Replacing the Books Online Search Feature

Some time back, the Books Online team at Microsoft made a very cool macro on that would search within the on-the-web version of Books Online – a very handy feature indeed, since the search for the installed version of Books Online is, well, “less than optimal”.

Anyhow, it seems with the transition to “bing” from “live” that the macros no longer work. I’ve contacted the team to see if they can share how they wrote the original macro, but in the meantime I’ve found a way to search Books Online using bing. All you need to is place your search term in quotes, followed by a space and then this string: site:

So for instance, if you want to search for the Transact-SQL (T-SQL) command called BACKUP, you could use this string:

“BACKUP” site:

I find this works most of the time. Check it out and comment if you find a better method…

Comments (3)
  1. Brian Tkatch says:

    So, you have a less than optimal backup plan?

    ha ha ha ha, eh, ferget it

    BTW, that works in google as well. Just tested it, it was the first link.

    Personally, i use the local help file. I can check the online books for updates automatically.

  2. Dave Dustin says:

    You could also create a custom search provider for IE and Windows using this URL{searchTerms} which limits the results on MSDN search to Library/Documentation and SQL Server topics.

  3. mhouse says:

    You can also use -site:URL to remove sites from the list.  I use to search for "official" answers to my sql questions, and I’ll often include to filter out the comments from the "social" area if I’m not interested in them.  

    You don’t have to include the other terms in quotes.  If you do, bing will narrow the search to include that exact phrase (the quoted words in the quoted order).

    These techniques also hold true for that other search engine with the boring front page.

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