A quick search field is located on your Widen Collective site to help you find assets fast. It's much like a Google search where you enter terms to find what you're looking for.

To search, enter keywords or search terms in the field. When you enter search terms, categories, file formats, filenames, metadata types and fields, collections, and upload profiles are all searched. Other search options may be available depending on the structure of your site.

If you're a Collective admin, you can restrict the quick search so individual roles can search only specified metadata fields.

Relevant assets are returned in search results based on the search terms you entered. After search results display, you can refine the search, search within, and search document text.

Note that many of the searches listed in this article are supported in the Instant Search Connector. Find more information about the connector, as well as the searches that can be performed, in this article.

Quick search tips

For advanced quick search tips, click the More dropdown > Search Help. Search shortcuts and a quick search key are also included below the tips.

Search help

Search shortcuts

Common searches

There are common types of searches:
  • Phrase search
  • Exact search
  • Field-specific search
  • Does not contain search
  • Wildcard search
  • Searching within documents
  • Last edit date/last history date

Phrase search

Phrase searches match search results to a portion of text within a field as long as all words of the entire phrase entered occur in sequence. If search terms are enclosed in double quotations, only assets that include the exact phrase will be returned. For example, a search for “phone cord” will yield results with “the phone cord” but not “phone with a cord.”

Exact search

If a search is surrounded by brackets ({ }), the entire contents of a field must match the search query. When search terms are entered between the brackets, the exact contents of the search will be returned. For example, searching for {quick_fox.eps} will not return an asset titled quick fox.eps, but it will return an asset titled quick_fox.eps.

Field-specific search

To search a specific metadata field, enter the label or label abbreviation followed by a colon. For example, filename: blue or fn: blue will return all assets that have the word blue in the filename.

Does not contain search

To search all fields or a specific field that does not contain a search term, include a hyphen (-) before the search term. For example, a search for -(fish) or -(filename:fish) will return assets that do not include the search term “fish” in the filename.

Wildcard search

A wildcard search can be done by using an asterisk (*) as the wildcard character. To find all PDF files, enter *pdf in the quick search. The wildcard search will return all assets where the filename ends in PDF.

You can also search for assets that start with a certain term using the asterisk. For example, blue* will return all assets that start with the search term blue.

Search within documents

The text within Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF documents will be searched when a search term is entered. Disabling this search can help limit search results.

Last edit date / last history date

To find all assets that have been added or edited since a given date, search for the last edit date or the last history date. This search will check the asset history on all assets. For example, a search for lhd:[after 01/01/2017] will return all assets uploaded or modified since January 1, 2017.

Sample searches

Below are sample search phrases, common searches, and results of the search phrases.

Search: And
Search term indicated: dog and cat, dog cat
Search results: Yields results for two or more search terms

Search: Or
Search term indicated: dog or cat
Search results: Yields results for one of two search terms

Search: Filename (fn:)
Search term indicated: fn: dog
Search results: Searches the filename field

Search: Grouping
Search term indicated: fn: (dog or cat)
Search results: Searches for filenames with one of two search terms indicated

Search: Negation
Search term indicated: fn: -(dog)
Search results: Searches for filenames without the search term indicated

Search: Other
Search term indicated: Date ranges, phrases, greater than or less than, begins with or ends with, isempty search
Search results: Varies depending on the search query

Complex quick searches

Complex quick searches can also be formed using the searches above. An example complex quick search is “fn: (logo *.eps) cat:-(widen)”. This search yields assets with a filename that has "logo" in it and ends in "eps," and the assets must not belong to a category with "widen" in the category.

Search results

The Collective search finds technical information, such as model numbers, and has the ability to identify multiple versions of the same word. After you enter a search term, search results closest to the search terms display.

The search infrastructure uses delimiters, stemming, and substring searches to come up with a set of results best matched to the search terms indicated. Stemming and substring searches separately search for each field using the search term entered.


Words in search results are broken up by delimiters. Specific delimiters are ignored when searching. These delimiters can be used:

. , _ ; : ' ! ? ( ) [ ] “ / * -

Dashes and underscores can be configured as delimiters in searches. Contact the Widen Central Support team to configure either of those as delimiters.

Note that, by default, the underscore is a delimiter, but the dash is not.

Stemming search

When you enter a search term, using stemming, the site searches for assets with multiple versions of the same word. Stemming reduces a search word (e.g., flowers) to the root word (i.e., flower) and effectively provides search results matching any form of the terms indicated. For example:

  • If fn: trees is entered as a search term, the results returned will include assets with “tree” and “trees” in the filename.
  • If fn: puppy is entered as a search term, the results returned will include assets with “puppy” and “puppies” in the filename.

In addition to searching for assets, stemming-based searches also search Microsoft Office documents.

Substring search

A substring search searches any part of a word and finds assets with the entire word. Substring searches provide an additional capability that is useful for technical information, such as model or serial numbers. If part of a model or serial number is entered in the quick search, a substring search searches for assets that include the number entered.

Examples of substring searches are:
  • If the serial number is 57594-2061-121, if “206” is entered in the quick search, the asset with the 57594-2061-121 serial number will display in search results, along with other assets with “206” in their filename or metadata.
  • If a search for fn: tree will return results with “street” in the filename or metadata, but a search for “street” will not return results with “tree.”

Substring searches do not search Microsoft Office documents.

International characters

Assets with international characters and diacritics in filenames can be uploaded to the Collective. International characters and diacritics can also be included in metadata fields. Accent marks, tildes, and cedillas are example diacritics that can be used in filenames and metadata fields.

When search terms are entered, the Collective will search for assets in the form that matches the search terms.

Accent marks

Assets with accent marks can be uploaded to the Collective. Accent marks can be included in filenames and metadata fields, including controlled vocabulary fields.

When searching for those assets, you can include or exclude accent marks in keywords or search terms. The search will find the assets that match those terms.