Searching for documents

Methods to start a search

Every time you get a list of one or more documents in FileHold, it is the result of a search and there are many ways to initiate a search and provide the criteria that will determine what documents will be returned. Regardless of how you initiate a search, you will only see documents that you have permission to see.

  • Click most nodes in the library panel. For example, click My FileHold > My Favorites to search for the documents you flagged as favorites or My FileHold > Recently Added to see the document version you added in the last 14 days. Of course, clicking a folder in the library will search for the documents assigned to that folder. The library panel is also the place you will find saved searches created using the advanced search tool.
  • FastFind – Start a search from third party applications using hot-keys you define in the FDA. For example, find an invoice original in FileHold while you looking at the invoice details in your ERP or accounting system.
  • The simple search bar - This option is configured by your administrator to let you search using the methods most useful in your system without knowing much about how to create an advanced search. Often you will just be able to enter combinations of words you want to find in metadata or stored in the actual document files and the full text search engine will do the rest.
  • Advanced Search – This gives users the most control over how a search is performed. Up to ten search criteria can be used to control whether to use the full text index or database as a source of information. Regardless of which combination you select for criteria, you can fine tune the request to specific metadata values or file contents. When you have perfected advanced search criteria, you have an option to save it for later to be used with a single click in the library panel.
  • From a web link by generating the link with the URL builder, third party application or using our Open Search based service.

How to access the simple search bar or advanced search

There are several methods in accessing the Search function.

  • Click Search, My Saved Searches, or Public Saved Searches in the library tree. Click Search to search all documents in the Library tree.
search library tree
  • From the FDA, use the search bar in the top right of the screen.
FileHold Desktop Application


  • From in a folder in the Web Client, use the search bar in the top right of the screen.
Web Client in a Folder View
Web Client in a Folder View
  • Right-click on any area of the library and select Search. This restricts the search to that location in the library.
search cabinet drawer folder
  • From the simple search screen, click Advanced to access the Advanced Search screen.
advanced search link

Using the search bar

The search bars in the FDA and Web Client can be used to:

Depending on the search selected, the ad-hoc and quick search icons change. The search menu is ordered by:

  1. The last 5 recent quick searches. The default quick search is the most recently used and is displayed at the top of the list.
  2. Ad hoc search.
  3. Private quick searches.
  4. Public quick searches.
Search bar 16.3

For an ad-hoc search Ad hoc search button, the icon is displayed. Simply enter the search term and hit Enter. The full text search results are displayed below. To change to an ad-hoc search from a quick search, click the icon select the Ad hoc option from the menu.

For a quick search Quick search button, the icon is displayed. When this icon is displayed, enter a search term and hit Enter. The search results are based on the default quick search (most recently used). For the displayed quick searches, only “contains” type searches are displayed. There are no options for dates, drill-down or drop-down menu type searches. These types of quick searches are available from the list in library tree.

The ad-hoc search option may be disabled by an administrator.

Disabled ad hoc searches

Ad-hoc searches are searches that a users can run on the fly. While ad-hoc searches are powerful, they can also be performance hogs on the system if poorly designed. Some users never have the training necessary to perform or plan well formed ad-hoc searches such a guests or infrequent users. In order to prevent such users from negatively affecting system performance, ad-hoc searches can be disabled. In order to prevent such users from negatively affecting system performance, a permission setting for a group can disable ad-hoc searches.

In these cases, the only types of searches that a user can perform are public saved searches. An administrator needs to configure these for groups that have ad-hoc searches disabled. The ability to create, modify, or save a search is removed. All search bars are removed. Searching from the library structure (right-click > Search) is removed. Clicking the Search node in the library tree does not start a search.

If you have been restricted from performing ad-hoc searches, see your administrator.

Anatomy of a search

Every time you see a list of documents in FileHold, it is the result of a search. Many of these searches have fixed criteria like recently added documents or hard wired variable criteria like opening a folder. FileHold also provides a general search facility in the standard clients with various methods for initiating the searches as seen above.

Regardless of method, they are all doing the same thing; building a set of search criteria to search on. For example, you can see the similarity in the simple search bar and advanced search when the search results are displayed as the advance search panel opens up above the search results to show what was happening beneath the simple search bar.

The interface allows users to define up to 10 different criteria for a search. Custom clients using the FileHold API could define more than 10, but there would seldom be a need for that many. A search criteria is made up of one or more search conditions and the Boolean option which is used with applied to all conditions as needed. A search condition has a search type, an operator and one or more operands. Each search condition is connected to the rest with a logical AND, so every condition must be true for a document to appear in the results.

Search types available to standard clients

Search type Description Index
File or metadata Search contents and properties associated with the file, the FileHold document name and all FileHold metadata values. Full text
File only Search contents and properties associated with the file. Full text
Metadata only Search the FileHold document name and all FileHold metadata values. Full text
Raw query Direct access to the full text search engine query. Full text
Document name The FileHold document name. Both
Checked out status   Database
Person Document owners and users who have checked out document versions. Database
File date Document creation date, latest version checked in date, approval and review dates. Database
Workflow status   Database
Library location A specific cabinet, drawer, folder group or folder. By default, when combined with a full text search and a selected folder, the scope of the search will be restricted in the full text index to the specific folder. Database
Document usage log Actions and action dates from the log. Database
Folder name The name or partial name without regard to where it is in the library. Database
File size Number of bytes in the document version. Database
File type By file extension. Database
FileHold id The internal document id. Database
Document control number   Both
Version control number   Both
Has markup Does the version have viewer markup / annotations. Database
Has link Does the document have one or more manually created links. Database
Is favorite A favorite of the user executing the search. Database
Document format Electronic document, record or offline document. Database
Common metadata fields Metadata fields that exist in two or more document schemas. Both
Document schema By default, when combined with a full text search, the scope of the search will be restricted in the full text index to documents with the specified schema.  


Search type modifiers

  • Boolean - Modifies every full text search type, except raw queries, to use the basic query syntax when unchecked or the boolean syntax when checked.
  • Include archive in search - Check to return results from the library archive. 
  • Include all document versions - Check to include document versions that are not the latest in the results.
  • Search using historical metadata values -  For each document or document version, normally only the current metadata values are searched. Check this box to include metadata that is not current. Has no effect on searches that only use Contains in FTS.