ClickHelp User Manual

Full-Text Search: Supported Search Operators

With the ClickHelp patented full-text search algorithm, the process of working on documentation will become more effective. Here are some reasons why a full-text search is essential for technical writing. For example, you want your users to read your documentation but it's difficult to find the needed topic in a big user guide. Here's where Index Keywords and Taxonomies step in — you can add words that may not be in an article and readers will find the article through search using those index keywords.

The WebHelp format uses a simplified search functionality, and unlike online publications, it does not support search operators.

This search makes searching easier not only for readers but also for technical writers. For example, you need to give a link to a topic, but you need to find the topic first. The answer is full-text search again, and the supported search operators will make the process of searching more effective. We described them below.

Operator Search Query Example Result
AND user AND guide

If you search for "user AND guide" (without double quotes), you'll get topics that contain:

  • user can locate their language-specific guide

But you will not get those topics that have:

  • user can log in to the system

So, you'll get the topics that include both words that are before and after the "AND" operator.

OR login OR permission If you search for "login OR permission" (without double quotes), you will get the topics that include either the "login" or the "permission" word, or both.
double quotes "login screen" If you search for "login screen" (with double quotes), you'll get topics that include this exact phrase.
minus sign notification -administrator Use the minus sign if you need to find documents not containing a specific word. So, if you search for "notification -administrator" (without double quotes), you'll get the articles that contain the "notification" word, but do not contain the "administrator" word.
parentheses (guide OR user) AND login

Use parentheses to control the order of the operations in complex search queries. The parentheses processing rules are the same as those in mathematics. The sample search query means that we'll find a topic that contains the "login" word and also at least one of the other words — "guide" or "user".

Here are some examples to help you understand the principle of working with complex search queries:

Search Query Example Result
user AND guide OR login  If you search for "user AND guide OR login" (without double quotes), you'll get topics that contain both words "user" and "guide", and also you'll get the results with the "login" word (no matter if those have "user" or "guide" in them).
login OR permission -administrator According to this search query, you'll get topics that contain the words "login" or "permission" but all these topics will not include "administrator".

ClickHelp also supports the wildcard search. For example, if you search for "app*" (without double quotes), you'll get topics that include the words like "apple", "application", and other words that begin with "app". Wildcards are only allowed if there are at least 2 non-wildcard characters in a word, otherwise, the word gets ignored. Also, a query cannot contain more than 2 words with wildcards. 3rd and further words with wildcards in a query are ignored.

If you need to exclude a topic from Full-Text Search, refer to this topic: General Topic Properties.