Search for text or files on a site

You can search for text or files on a SharePoint Foundation 2010 site or list by entering a word or phrase into the search box. When you search a SharePoint site, your query searches the current site and any subsites below it. To search across multiple sites, start your search at the home or root site. When you know that the content you are looking for is contained in a specific list or library, start your search in the search box on that list or library.

In this article

Search for text or files on a site

Search for text or files in a list or library

Write effective queries

Use property-based restrictions

Using operators

Search for text or files on a site

When you are looking for content, but are not sure where it is located, start your search at the highest site where you think the information might reside. You can then refine the results in order to find the information. You can look for content by entering keywords or a specific phrase enclosed in quotation marks. For more information about creating queries, see the section Write effective queries.

  1. Go to the site you want to search.

  2. In the search box, type the word or phrase that you want to look for, and then click the Search button.

  3. By default, search results are displayed by relevance. To sort the results differently, click an option under Refine Results. You can also enter a new keyword search change the scope to This List. Doing so will restrict future queries to the first set of results. If you enter a new search with the scope set to This Site, a new search will occur from the same site or sites as the original query.

    Notes: 

    • Attachments to list items do not appear in search results.

    • The search box is limited to a maximum of 255 characters.

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Search for text or files in a list or library

When you are sure that the content you are looking for resides in a list or library, start the search on the page where the list or library resides. Search results allow you to refine your search by metadata, such as the author of the document or the date that it was written. You can look for content by entering keywords or a specific phrase enclosed in quotation marks. For more information about creating queries, see the section Write effective queries. If you don't find the content you want, try searching from a site or using different keywords.

  1. Go to the list or library that you want to search.

  2. In the search box, type the word or phrase that you want to look for, and then click the Search button.

  3. By default, search results are displayed by relevance. To sort the results differently, click an option under Refine Results.

    Notes: 

    • Attachments to list items do not appear in search results.

    • The search box is limited to a maximum of 255 characters.

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Write effective queries

Whether you search from a site or a list constructing an effective query can result in quickly finding information. You can search by using keywords, phrases, or by adding property restrictions to further refine the query.

To search by using keywords, type the one or more keywords in the search box. For example, when you type the query human resource contacts search returns every document that matches all of the words human, resource, and contacts, regardless of where the words appear in the document.

To search by using a phrase, enclose the phrase in double-quotation marks. This ensures that search looks for the words together in documents. For example, a search for human resource contacts "seattlewashington" results in all documents containing the words human, resources, and contacts, where the words seattle and washington are next to each other.

Search automatically ignores common words such as in, the, it, and by, as well as single-digit numbers, and capital letters.

Use property-based restrictions

By constructing queries with properties, the metadata on documents saved in SharePoint, you can create more powerful queries. The author of a document or the date it was modified is an example of a property. When you create a search using properties, do not use spaces between the property and the value. For example to find all the documents authored by John, type author:john.

Property-based restrictions can also be used to search for keyword values or phrase values. For example to search for all documents authored by John Smith, type author:"John Smith" using no spaces.

The following table describes more details on ways to use property-based rules.

Method

Description

Search on property values

Use the syntax property:value. For example, author:smithfinds all documents authored by a person whose name is Smith.

Search by filename

Type filename:"Budget" (with quotation marks) to find a file named "Budget.xlsx," or type filename:budget (without quotation marks) to find both "Budget_Current.xlsx" and "Budget_Next.xlsx."

Search by file type

Suppose that you are looking for budget spreadsheets that were prepared in Excel 2007. Append filetype:xlsx to your query to display only search results that are Excel 2007 workbooks.

Search on different properties

The search service interprets the space between terms that use different properties as an AND. For example, if you search on title:budgetfiletype:xlsx, your search will return only Excel 2007 workbooks with titles that begin with the word "Budget."

Append file properties

Use properties to specify the name or type of file to return. For example, if you want to find Microsoft Office Word 2007 files that include the word "schedule," type schedule filetype:docx in the Search box.

Search for alternate values for the same property

The search service interprets the space between terms that use the same property as an OR. For example, if you search on author:"John Smith" author:"David Jones", your search will return items that were created by either person.

Exclude property values

To exclude content that is marked with a certain property value, use a minus sign (-) before the name of the property.

Focus on a particular server

If the site property is available for searches, you can append site:servername to your query to focus your search on content that is stored on a particular server.

Note: Backslash characters (\) do not work in queries. Therefore, do not use backslashes for a server path when you type the site:\\servername.

Date/time

Any date/time property in any format can be used with relational or logical operators to form a query. For example, search specs modified=7/8/09 will return all search specifications that were modified on July 8, 2009.

Using operators

The search service does not support Boolean functions such as AND and OR, or wildcard characters such as the asterisk (*). However, you can include or exclude keywords by using the plus (+) or minus (-) sign in front of the keyword. For example, the query art + picasso would return a list of artwork only by Picasso.

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