Complex Searches

Full-Text Search

You can use the wildcard *(asterisk) character as a substitute for an unknown sequence of characters. However, doing so may negatively impact search performance.


Wildcards may not be used in numeric search terms in your environment (e.g., 1*345). Contact your first line of support if wildcards do not appear to function as expected.

The following table describes the complex search formats that can also be used.


Searches are only performed if the word entered is three or more characters long. Searches that contain the following special characters may not return the expected results: ' ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & ( ) - = + [ ]{ } \ | ; : ' ” , . < > /. These special characters should be left out of the search unless performing a complex search (special characters used to construct a valid Exact Phrase, Soundex, Fuzzy, or Near search are still respected).



Exact Phrase

Use double quotes around an exact phrase to return only documents that contain that exact phrase.

For example, "bob jones" will not return a document that contains the phrase "Bob Smith and Sally Jones" but will return a document with the phrase "Bob Jones and Sally Smith."


When highlighting the results returned, special characters may be ignored. This means that while the results returned are accurate, some phrases that contain special characters may also be highlighted as if the special characters had been contained in the exact search.


Use boolean operators to limit search results.

  • AND: Both terms must match.

  • OR: Either term can match.

  • NOT: The term must not match.

For example, Tom AND Jerry returns only those documents that contain both Tom and Jerry; Tom OR Jerry returns documents that contain either Tom or Jerry or both; and Tom NOT Jerry returns documents that contain Tom, but only if they also do not contain Jerry.


If the NOT operator is used in a search, that search cannot contain any other boolean operators.


Construct a Soundex search to return documents that include the search term entered and any variations that sound like, or whose letter pattern is similar to, the term entered. Soundex searches are constructed using the S operand and enclosing the search term in curly brackets: S{term}.

For example, a search for S{King} will return King, Kong, Kuang, and Kuong.


Words must start with the same letter as the term you entered to be returned. In the example above, Ling would not be returned.


Construct a Fuzzy search to return documents that include the search term entered and variations based on that term. Fuzzy searches are constructed using the F operand and enclosing the search term in curly brackets: F{term}.

Fuzzy searches only consider results within two characters of the search term. For example, a search for F{department} will return department, dapertment, departments, and departmental, but will not return departmentalize because it is over the two-character threshhold.


Construct a Near search to return documents that include the search terms entered within close proximity to each other, as defined by the input. Near searches are constructed using the N operand and enclosing a comma-separated list of terms that should be close to each other in curly brackets: N3{term1, term2}. The proximity of the terms is defined by the number immediately after the N operand.

For example, a search for N3{term1, term2} will only return results where term2 is found within three words of term1.


Not all words are counted when determining proximity. Common words (such as I, am, the, a, an, and, and etc.) are not counted when determining proximity.


Construct a Thesaurus search to return documents that include the term entered, as well as any other terms that have been configured as synonyms of the term entered.


Full-Text Indexing Server does not use a thesaurus by default. The thesaurus must be configured in the Full-Text Search Module dialog box in the OnBase Configuration module. If a thesaurus has not been configured for the term entered, thesaurus results are not returned.

Thesaurus searches are constructed using the T operand and enclosing the term to search for and match synonyms for in curly brackets. For example, T{car} returns documents with car, truck, and automobile, as long as the thesaurus has been configured correctly.