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Extended search

ExtendedSearch replaces the default MediaWiki search engine. It is based on the Elasticsearch engine and provides many improvements over standard MediaWiki search both in terms of quality of indexed content and user interface.


The exended search offers two ways of searching for content:

  • Autocomplete
  • SearchCenter

By default, BlueSpiceExtendedSearch indexes:

  • wiki pages - all content pages on wiki - except for MediaWiki namespace
  • special pages - all SpecialPages on wiki
  • repo files - files uploaded to wiki - for text files like Word documents and PDF, including the content and metadata
  • extenal files - files from arbitrary locations from wiki accessible storage paths (e.g., mounted drives)
  • social entities - entities created by the BlueSpiceSocial extension, like blog posts and user profiles


Autocomplete search is available from any page on the wiki, and can be accessed through the search bar in the top line of the wiki. Autocomplete matches only page and file titles, not the content of the page. After typing in the search bar, an autocomplete popup will appear below it.

Autocomplete popup
Autocomplete popup

This popup is divided in two columns.

Left column:

  • Primary results - these are the results that are direct matches for the search term. These result are displayed in left column of the autocomplete popup. An exact match will be highlighted and contain additional information.

Right column:

  • Tools and secondary results - tools are displayed in the top portion of the right column and contain:
    • Button to create the page with the current search term as the title (only if user has permission to create new pages)
    • Button to execute full-text search for the current term. Selecting this option will lead to the SearchCenter page.

In the bottom portion of the right column, secondary results are displayed. Secondary results are matches that do not directly match the given term, but might be relevant for the user. These will show up only in certain contexts:

  • If there are significantly more matches for a similar term than the term actually searched for (in a situation of a typo for example)
  • If namespace or subpage pill is present. In this case secondary results will show direct matches in other namespaces/pages.

Autocomplete pills

Namespace "pill"
Namespace "pill"

Autocomplete search bar supports pills for namespace and subpages.

This means that if a user types "Manual:" a pill for the namespace "Manual" will be created and any term typed-in after will be only searched in namespace "Manual". Subpage pills work in the same way. If the user types in "PageName/", any term given afterwards will be 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".


Previously explained is the full version of the autocomplete popup. Wiki admins can also choose to use "Simple autocomplete", which contains only one column with primary results and tools, without secondary results. This type of autocomplete is also more compact. This setting is available from BlueSpiceConfigManager, under Extension > BlueSpiceExtendedSearch > Use simple autocomplete.

SearchCenter (extended search)

As soon as you trigger the search with the magnifying glass symbol or the Enter key, you switch to the SearchCenter. This is a special page that offers the full functionality of the search. The search in the SearchCenter is carried out using the same search bar that is also used for automatic completion.

Adding filters


  • 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 adequeate permissions event if it matches the search term.
  • Tools - these are located on the top right and represent a set of buttons for managing the search results.
    Editing filter
    • 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 user can select the type of filter to apply to the search.
    • Search options - represented by a "gear" icon - opens a dialog where user can change settings for the current search. It provides options like number of results per page, sorting field and order...
    • Export search - represented by "export" icon - opens a dialog to export current search results to a dedicated page.
Options dialog
  • Filter: Filters are displayed in form of pills underneat the hit count. Each filter pill represent a different attribute search results can be filtered by. Filter values can be changed by clicking on the filter pill and selecting desired options from the popup that will open. Filter can be removed by clicking on "x" button on the right of each pill.
  • Results: If current search criteria yields any results, list of results will appear below the filters. Information available in the result are (depending of 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 infomartion (for wikipages, if page is a redirect to another page, or another page redirects to it)
    • Original name (for wikipages, if page display title is different than actual page title)
    • Secondary information like, for wikipages, category page belongs to, modification and creation date, author...
    • Snippet of the matches in the content of the page (if there are matches in the page content),
    • Sections with matches in content (for wikipages)

In case there is an exact match for given search term, result that matches exactly will be displayed as "featured" result. Such result will display preview image of the page, and will always display content snippet, regardless of whehter 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 top right corner of each result. Files marked as "favorite" will score higher in future searches. One user's relevance settings won't affect other user's searches. If a user marks a result as "favorite", it will score higher only for that user, not for any other user. Results can be unmarked as "favorite" by clicking on the "star" symbol again.

Exporting search results

Export search

After executing the search, you can export (save) the results to a specific page using the "Export" command from the "Tools" menu. In the export dialog, you can enter the name for the list, select the format and specify whether the existing list should be overwritten or appended to the list.

You can also deselect the pages that should not be exported.

After you click "Done", the list will be 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.


In BlueSpiceConfigManager, under settings for extension BlueSpiceExtendedSearch, the following configuation 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.
  • Use simple autocomplete: forces a more compact autocomplete (1-column layout, no thumbnail preview).
    compact autocomplete
    compact autocomplete
    regular autocomplete
    regular autocomplete

  • Automatically set language filter: This setting applies to multi-language wikis. It returns search results for a user only in the user's language. Users can set their language in their preferences.
  • 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. This page provides stats on documents indexed in the search.

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