The free query gives the user an opportunity to type in a query string just as in the command-line or email gateway versions of the command. You can get to the free query menu by selecting the "freeform query" option from the main menu, which presents you with a simple dialog:
The "Free Query" menu. Type a valid query string into the entry box and submit.
To query the database using a free query, simply type an appropriate query string into the dialog and submit. In the following example, the user has queried the database for all submitters who have submitted defects which have a synopsis containing the word "eels":
Results of a free query
Note that the free query option gives you more power than the form query in that you can search for parts of issues, are not constrained by having to select only one value for enumerated attributes, etc.