All Collections
How can I set up a Topic using a Boolean search string?
How can I set up a Topic using a Boolean search string?

How to use "Expert Mode" to set up your topics.

James Green avatar
Written by James Green
Updated over a week ago

"Expert Mode" can be used to manually create Boolean search strings to create your Topics, rather than using Agility's standard three fields of OR, AND, and NOT fields.  This allows you to enter long-form Boolean expressions which gives more flexibility when building your search queries.

Please note that Expert Mode is made for users who have experience and knowledge of creating Boolean search strings.  Those unfamiliar with Boolean search strings may find this feature difficult to use and may find the standard mode more user-friendly.

If you would like to learn more, please reach out to your Client Success Specialist or Support to learn more!

To switch to Expert Mode, simply click "Switch to expert mode" on the topic creation page:

Some important tips when using Expert Mode:


Operators available are:

  • OR

  • AND


Please note all operators must be in capital letters.

Proximity search:

We have added the ability to return results where multiple search terms appear close together rather than as a single phrase or consecutive words.

In this simple example, I am interested in online shopping, but I want to make sure that I see results that refer to things such as online grocery shopping, online food shopping, online clothes shopping, etc.

I construct my search to look for results that contain the words online and shopping within 2 words of each other:

One of the results I get is this article, which refers to “online grocery shopping”:


Boolean supports the use of wildcards.  Wildcard operators allow you to search for variations of a word without having to include each one as a separate search term.  Two wildcard operators can be used: a single-character wildcard (?) and a multi-character wildcard (*).

A single-character wildcard search looks for terms that match the input keyword with variations where the single-character wildcard is replaced with any alphabetical character.  You can use multiple instances of the wildcard in the same search term, either adjacently or not.

For example, "reali?ed" will return matches with realized, realised, etc.

The multi-character wildcard works the same way except it will find matches for any number of contiguous characters where the * is placed.

For example, " bio* " will match with biology, biometrics, biotechnology, biodiversity, etc.

Please note that wildcard searches may not work on mentions from Facebook or Twitter, nor can wildcards be used within quotes (phrases, multi-word keywords). As an imperfect example, instead of "media monitor*" you could use (media AND monitor*). If having multiple versions of the phrase or multi-word keyword is necessary, entering the various potential versions can accomplish that goal. Using this example, those variations may be ("media monitor" OR "media monitoring" OR "media monitored").

Other Key Points:

  • Check the case-sensitive box to make the search case-sensitive.  This option can be found under "Other search settings" at the bottom of the right-hand panel.

  • You will get real-time feedback to help guide you in creating the Boolean search in a bar along the bottom of the text box.  Please refer to this throughout the creation of your search string to ensure the formatting is correct.

  • When switching from standard to expert mode, your keywords will carry over and be properly structured as a Boolean expression.  However, you cannot switch back to standard from export mode.

Did this answer your question?