KnowledgeBase Search Tips

This document gives an overview of how to effectively use the Search function of your KnowledgeBase.

Search Field Text Box

To find a KnowledgeBase document, enter one or more keywords into the Search text box found at the top of the KB Site.

Separate each word with a space. Click on the Search button or press Enter on your keyboard.


  • Use descriptive and specific keywords
  • Make sure they are correctly spelled 
  • Avoid unnecessary punctuation
  • No need to enter words that are already in the the document title. All words in the document title are automatically considered keywords.
  • Make sure Quick Search options are spelled correctly. See KB User's Guide - General Info - Quick Search Options for more details.

If searching using a single word yields too many unrelated topics, try adding another word or two. You may also use the Topic drop-down menu to limit your search to one specific topic.


If you are looking for an exact match, try using a phrase and enclose the phrase in quotation marks.

If you want to exclude documents that contain a certain keyword, you can focus your search by putting a minus sign ("-") in front of that word.

Example: classlist -learn will find classlist documents that are not related to Learn@UW.

Using the Advanced Search Options

If the standard search doesn't help, try our Advanced Search options, which allows you to further tailor query parameters to your specific needs. The image below has a purple arrow pointing at the Advanced button to the right of the search button. For details on the Advanced Search button, please see KB User's Guide - Documents Tab - Advanced Search.


Relevant Topic Filters, Search Partner Public Sites and Search Other Internal Sites

After you enter keywords into the Search field text box, a list of relevant documents will appear in a table. The image below shows "Office365" in the search field. Below the search box is a Show relevant topic filters link highlighted in yellow. Clicking on that link yields a list of topic names with check boxes.


Below the relevant topic filters link will be a list of document links related to your search. The image above shows the first three documents relevant to the search of "Office 365".

  1. Show relevant topics filters link - Next to each linked relevant topic is a check box to further narrow your search. The number in parenthesis indicates the number of documents in that topic that are relevant to your search.


  2. See Unified Site - For KB Spaces who have a Unified site, the KB System extends your search to the Unified Site. The link will lead to your Institution's Unified site url with your search specifications already in the search box. The image below shows the UW Madison Unified KnowldgeBase space.


  3. Search partner public sites link - Shows potentially relevant documents from partner public sites and is found underneath and to the left of the table.

    In the example below, the first five documents which are potentially relevant to your search are presented in a bulleted list. The link below the bulleted list leads to all documents relevant to your search in partner public sites.


If you've exhausted our tips and you still can't find what you're looking for, please feel free to contact us

Please see this document to review each of the KB features on the Search Results table.

Keywords:KnowledgeBase kb website Search Tips exclusive searching query cross type cross topic   Doc ID:14
Owner:Teresa A.Group:DoIT Help Desk
Created:2000-07-18 18:00 CSTUpdated:2021-08-18 12:35 CST
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