Tips for Building a List Search Query

These tips should apply to all UBCMS components that provide a 'build by search' option (e.g. List Builder, News List, Event List, Full Width Carousel and the Horizontal and Vertical Slide Decks).  

Search Operators

  • Boolean AND - All words in the search query must be present. A space basically functions as an AND operator.
    e.g. international students, equals "international AND students" and will find pages with both those words present.
  • Boolean OR - Any of the words separated by OR must be present.  Use OR  ("OR" must be capitalized).
    e.g. abc OR def will find pages with abc or with def, or with both words.
  • Boolean NOT - Exclude a word from the search query by preceding it with a dash/minus.
    e.g. abc -def will find pages with abc but exclude those with def.
    For an OR search, be sure to exclude the term from all parts of the search equation.
    e.g. abc -def OR xyz -def will find pages with abc OR xyz but exclude those with def.
  • GROUPING - Use parentheses ( ) to set precedence among your search operators - parenthetical actions occur first.
    e.g. (abc def) OR xyz will find pages with both abc AND def (as described in the AND section), as well as pages with xyz.
  • PHRASE - Threat the words as one alphanumeric string by using double quotes " ".
    e.g. “abc def” xyz - will make abc def be in sequence, and xyz anywhere.
  • DISTANCE - "abc def”^10 will find pages with abc within ten words of def.
  • WILDCARD - Use ?  to match any one character. Use * to match any number of characters respectively. Do not use either wildcard at the beginning of a word.
    e.g. buil? would find pages with build or built but exclude pages with buildings
    e.g. buil* would find pages with build or built or buildings

Please note, special characters (e.g. "&", "|", "-") are not permitted in a search query and are automatically removed.

Searching for Tagged Pages

You can also use the search option to list tagged pages. And the above logical operators allow fairly advanced logic for tagged pages that is not possible using other tools.

  • Each tag has an ID that looks like this: sandbox:admin-services/policy/admin
    • Authors can see it in Page Properties, in the Tags option, by hovering over the tag.
    • Tag Admins can view the ID in the “TagID” column in the Tag Admin interface.
    • This ID is also visible in the page's source (e.g. Right-click + View Page Source).
  • Use the complete ID in your search in quotes and with the logic operators described above.
    • e.g. "content-type:policy" -"sandbox:admin-services/policy/admin" would find pages with the policy tag but exclude those with the admin-services/policy/admin tag.
  • You must fill in the Start in path for this to work. Unless you have something more specific in mind, use “/content”.
  • Search returns will include child tags of the searched tags; e.g. "sandbox:admin-services/policy” also matches the tag sandbox:admin-services/policy/admin
  • If the actual text like "content-type:policy” is on a page, that page will be found, too. Since most punctuation and capitalization are ignored, this could also appear in prose as something like “… the correct content type. Policy says you should …”
  • The search will also find its itself (the search page), since the query is stored in the page. You can prevent this by adjusting the Start in path to exclude the current page (such as searching for shared content only), or by using the Exclude current page checkbox under Advanced options.