SharePoint 2010 Search Tips

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Instead of having your employees send hundreds of inquiries to each other and wait for hours for a piece of information or a document, isn’t it better to teach them how to quickly and easily search for the data that have already been stored and organized on a SharePoint server? Here are some tips for “fishing” information in SharePoint 2010:

Boolean Operator

The Boolean operators AND, NOT, and OR can be used in the search string to refine search results. Here’s a list of commonly used operators:

 

Boolean Operator

Function in Search

Example Search String

Search Results

AND: To include more keywords or filters winter AND spring Find all documents containing both terms “winter” and “spring”
NOT: To exclude terms or conditions winter NOT Spring Find all documents containing key term “winter” but not “spring”
OR: To find files satisfy either term or conditions winter OR Spring Find all documents containing “winter” or “spring”
: Colon To specify equality filename: inventory Find all documents that include the term inventory in their names
= Equal to To specify equality ExpirationDate = 25/3/13 Find all files that expired on March 25th, 2013
<> Not equal to Use with dates or integers to exclude EffectiveDate <>25/3/2013 Find all files that do NOT effective date on March 25th, 2013
<= Less than or equal to Use with dates or integers to specify less than or equal to CreationDate<=25/3/2013 Find all files that were created before or on March 25th, 2013
< Less than Use with dates or integers to specify less than CreationDate <25/3/2013 Find all files that were created before March 25th, 2013
>= Great than or equal to Use with dates or integers to specify greater than or equal to CreationDate >=25/3/2013 Find all files that were created on or after March 25th, 2013
>Greater than Use with dates or integers to specify greater than CreationDate >25/3/2013 Find all files that were created after March 25th, 2013

 

Search by Property Values

  • File Name: you can search by file name by entering search string: filename: education
  • File Type: you can search by file type by entering search string: filetype:pdf
  • Author: you can search by author by entering search string: author:Adam Smith

Search by Site

You can search content by a specific site by typing search string: site: siteURL keyword

Search strings with space

The default value of space in the search string could be different. For example:

Type of Search String

Default Value of Space

Sample Search String

Search Result

Several Keywords

AND

Accounting Finance

Return results with both keywords

Keyword and property

AND

Tax Filetype:pdf

Return pdf files with the keyword “tax”

Two values of the same property

OR

filename: drilling filename:production

Return results with either value

 

Search with a Partially Complete Word

The asterisk symbol * is a wildcard that can be used In SharePoint 2010 to represent one or more characters of a keyword when the initial character or characters are given. For example, search string fest* could give you results that include the word festival. However, wildcard doesn’t work when no initial character is given, for example, search string *tival wouldn’t give you search result that include the word festival.

Search Exact Word or Phrase

To look for documents that contain an exact word, you can use double quotation marks. For example: Search filename: “Oil and Gas” will return results with the exact file name word such as “Oil and Gas.docx”. Without the double quotation marks, if the search string is filename: Oil and Gas, search result such as “crude oil is…..gas wells.” would show up.

 

Capitalization Rules

  • Case insensitive: Search string iNVenTory returns the same results as search string Inventory
  • Case sensitive: Boolean operator needs to be in capital letter
    • Search string Safety or Benefit, “or” would be used as a keyword in the search
    • Search string Safety OR Benefit, “OR” would be used as a Boolean operator

It is extremely helpful to know how and why certain search parameters work, in order to increase your search efficiency and reduce frustration when seeking data. This post should serve as a guide to help you master the art of search. Enjoy!

April 9, 2013
  • John

    I’m using sharepoint 2010 and when I do a filename search, it is not returning all the results. i.e filename:aide will return cafeteria aide document but not deli aide document.

  • Lean

    This is a very helpful article! Thanks!!