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Perform advanced searches (TCS)

This page applies to:MindTouch 4 and MindTouch TCS


This document covers how to perform advanced searches within MindTouch.  You can use the examples in this article to filter your searches for more exact results or provide specific searches for your users.  This article will be useful for all users of search but can especially be useful for Authors, Content Managers, and Administrators when looking for specific articles in website with a large amount of content.


MindTouch incorporates a powerful and flexible search engine.

For all the search tools below there is a button provided to detail the different search options available.  We are going to use to provide different examples for you.

Search Restrictions

The search function respects user permissions; this means you will not see search results for pages/files that you do not have permission to view.


A query is broken up into terms and operators. There are two types of terms: Single Terms and Phrases.

A Single Term is a single word such as "research" or "analytics."

A Phrase is a group of words surrounded by double quotes such as "hello dolly."

Multiple terms can be combined together with Boolean operators to form a more complex query (see below).

Constraint/Field Examples



Words and phrases used to specify what to search for.  All terms can be used with boolean operators (see below).

[single term]

Single word.  No formatting needed.  This is used as your basic search.

[phrase] A group of words that make up a phrase.  When looking for a specific array of words.


Searches can specify a field that will narrow down your search results to a specific section of your site.  

[author] Lists all pages that the are authored by a certain user.  The last person to make changes to an article is considered an author.

[content] Will only search within the content of a page or file.  This will not include titles, tags, file names, descriptions, etc.

[date.created] Searches for all articles or files created within a certain date.  The format is YYYMMDDhhmmss, like above you can append an asterick '*' to search for everythign within a certain date.  The example will show you all articles created in 2014.

[date.edited] Searches for all articles or files edited within a certain date.  The format is YYYYMMDDhhmmss, you can append an asterick '*' to search for everything within a certain date. The example will show you all articles edited in 2015.

[description] Will only search file descriptions.  If multiple words are being searched they must be wrapped in quotes (see example).

[extension] Lists only files associated with a certain file extension.





There are 3 different areas of the MindTouch product you can search:

Main: The default namespace your search will only search in.  This will be all of your knoweldge base.

Template: This will search within all of your site's Templates (they can be found by appending /Template: to your MindTouch domain.

User: This will search under all pages created under the User namespace.



Using the MindTouch default search you cannot search outside of the Main namespace.  You can add/remove constraints to other search endpoints.  For more information contact your MindTouch Customer Success Center.

[tag] Will list all pages that are tagged with the specific tag you are searching.  You can also click the tag in "Page Settings" on any page to trigger a search for all pages associated with that tag.

[title] The title constraint will only return search results that are specific to the page title.


Boolean searches are values provided that help link or unlink search queries.  These are used in all popular search engines and usually never change.  They are case sensitive and always need to be captialized to be used.  If you have more than two words you have to include the operator between each word.

[OR] The OR operator will display one query or the other.  Searching with multiple words (not a phrase in quotes) will always search with the OR operator.  The more relevant search results will be boosted (if all of the words in the search are in the result)

[AND] The AND operator will only show articles that include all of the words in the query.  Searching with phrases acts similarly to using the AND operator.

[NOT] The NOT operator will remove the next word from the search results.  This helps when you have a large population of results and know you would like to strip out a specific subset of results.


When searching with multiple terms, you can boost a specific term in order to give it higher priority in the search.  This will make words more relevant than others in your search.  The higher the value, the more relevance given.

[^] The higher the number the more relevant the word will be in your search.  Using a query like: "service guide^2"



Multiple clauses can be searched using parenthesis, kind of like a math equation. This can be very useful if you want to control the Boolean logic for a query.

[ ( ) ]

You can group certain words and use boolean operators to seperate them, for example:

(mt4 OR tcs) AND advanced

This will search for either "mt4" or "tcs" and "advanced" in the query.


Escaping Special Characters

MindTouch supports escaping special characters that are part of the query syntax. The current list of special characters is

List of special characters:

+ - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ *  : \

To escape these characters, use "\" before the character. For example to search for (1+1):2 use the query:


This list is not exhaustive. Other fields may be available.  If you're trying to apply constraints via an API call to the search API, alternate formatting is required.  Please contact the MindTouch Customer Success team to learn more. 

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