In today’s fast-paced business world, searching effectively for information and tracking up-to-date changes of data is becoming a very important part of our skill set. Studies have shown that knowledge workers spend about 20% of their work time tracking down information. If we could speed up that process by making search more effective, we could increase productivity and make bottom-line impact. In this blog, I will introduce you to some basic SharePoint functions & features including the Basic Search Box, Search Scope, Refinement Panel, Alert Me, RSS Feed, and Search SharePoint content in Windows Explorer. In my other blog post SharePoint Search Tips, you can dig deeper into how to create search strings that enhance search results.
On a SharePoint site, you can search content by typing in a keyword or a search string in the search box. Note you can type multiple keywords or a complex search string if you wish. For more information on how to create search strings, please refer to SharePoint 2010 Search Tips.
If you know ahead of time which site you are interested in searching, you can refine search results and speed up the search process by choosing a search scope in the dropdown list:
If you misspell a word in the search string, SharePoint will ask you Did you mean_closest match_? and give you a suggested word to search. For example:
On the search results page, you can see a Refinement Panel on the left hand side of the page. You can refine your search results here by selecting different property values such as file type, site location, author and modified date:
SharePoint Search feature Alert Me is used for keeping track of changes in search results. On the search result page, click on the Alert Me icon on the right upper corner:
After you click on the icon, you can set up the alert by entering an Alert Title, choosing the users in the Send Alerts to field, and selecting a Delivery Method:
You can set up the type of change you would like to track in the search results in the Change Type section, which includes new items in search result and changes of existing items. You can also set up the alert frequency to be daily or weekly in the When to Send Alerts section:
The RSS Feed feature in SharePoint Search allows you to keep an up-to-date version of search results by subscribing to a specific search page.
The RSS Feed icon is at the right upper corner of the search results, next to the Alert Me icon.
By clicking the RSS Feed icon, you would be directed to the following page:
Click Subscribe to this feed, you’ll see the following window:
Choose the subscription settings, and click Subscribe:
You are now successfully subscribed to the specific search results feed!
Search SharePoint content in Windows Explorer
The third icon on the right upper corner of the search results pages is the Search in Windows Explorer icon, which allows you to search this location later from a Windows Explorer. Click on the icon:
The following window will pop up, click Add:
Now you can search content on a SharePoint from Windows Explorer
Type in your keyword in the search box, you’ll get the search results of SharePoint content in the Windows Explorer:
Congratulations! You’ve just used basic SharePoint 2010 Search functions to search content on a SharePoint site, filtered the results with the refinement panel, and learned about the Search features including Alert Me, RSS Feed and Search SharePoint content in Windows Explorer.