One of the hardest things to do is to train users on how to query SharePoint search effectively. The hardest thing is probably trying to get users to use metadata instead of folders, but that is a battle for another day. Today I needed a way to give users a helping hand when using search to automatically include a wildcard * in the query. Small steps add up to great adoption!
I’ll also throw in a few examples of using regex expressions to match your search results.
In the case of my client that was having this issue, there are SharePoint sites that have a name that is 3 letters then 6 numbers (a date) like EMC180406. Users wanted to be able to just search EMC and quickly find the SharePoint site. The default results include mostly documents and not the sites, when there are many subsites like EMC170905, EMC160218, etc.
Of course we could just tell users “just add * to your search query”, but can we help and do that automatically for them? Yep and without editing any web parts!
We will achieve this using a search query rule, either at the search service/site collection/subsite level. I won’t give you the complete step-by-step for creating a query rule, but I will highlight the important parts to make this work.
For bonus points, I’ll show you some fancy regex.
That’s all we had to do. What we’re saying is what when search detects a user searches for EMC or ABC or whatever, change the search query to be EMC* or ABC*.
If you want extra credit, I’ll throw in a regex to match a regex to march the 3 letters and the 6 numbers. This was useful when we wanted to raise the sites higher in results vs the documents. The expression is:
This matches for 3 letters (case in-sensitive), and 6 numbers. Happy Searching! If you need help to configure and customize your search in Search, we’re here to help!
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