The search function

You can search the database with or without using search operators and placeholders. Without placeholders, the search engine will only find identical terms.


How the search works

After you have entered your search term or terms into the search box and started the search, the following fields will be searched for results:


  1. Number
  2. Sign text (sign without a representation)
  3. Verbal elements (sign with a representation which includes characters)
  4. Remarks (descriptions, e.g. blazons)
  5. Address of the authority or organisation
  6. Vienna Classification
  7. State


You will obtain results if the character string found matches what you typed exactly. For example, a search for photo will only find results with the word photo and not photos, photograph or photographer. To search for alternative spellings or similar terms, please use the advanced search options.

If you use several search terms, the search results will contain at least one of these terms (default operator OR).


Upper/lower case

The search engine does not differentiate between upper and lower case letters.


Terms containing umlauts and other accents

Umlauts (ä, ö, ü) and diacritical marks (e.g. à, ô, ç) are not taken into account by the search. This is also the case for using quotation marks to search for exact phrases. It therefore does not matter if you type umlauts or accent marks – a search for ‘schön’ or ‘schon’ will find the same results. You cannot, however, use ‘ae’ ‘oe’ or ‘ue’ in place of ‘ä’, ‘ö’ or ‘ü’.


Terms containing special characters

The search engine does not recognise special characters. This includes, for example, the characters +  -   /  & !  (  ). Full stops and commas are not recognised.

Because special characters function like spaces, the character strings before and after a special character (e.g. PC-Doctor) are treated like separate terms (search for PC and Doctor). Therefore, please place search terms with special characters in quotation marks – "PC-Doctor".