like "calvin and hobbes sitting in a tree". Since C.H.E.S.S. searches for the best match, it's not really a problem if one of the words is not present with the particular strip you're looking for.

Besides the normal search there's also a boolean search option. The boolean full-text search capability supports the following operators:

A leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in every row returned.
A leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any row returned.
By default (when neither plus nor minus is specified) the word is optional, but the rows that contain it will be rated higher.
An asterisk is the truncation operator. Unlike the other operators, it should be appended to the word, not prepended.
The phrase, that is enclosed in double quotes ", matches only rows that contain this phrase literally, as it was typed.
Some examples:
calvinball mask
find rows that contain at least one of these words.
+calvinball +song
... both words.
+calvinball mask
... word ``calvinball'', but rank it higher if it also contains ``mask''.
+calvinball -mask
... word ``calvinball'' but not ``mask''.
... ``calvin'', ``calvinball'', and ``calvinism''.
"spaceman spiff"
... ``spaceman spiff escapes'', but not ``spaceman is called spiff''.
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