Search FAQs

Looking for an answer about searching? The following list of frequently asked questions may provide an answer to your question.

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There could be several reasons why a document cannot be found:

  1. The document does not exist in the library.
  2. You do not have access to the document.
  3. The search term does not produce any results. Try using an advanced search or a wildcard search.
  4. The document has not been indexed yet. If a high volume or large file size documents are being added to the repository, it will take a few minutes in order for the full text search engine to index the file. Try the search again in a couple of minutes. A library administrator can also check the status of the search engine to see if documents are waiting in the queue.
  5. There may be an issue with the full text search engine. Have your system administrator run the Health Checker report and send to [email protected].

If you have received an error it may be due to the search timing out. If the search has timed out, try narrowing down your search results using an advanced search. If you are receiving other errors, contact your system administrator.

There are several search operators that can be used such as boolean, character, proximity, and sentences. See Full text search (boolean and raw query) for more information.

The most reliable way to search for a phrase is to enter it with quotes. For example, if you want to search for the phrase “angry brown fox” you would enter “angry brown fox” with the quotes.

We have two main types of searches in the document management software. One is a full text search (full text contents and metadata) and one is an advanced search (user-selectable search criteria).

A full text search will search the database that stores the locations of all of the words contained within documents plus the document name, document properties, and metadata (except for noise words such as but, the, and if). FileHold uses it to perform broad searches on documents. When the "Contains in FTS" operator is used in a search, a full text search is performed.

A metadata search is where only the metadata that is searched and the contents (text) of the documents are ignored in the search results.

By default, any group of 2-32 characters from the indexable alphabet, surrounded by space characters, will be indexed as long as that term is not considered a Noise Word. FileHold searches for whole words only so you may need to use wildcard keys in order to retrieve the search term you are looking for such as a * (asterisk) or ? (question mark). See Full text searches for more information.

By default, the indexable alphabet includes the underscore (‘_’), numbers 0-9, and letters A-Z (upper and lower cases). Other non-English characters including the following accented characters are also indexed by default (both upper and lower cases):

à è ì ò ù, á é í ó ú ý, â ê î ô û, ã ñ õ, ä ë ï ö ü ÿ

By default, the hyphen (dash) is treated as a space, but can be set to be ignored or treated as a hyphen in the search configuration settings. If you choose to treat hyphens as hyphens rather than as spaces, the hyphen becomes part of the indexable alphabet.

The following characters are treated as spaces by default:

Single Quote ' Comma , Tick Mark `
Exclamation Mark ! Forward Slash / Left Brace {
Double Quotes " Back Slash \ Right Brace }
Colon : At Symbol @ Plus +
Semicolon ; Left Bracket [ Less Than <
Right Parenthesis ( Right Bracket ] Greater Than >
Left Parenthesis ) Carrot ^ Carriage Return  
Form Feed   Line Feed   Space  
Tab   Bar |    

For example, Punctuation inside of a search word is treated as a space. can't would be treated as a phrase consisting of two words: can and t. 1843(c)(8)(ii) would become 1843 c 8 ii (four words).

Yes, wildcard keys can be used in order to retrieve the search term you are looking for such as a * (asterisk) or ? (question mark). See Full text search for more information.

Noise words are extremely common words such as “it” and “the” and are not added to the index. See the full list of noise words.


Unindexed documents are files that cannot be indexed by the full text search engine because there is password protection, encryption or no contents to index (such as offline documents). A library administrator can replace these types of files with documents that do not have protection on them in the Unindexed Documents area in the Administration Panel.

FileHold can search in two different areas depending on they type of search that is run:

  1. Full text search index – Searches the document contents, file properties, and metadata. This type of search is run when using the "Contains in FTS" or "Does not Contain in FTS" operators. This type of search is more robust but may be slower and produce search results with less precision. This type of search is run in a full text (or simple) search or when using FastFind.
  2. Microsoft SQL database – Searches the metadata and version properties only. The contents of the document are ignored. This type of search is used with "Contains in DB". This type of search is very fast and produces search results with more precision.

See the diagram below for examples. Click on the image to view the full screen version.


How FileHold searches for documents


To search on a time value, do not use a colon. Instead use a space to separate the hours and minutes. Putting the time in quotes is also recommended. For example, the search term would be "3 45" to search on the time of 3:45

You can search a drill down menu using the "Contains in FTS" operator. Remember that FileHold searches whole words only but you can search for partial words using wildcards in a "Contains in FTS" type search such as *.  For example, if the value of the drill down menu is:

Fitting Instructions>Manufacturer>Part-Number where Instructions>Manufacturer>Part would be considered a WHOLE WORD if the default hyphen settings are used.

You would be able to perform the following "Contains in FTS" type searches on the drill down menu (this is just a sample, there are several more you could do to produce the search results):



Fitting >Manufacturer

Fitting >Man*

Fitting >Manufacturer>Part*

Fit* >Man*

Fit* Ins*>Manufacturer>Part*



The following search request would return no search results due to incorrect formatting:

Fit*>Manufacturer (this is missing a space or *for "Instructions")

Fit*>Manufacturer>Part (this is missing a space or *for "Instructions", and a *  after Part since FileHold is looking for "Part-Number" as a whole word)