Free-Text Keyword Queries

SharePoint 2010

Last modified: April 28, 2010

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

When you construct your keyword query by using free-text expressions, SharePoint Enterprise Search matches results for the terms that are specified in the query based on terms stored in the full-text index. This includes managed property values where FullTextQueriable is set to true.

Free text keyword queries are case-insensitive, and the length is limited to 2,048 characters. You can construct keyword queries by using one or more of the following as free-text expressions:

  • A word (includes one or more characters without spaces or punctuation)

  • A phrase (includes two or more words together, separated by spaces; however, the words must be enclosed in double quotation marks)

To construct complex queries, you can combine multiple free-text expressions with keyword query operators. (For more information about the operators available for keyword queries, see Using Operators in Keyword Queries.) For keyword queries without operators that are specified between free-text expressions, the results that are matched are a union of the free-text expressions. This means the behavior is the same as using the AND operator.

Using Free-Text Words

When you use a word in a free-text keyword query, SharePoint Enterprise Search returns results based on exact matches with the terms stored in the full-text index. You can specify part of a word, from the beginning of the word, by using the wildcard operator (*) to enable prefix matching. In prefix matching, SharePoint Enterprise Search matches results with terms that contain the word followed by zero or more characters.

For example, the following keyword queries return content items that contain the terms "federated" and "search":

federated search
federat* search
search fed*

Suffix matching is not supported in keyword queries.

Using Phrases

When you use a phrase in a free-text keyword query, SharePoint Enterprise Search returns only the content items in which the words in the specified phrase are located next to each. To specify a phrase in a keyword query, you must use double quotation marks; if you use single quotation marks, the words in the phrase are treated as individual free-text terms.

Prefix matching is not supported, so you cannot use the wildcard operator with phrases in free-text queries.