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On the advanced search page in SharePoint 2010 page I type in the last name of an individual short the last character i.e. smit instead of smith.

After hitting search it doesn't return any results.

If I enter the full name smith it returns back multiple results.

It appears that the default search operator is equals instead of contains in the field 'all of these words' field. This seems to be what is occurring here. Can someone confirm this finding?

Can this default behavior be modified? (I would rather it use contains to make it easier for individuals to type in letters that may match individuals names)

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"All of these words" mean whole words. This means if you specify "Education Exchange", it would look for articles which contain both words: “Education” and “Exchange”. So as far as SharePoint is concerned, the behavior is correct because it does not say “All these characters”. IN your case it would look for whole single word.

I am not sure if there is any way to change the behavior (I would be surprised though if it exists). But there are several features in search that help.

SharePoint may suggest you to use “Smith” instead of “Smit” if the word exist in its directory and it identifies “Smit” as a spelling error.

SharePoint may look for “Smith” when you type “Smit” if SharePoint determines that both are synonyms. More info about keywords and synonyms: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg604770.aspx

If you are using people search, there are chances that SharePoint recognize “Smit” and “Smith” as same last name because of its phonetic feature. See below: http://www.kowalski.ms/2010/07/09/sharepoint-server-2010-phonetic-and-nickname-search/

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