Help > Performing searches > Perceptive Enterprise Search Query Syntax > Precedence of operators

Precedence of operators

Where queries use more than one search term, certain words and operators take precedence over others. That is, some operators will always be read by Perceptive Search before others, regardless of where they occur in your query. The order of precedence is as follows:

  1. Phrases
  2. //, LABEL, IN, EXCEPT, TO, BEFORE, AFTER
  3. \\
  4. ... , .. , AND, OR, NOT

Where a query expression, or part thereof, contains several operators of the same precedence, Perceptive Search will process them from left to right.

Use of parentheses

Parentheses (or brackets) allow you to control and define the order of precedence in complex queries, as their use overrides the Perceptive Search default searching order. They are not necessary in searches of two terms, but with three or more, they can be invaluable in ensuring Perceptive Search does exactly what you want it to.

Examples:

car allowance // manager OR salesperson

Using Perceptive Search Query's default sequence, this will be interpreted as follows:

((car allowance) // manager) OR salesperson

...which means that documents need only to contain the word "salesperson" to be included with the more detailed search of "car allowance in the same paragraph as manager".

To change the query to "find the phrase car allowance in the same paragraph as manager or salesperson", use the following search:

car allowance // (manager OR salesperson)