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The simple search is mainly used for quickly finding the coordinates or the description of somewhere in the galaxy. Both fields are required on the simple search.
Select what type of entity your searching for in the Search For field. (Is it a planet, system, or sector?)
Input the name in the Search field. If you can't remember the whole name, input what you can. Asterisks aren't necessary, as it returns the closest matches first.
The advanced search includes the simple search fields, as well as others.
The Search field is used for inputting a name or a part thereof.
The "Search For" field is the only required field. If the search returns the statement: "you didn't choose a search category" you must fill the Search For box by either selecting Planet or System. You may leave any of the others blank, but this is where it could get sticky. It may return an error because your search returned too many results. If this happens you'll have to narrow it down a bit.
In the sector, type, and size fields you may hold down shift or control and click to select multiple entries. Gas giants, suns, moons, asteroid fields, and comets are all classified as planets under the Search For field. Remember comets are always size 1x1. Suns are always size 30x30. Asteroids are always less than 4x4.
If you wish to begin again with a totally new Advanced Search, simply click the Reset button beside the Search button at the bottom.