Performing text searches using CQL

This page provides information on how to perform text searches. It applies to advanced searches when used with the CONTAINS operator.

Acknowledgements:

Confluence uses Apache Lucene for text indexing, which provides a rich query language. Much of the information on this page is derived from the Query Parser Syntax page of the Lucene documentation.

Query terms

A query is broken up into terms and operators. There are two types of terms: Single Terms and Phrases.

A Single Term is a single word such as "test" or "hello".

A Phrase is a group of words surrounded by double quotes such as "hello dolly".

Note: All query terms in Confluence are case insensitive.

Term modifiers

Confluence supports modifying query terms to provide a wide range of searching options.

On this page:

Wildcard searches: ? and *

Confluence supports single and multiple character wildcard searches.

To perform a single character wildcard search use the "?" symbol.

To perform a multiple character wildcard search use the "*" symbol.

Wildcard characters need to be enclosed in quote-marks, as they are reserved characters in advanced search. Use quotations, e.g. summary ~ "cha?k and che*"

The single character wildcard search looks for terms that match that with the single character replaced. For example, to search for "text" or "test" you can use the search:

te?t

Multiple character wildcard searches looks for 0 or more characters. For example, to search for Windows, Win95 or WindowsNT you can use the search:

win*

You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term. For example, to search for Win95 or Windows95 you can use the search

wi*95

You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search. The feature request for this is JRA-6218

Fuzzy searches: ~

Confluence supports fuzzy searches. To do a fuzzy search use the tilde, "~", symbol at the end of a single word term. For example to search for a term similar in spelling to "roam" use the fuzzy search:

roam~

This search will find terms like foam and roams.

Note: terms found by the fuzzy search will automatically get a boost factor of 0.2

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