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How does the Keyword Search work and how are wildcards (*) handled?

Why do I get different search results depending on whether I use a * or not?

Can I see some examples for how to use wildcards or stars in a search query?


At the top right of the WebCenter application, in the menu bar, you can find the Keyword Search. You can either search for Projects, Documents or run a Saved Search from this tool.

If you do not see the Keyword Search in your menu bar, your menu has been customized to remove it. You can still use the Keyword Search by choosing Search > Projects / Documents and clicking the Keyword Search link at the top of the page.

Simple Keyword Search

To perform a simple Keyword Search, follow these steps:

  1. Select either Projects or Documents, depending on what you are looking for.
  2. Enter your search text in the field.
  3. Click the Search  button or press Return to see the Search Results.

If you use the Keyword Search and you do not use any wildcards (the * character), the search will find anything that contains the text that you are searching for. For Keyword Search of Projects, WebCenter searches the Project Name, Project Description, Project Characteristics, Text Attributes, Rich Text Attributes, and Document Reference Attributes. For Keyword Search of Documents, WebCenter searches the Document Name, Document Description, Document Characteristics, Project Names, Text Attributes, Rich Text Attributes, and Document Reference Attributes. For Keyword Search of Tasks, WebCenter searches the Task Name, Task Description, Task Type Name, Task Type Description, Text Task Specifications, Rich Text Task Specifications, Document Reference Task Specifications, and Project Name.

Using Wildcards

The star * wildcard character can be used as a placeholder for 0 or more characters. However, once you use these advanced searching characters, your search might become less broad:

  • If you add a * wildcard only to the end of a string, you will get results that either start with this particular text, or contain the text after a space or underscore.
  • If you add a * wildcard only to the beginning of a string, you will get results that either end on this particular text, or contain it before a space or underscore.
  • If you add * wildcards on both sides of your string, you will get the same results as if you would not use any wildcards at all.

WebCenter detects if you have used pending or trailing * wildcards. If this is not the case, it adds a * wildcard to both ends of search string.


I have following projects: juicebox, orangejuice, orangejuice_tray, apple juice, chocolate box, cherry_juice, juicey001, orange juice box, orange juicebox.

Search queryWill find...
juiceboxorangejuiceorange juice boxorange juiceboxjuicey001cherry_juiceapple juiceorangejuice_tray
Article information
Applies to

WebCenter 12.1 and higher

Last revised24-Aug-18
CW Number