Here are some tips on using the Apronym search form:
The Acronym search facility is currently a fairly simple one... it will look for the exact phrase that you type in. The only smart things about it are that is not case sensitive and it ignores punctuation... so a search for 'Help Desk' will give you the same results as a search for 'helpdesk' or 'H.E.L.P.D.E.S.K.'. So if you want to search for a phrase or sequence of words, just type it in. You can search for just a part of a word if you want. However, you can 'narrow down' a search to find acronyms containing several words, not necessarily in order. If you want to search for something with various keywords in it, you should type in one word, click on Search, then click on the 'Search within these results' radio button and type in another word - go to the bottom of this page for some hints on narrowing down searches.
Think about which parts of the apronym listings you want to search in. By default, the 'Apronyms', 'Expansions' and 'Category names' checkboxes are checked. If you're after apronyms which have to do with a particular topic, this is usually the best setting, however read the notes below for some exceptions.
If you want to find an expansion of a particular word, just search in apronyms, as that will look for an actual apronym containing that word, which will of course have an expansion.
If you want to find apronyms by a particular person, type in that person's name and search only in the credits. Alternatively, in most pages on the site a name in a credit will be linked to a page listing that person's apronyms.
Some credits have explanations of the apronyms which can be useful to search in. For example, since each of the apronyms for Pokemon mentions that Pokemon's number in the credit, if you want to search for apronyms of the names of Pokemon you should search for 'Pokemon' in the credits. Not all Pokemon names mention the word 'Pokemon' in the expansions, so in this case only searching in the apronyms and expansions wouldn't work very well. Similarly, if you're looking for expansions of Shakespeare characters, search for Shakespeare or for the name of the particular play in the credits. This is not so necessary now, as if you search with the 'Category names' box checked you'll find the Shakespearean Plays or Pokemon category.
You can change the parts of apronyms you're searching in at each stage - for example, you could search for apronyms with 'Mac' anywhere in them, and then narrow that search down (by selecting 'Search within these results') to the apronyms with 'Computer' in the expansion, and then search within those results for the ones which have 'Tony McCoy O'Grady' in the credit. You can continue searching within the results of previous searches as much as you like, so you can get really specific results. The category names found are currently not narrowed down in this way, so the category names you find might only contain the most recent search term.
If you're looking for an explanation of an acronym which is in common use, you should probably try searching Acronym Finder. They have 'real' acronyms, we have made up ones, specifically apronyms.
If you still can't find an apronym on the topic you're interested in, make some! Submit your original apronyms using this submission form. Be sure to look at the submission guidelines first.
If you have any questions about the apronym search form, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org