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Q: How do I run a search?

A: Decide whether you want to search for bids by Keyword, Region, State/Local categories, Federal categories, or a combination of these, and make your selections from the options and menus.

Q: How do I do a search by keyword?

A: There are several ways to use the keyword search option.

  1. Simply enter a keyword and the system will search for that word.
  2. Search by multiple keywords and specify if the results must include all the chosen words, or at least one of the keywords.
  3. Search for an expression by providing many keywords separated by a single space, e.g. “school building”. Only the occurrences containing the exact expression will be returned.
  4. Search for occurrences that contain at least one keyword from a list by providing many keywords separated by “or”, e.g. “gas or gasoline or fuel”. Using “or” will cover an occurrence where at least one of the keywords appear.
  5. Search for occurrences that contain all of the keywords from a list by providing many keywords separated by “and”, e.g. “road and pavement”. Using “and” will cover any occurrence where all keywords appear.
  6. Combine operators “or” & “and” together with keywords in the same search expression to build a more powerful search. Parentheses can be used to control the order in which the operators are interpreted. When no parentheses are used, the operator “and” has precedence over the operator “or”. Within those constraints, the expression is simply evaluated from left to right. E.g. the search expression “road and pavement or pave” would return the occurrences that contain the words “road” and “pavement” with the occurrences that contain the word “pave”. This is not the same as “road and (pavement or pave)” that would return the occurrences that contain the word “road” and either the word “pavement” or “pave”.
  7. Keyword Tip: If you type in a singular keyword, the system will not search for plural versions of the same word. You must use the operator “or” to obtain this behaviour, i.e. “door or doors”, “window or windows and building”.

Q: How do I search for bids from more than one state?

A: In the Regions area of the Advanced Search Tab, hold down the control key while selecting a state. Continue to hold the control key, use the arrow (scroll) keys to navigate up or down within the menu, and select additional states.

Q: How do I search for bids from State/Local vs Federal Government Agencies?

A: Under the Advanced Search Tab, you have the option of searching for bids from State/Local or Federal categories. If you wish to search exclusively for State/Local bids, select only the appropriate categories in the State/Local window, and select “None Selected” in the Federal window. To search Federal bid categories only, select categories in the Federal Categories window, and select “None” in the State/Local Categories window.

Q: How do I search for bids in multiple categories in State/Local or Federal?

A: In the Categories area of the Advanced Search Tab, go to the Local/State or Federal Categories windows, or both. To select multiple categories, hold down the control key while selecting a category. Continue to hold the control key, use the arrow (scroll) keys to navigate up or down within the menu, and select additional categories.

Q: How many days “back” should I search?

A: The default selection searches for bids over the last 90 days. If your search returns too many bids and you only want to see the most recent entries, simply reduce the number of days. If you would like to see more bids, increase the number of days to a maximum of 999.

Q: Will the “Results per page” window limit how many results I see?

A: No, this window simply regulates the layout of the results page, allowing you the option of seeing more, or less, bid results without clicking to the next page.

Q: Can I search by type of opportunity?

A: You can choose to limit or filter your bid search by type of item, such as All, or to include only bids, only advance items, or only awards. The default is to see all bids available. Note that the level of detail available will be determined by the specific service package that you have subscribed to.

Q: How will my bids be sorted?

A: You can choose how you would like the results of your search sorted, either by category or by state. Simply click to select your preference.

Q: How will I know how effective my search is?

A: All results pages display the number of results and search criteria at the top of the page. The page information is displayed at the bottom center.

Browse help

Q: How do I browse for bid opportunities by category or region?

A: Select the "Browse Bids" link in the main navigation toolbar, then decide on whether to explore bids by business Category or geographic Region. Once you are in a Category page, you can also further refine your exploration by clicking on lower level categories.

Q: What are related categories?

A: At the bottom of each Category/Region browse page, you will find a list of categories that relate to the search parameters. This is a convenient way to quickly find similar search terms and choices.

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