How to use advanced search
To get more relevant search suggestions, you can either narrow down your search results using search refiners, search using Boolean or/or relationship operators and also use wildcards. These are described below.
Use search refiners
Search refiners are only available if a customized search results page has been created in your Office 365 tenant:
- The search results can be narrowed by clicking on the various refinements that appear to the left of the search results list. For example, the user can refine the results on file type, document type, modified by, etc.:
- The values shown under the each refinement header are those that are used in the document search list (maximum 15 values per refinement) and those used most frequently are shown on the top of the refinement.
- If the search-page lacks refinements they can be added to a custom search results page, by an administrator.
Search with wildcards
- You can use asterisk (*) to search for parts of words.
- * must be used at the end of a word, not in the beginning.
- micro* finds documents that contain Microsoft or microchip.
- *soft does NOT find documents containing Microsoft.
- By combining * with quotation marks, the search becomes more efficient, for example, "Johan An*" gives more relevant hits than John An*.
Search with Boolean operators
All logical expressions (AND, OR, NOT, NEAR, ONEAR) must be written in uppercase, otherwise they are assumed to be normal search phrases. Examples of the most common logical operators:
Finds all the matches that have the first AND the second word (the order of the words is of no importance).
Syntax: phrase1 AND phrase2
Finds all the matches that have the first OR the second word (the order of the words is of no importance).
Syntax: phrase1 OR phrase2
Finds all the matches that have the first but NOT the second word (the order of the words are important).
Syntax: phrase1 NOT phrase2
- (and )
To make more advanced searches, parentheses can be used, just as in mathematics world.
Example: (SharePoint AND Document Management) NOT (Extranet AND Intranet).
Finds all the matches where the first AND the second word are close to each other (the order of the words is of no importance).
Syntax 1: phrase1 NEAR phrase2
Syntax 2: phrase1 NEAR(n=X) phrase2, where X is the number of words apart. If no n is specified then the default value of X is 8.
Finds all the matches where the first AND the second word are close to each other and that the first word comes before the other.
Syntax 1: phrase1 ONEAR phrase2
Syntax 2: phrase1 ONEAR(n=X) phrase2 where X is the number of words apart. If no n is specified then the default value of X is 8.
Search with relationship operators
- Relationship operators can be used on document properties (metadata):
- =(equal to)
- <>(not equal to)
- <(less than)
- >(greater than)
- <=(less than or equal to)
- >=(greater than or equal to)
- ..(between the values)
- No spaces may be used between the document properties, the operator, and the search phases.
- Relationship operators can be combined with logical, for example (“wind power” OR “solar cells”) AND (title:innovations OR title:technician).
- Here is a list of the most common predefined document properties:
All of the document properties can be used within the search, but they must first be configured in the search engine.
Document property SharePoint’s predefined search property Example Comments Created by CreatedBy createdby:”john smith” Who created/uploaded the documents. Modified by ModifiedBy modifiedby:”john smith” Who last edited the documents. Created Created created>2013-02-14 When the documents were created. Modified LastModifiedTime lastmodifiedtime>2013-02-14 When the documents were last edited. Document name Filename filename:agenda NOTE: the file extension is not required! File type Filetype filetype:pptx Author Author author:“john smith“ The documents’ author (not the same as created by or modified). File size Size size>1000000 Note: defined in bytes! Title Title title:protocol The documents’ title (not their filenames/ document names).