9.1 Global search

ExtendedSearch replaces the default MediaWiki search engine. It is based on the OpenSearch (up to BlueSpice 4.3 the Elasticsearch) engine. Pages and files are indexed immediately and available for searching in real-time.


Extended search offers two ways of searching for content:

  1. Title search using the Quick search
  2. Fulltext search using the Search center

By default, the search indexes:

Search center]]

By default, the search indexes:

  • wiki pages: all content pages, except for pages in the MediaWiki namespace
  • special pages: all pages in the namespace Special
  • repo files: files uploaded to the wiki - for text files like Word documents and PDFs, this includes content and metadata
  • external files: files from arbitrary locations from accessible storage paths (e.g., mounted drives)
  • social entities: entities (=pages) created by the [[Manual:Extension/BlueSpiceSocial|BlueSpiceSocial

Search context

If you start the search from the main page, a pure title search will be started. Use the Enter key to switch to the full-text search. These two search functions generally differ as follows:

Difference between title search and full text search
Title search Full-text search
Search scope only the page titles are searched, preferably from content namespaces page content is also searched
Search result up to 7 "best bet" results are displayed all results are displayed
Search operators are not supported are supported
Namespaces search can be limited to a namespace search results can be limited to namespaces (in combination with other filters)
Categories category pages can be found using the search prefix “Category:”; these category pages then contain all pages that belong to a category search results can be limited to categories (in combination with other filters)
Subpages search can be limited to the subpages of a page the subpage syntax is not recognized in full-text, but works to a limited extent for page titles;

for example, the subpages of the "BlueSpice" page are found via "BlueSpice/*", but cannot be further restricted by using several wildcards.

Quick search

Recently viewed   v4.4.1+

When you place the cursor in the search field, it returns a list of pages that you have found and accessed through a recent search. Any suggested pages that you are not interested in, you can remove from this view by clicking on the x to the right of the page name. Once you start typing, the default suggestions disappear.

Search box with a list of 4 suggested pages
Page suggestions for youbased on your recent searches

Title search

The most prominent search feature is the search box in the header of the wiki. If a user has not switched to the search center yet, this field simply looks for a page name or display title that contains the exact search term. The title search does not do a full-text search. You have to switch to the full-text search (=Search center) for that. This can be done by simply pressing the Enter key after entering a search term in the Quick Search field.

What users should know about this search field (- you can try the following searches in this helpdesk):

  1. It is not case-sensitive: "qual" or "Qual" return the same results.
  2. The search term needs to be at the beginning of a word: the search term "ards" will not return pages that contain "cards".
  3. Search results are limited to 7 page titles. This is important to understand to have the right expectations. In most cases, the search field is simply used as a springboard to pages that are known to the user (e.g., to jump to a team page or to the page "Processes" or any other known page the user wants to reach quickly).
  4. Spelling mistakes will not return any results: "Qality" does not return "Quality".
  5. Multiple search terms can be in any order to produce results ("toc download" finds pages just like "download toc").
  6. Search operators such as "", OR, ANDre not supported. However, they are supported in the full-text search.
  7. The sort order for the results are based on a combination of best title match and last edit date of the page. (You can find the technical details on the reference page for the extension ExtendedSearch. Some configuration changes are possible if the wiki is hosted on premise. There are no configuration options in Cloud wikis. )
Search results (up to 7)

Namespace and subpage "pills"

The search bar supports pills for namespaces and subpages.

Namespace "pill"

If a user types Manual:and clicks "Enter", a pill for the namespace "Manual" appears and the search for the following term is limited to this namespace. .


Subpage pills work in the same way. If you type in PageName/, any term after that is matched in the context of that page. If you search for "TestPage/Te", for example, the search will match only subpages of "TestPage" that contain "Te" in the title, like "TestPage/Test" and "TestPage/TestSubpage".

Subpage titles in namespaces are only found if the namespace prefix is included. For example, the "Images" subpage with the path Manual:Extension/VisualEditor/Images is found using the following search terms:

  • "Manual:Extension/Imag"
  • "Manual:VisualEditor/Imag"
  • "Manual:Imag"

The page is not found via:

  • "VisualEditor/Imag"
  • "Extension/Imag"

Dates as search terms

The search recognizes certain date formats. In the search center, these date formats are treated with surrounding quotation marks.

Search Center (extended search)

As soon as you trigger the full-search with the magnifying glass symbol or the Enter key, the wiki switches to the Search Center. This is a special page that offers the full functionality of the search. The search in the Search Center is carried out using the same search bar that is also used for autocomplete. Here, the search engine carries out a full text search, which also includes the metadata of documents. It does not index the wikitext of a wiki page, but rather the rendered content, that is the output by the browser.

Search Center

Search operators

Important!Search operators only work in the search center (fulltext search). You cannot use search operators in the title search.

