How does search order the results?

In general when you use global search, search results will return results in the following order:

  1. Search term matches in the Title of an item.
  2. Search term matches in short custom fields.
  3. Search term matches in the content of an item.

Title: Name of a document, event, form, person, etc.
Custom Fields: all custom fields added to an application except HTML fields (e.g. Webdoc)
Content: Contents in an uploaded file, or HTML field.

Technically, we use a best search field match, with the priority given to the Title field. This means if the same search term is matched the same number of times in two fields, the search field that has the shorter amount of content will be show higher in the search results.

As example, say you document titled "HR Policy" with a procedure ID "PROC-001", and "PROC-001" is stored is a custom text field with label "Procedure ID". You also have a second item titled "Procedures Review" and "PROC-001" is referenced in the content of this item. 

If you search for "PROC-001", both item will be returned, but the HR Policy will be returned higher because "PROC-001" was matched in a shorter field.

However, because many applications give you the ability to define custom fields, there isn't a one to one correspondence between fields defined in the application versus fields indexed in search. When added to search, the content of all custom fields are appended into one search field (system fields have their own search fields). In theory, this means that the more content you have in custom fields, the lower the a match in a custom field might appear in search results.

This caused an issue in Version 13.0.6 when both a shorter custom field like Procedure ID was being used for search, and a custom HTML field was also used to store a large amount of content related to the item. This was rectified with Hotfix 7271 available from support, and is included in all future patches and versions of the product. The hotfix stores custom HTML content in a separate search field, so its large content does not lower matches in the other custom fields.

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