KB User's Guide - Documents Tab - Keyword and Title Search

This document describes how to find documents in the KnowledgeBase. The Search Results table is properly marked for accessibility.


To find a document in the KnowledgeBase (KB), enter one or more keywords in the text box at the top of the KB site. Click Search or press Enter.

When a user submits a query, the KB searches for all documents that contain those specific keywords. Case is ignored. Document keywords are specified by the document author when the document is created. Document titles are also considered keywords and searched during the query process.

Sort Order

The default sort order for search results is relevance. Relevance is determined by the similarity between the search term and document keywords (plus title).

The relevance sort order for the advanced search may be different because it looks at the similarity between the search term and all text fields (keywords + title + summary + body + internal notes if applicable).

Limiting Results

If searching using a single word yields too many unrelated topics, try adding another word or two. You may also use the drop-down menu to limit your search to one specific topic.

Exact Match

If you are looking for an exact match, try using a phrase and enclose the phrase in quotation marks.

Excluding Documents

If you want to exclude documents that contain a certain keyword, you can focus your search by putting a minus sign ("-") in front of that word. For example, classlist -learn will find classlist documents that are not related to Learn@UW.

Advanced Search

If standard search doesn't help, try our Advanced Search, which allows you to further tailor your query parameters to your needs.


After entering a keyword/keywords in the search field you will see a table with your search results.

Sort by relevance

Clicking on this link will show list e topics in your KB site all of which are linked. Next to the name of each topic is the number of relevant documents available in each topic. The checkbox next to each topic allows you to narrow your search within the topics chosen.

Keywords search dropdown box

You entered a keyword and/or keywords and have been presented with a list of documents. From here you can modify your search to:

  • Fulltext search
  • Attachments search
  • Keywords+attachments search
  • Fulltext + attachment search

Sort by relevance

As we discussed earlier, your keyword search will default to which is determined by the similarity between the search term and document keywords (plus title).


Clicking on these fields (on the upper right corner of the table of documents) will yield a screen with the output of your search. The limit for the dynamic feed is 1500. When you perform a search on your KB site, the dynamic search results can be accessed as an RSS feed. This is useful for groups that would like to consume KB content within another web site or web application. Please see KB User's Guide - General - RSS Display Options  for more information.

See UW-Madison Unified KnowledgeBase link

Clicking on this link will take you to the KB Unified site where you will find relevant documents on other KB external sites. The number next to the link denotes how many relevant documents are available to you on the Unified site.

Asterisks next to document title

At the top of your search, you may find document titles with gold asterisks next to them. Four asterisks denote that the document search priority is set to Top. Three asterisks denote that the document's search priority was set to High. Please review the information here for full details https://kb.wisc.edu/kbAdmin/document.php?id=5238&group_id=41&sta=2#search_priority.

1 2 3...Next linked numbers

These are the pagination controls that lets the user browse through pages of search results. in the image below, the pagination is 1, 2, 3, 4 and then Next.

Search partner public sites/ Relevant documents from partner public sites

Upon entering your search criteria, the KB compiles a list of documents relevant to your search and displays the first five documents with a link leading you to the rest. In the image above, there are 17 potentially relevant documents from partner public sites.  The link below the 5 linked documents leads to 17 more documents.

See Also:

Keywords:find documents kws fts index keyword search key word full text search sort order exact match relevance limit exclude advanced rss cross internal site search   Doc ID:15404
Owner:Teresa A.Group:KB User's Guide
Created:2010-10-25 19:00 CDTUpdated:2016-08-29 16:33 CDT
Sites:KB Demo, KB Demo - Child Demo, KB User's Guide
Feedback:  0   0