If you are searching for contiguous words, they should be enclosed in quotation marks (") for performance reasons and to support a unique search.

Search operators have to be written in all-caps.


  • admin AND docu: Returns pages that contain the exact term admin as well as the exact term docu
  • admin* AND docu: If the term administration should be found, you need to provide a wildcard asterisk (*).

Compare: The search admin docu automatically is a wildcard search. It returns pages that contain both admin* and docu* . This search normally finds more results than the serach admin* AND docu (because in the second case, the exact term docu is returned).

" (apostrophes)

Apostrophes around a search term triggers an AND search for all terms in the query:

  • "admin" docu: same result as admin AND docu (i.e., also the precise term docu will be searched).


  • admin* NOT docu*: Returns pages that contain words that start with admin , but that don't contain words that start with docu .


  • admin OR docu: Returns pages that contain either the exact term admin or the exact term docu.

* (wildcard)

  • admin*: Returns pages that contain words that begin with admin .


  • Hit count - shows how many matches a search has returned. It may be exact or approximate. Approximation is due to dynamic check for permissions to view each page in the results, some results may not be shown to the user with no adequate permissions event if it matches the search term.
  • Tools - these are located in the top right as a set of buttons:
    • Create a page - represented by a "plus" button - will create a page with current search term as a title (only visible if user has permission to create pages)
    • Add filters - represented by a "funnel" icon - opens a dialog where users can select the type of filter to apply to the search.
      Adding filters
    • Search options - represented by a "gear" icon - opens a dialog where users can change settings for the current search. It provides options like the number of results per page, sorting field and order.
      Options dialog
    • Export search - represented by the "export" icon - opens a dialog to export current search results to a dedicated page (only visible to authorized users, by default admin users).
  • Filter: Filters are displayed in form of pills below the results counter. Each filter pill represents a different attribute. Filter values can be changed by clicking on the filter pill and selecting the desired options from the popup that will open. Filter can be removed by clicking on the "x" button in each pill.
    Editing filter
  • Results: If current search criteria field any results, a list of results is displayed. The information available in the results is depending on the result type):
    • Main title of the result (page title, file name...)
    • Result type
    • Size and extension (for files)
    • Thumb image (for images) or file type icon (for other file types)
    • Redirect information
    • Original name (for wikipages, if the page display title is different than the actual page title)
    • Secondary information like page categories, modification and creation date, author, etc.
    • Snippet of the matches in the content of the page (if there are matches in the page content),
    • Sections with matches in the content (for wikipages)

In case there is an exact match for a given search term, the result that matches exactly is displayed as a "featured" result. Such a result displays a preview image of the page and always displays the content snippet, regardless of whether there are matches in the content or not.

Results relevance

All logged-in users can mark certain results as "favorites" by clicking on the star symbol in the right corner of each result. Files marked as "favorite" will score higher in future searches - this is not visible immediately, however, but happens over time. One user's relevance settings won't affect other user's searches. Results can be unmarked as "favorite" by clicking on the "star" symbol again.

Exporting search results

After executing the search, administrators can export (save) the results to a specific page using the "Export" command from the "Tools" menu. The list is exported to MediaWiki:PageCollection/LISTENNAME.

Only valid wikipages are exported. The pages contained in a list can be included in a book in the book function via Mass add> Source: Page collection.

Export search


In the BlueSpiceConfigManager, under settings for the extension BlueSpiceExtendedSearch, the following configuration options are available:

  • External file paths: External locations to scan for and index files from. These locations are entered in key/value pairs of Physical path and URL prefix.
    • Physical path: Storage path. For mounted drives, for example: X:\Documents
    • URL prefix: All files indexed from the indexed physical location are prefixed in the search results. It should be used if files are available from a web server. By default, the URL prefix is set to the same value as Physical path.

Examples for external file paths
Example file Phys. Path URL Prefix Link in results list
S:\Sales\Info\glossaryy.pdf S:\ file:///S:/ file:///S:/Sales/Info/glossary.pdf














Add an external file path
Add an external file path: (1) confirm the checkmark and (2) save the settings.

  • Use simple autocomplete: forces a more compact autocomplete (1-column Sales thumbnail preview).
    compact autocomplete
    compact autocomplete
    regular autocomplete

  • Automatically set language filter: The search only returns pages whose language (PageLanguage) is identical to the user language (Language). Users can set their language in their preferences. By default, the language of content pages is the same as the installation language (ContentLanguage) of the wiki. Some extensions can set the language of individual pages independently of the content language of the wiki.. (See: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Language#Page_content_language). In many wikis, activating this filter has little effect.
  • Exclude patterns: Files at external file locations can be exluded from search based on regular expression patterns.


Special:SearchAdmin is a special page for wiki admins and shows the number and types of indexed documents.{{Box Links-en|Topic1=

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