Use search commands

If you want your search results to be more precise, then you can modify your query with tagged terms, wildcards and Boolean operators.

In these guidelines:

  • The search box is indicated by   
  • Definitions for special terms, such as alphanumeric, are listed at the end of this topic.

Search terms

  • A search term can include both alphanumeric and non-alphanumeric (symbol) characters.
  • Searches do not distinguish between upper- and lower-case letters. Your terms are converted to maximize the search results, regardless of capitalization: gear and GEAR will return the same results.
  • Multiple search terms are separated by a space: specifying film resistor searches all items with the terms film or resistor or both.
  • If you want to search for a particular sequence of words, enclose it in quotes. For example, "plated machine screw" only returns items with that exact sequence of terms in a single data field.
  • Spaces and punctuation within quotes are ignored: "screw, pan head" will return the same results as "screw pan head".
  • An embedded symbol character is equivalent to a space character, and the search term is converted to a quoted phrase. For example, 123-456 is equivalent to "123 456". Exceptions are made for:
    • Acronym: A series of single alphanumeric characters followed by . (this is simply dropped). For example, U.S.A. is equivalent to usa.
    • Date: When the search term is in the form YYYY-M-D (or local short date) then the search is limited to date fields: 2012-10-30. A quoted date, however, is a string like any other, and "2012-10-30" is searched as "2012 10 30" within text (not date) fields.
  • A blank search (that is, there are no search terms specified) doesn't return any results.

Blank results indicate that there are no matching records, or that the search term is so general that the search engine cannot select useful results. In both cases, refine your search by adding new or different terms.


  • You can specify a single-character wildcard with the ? operator. For example, t?re would return items with words like tire and tyre but not there.

  • You can specify a multi-character wildcard with the * operator. For example, document* would return items with words like document and documentation.

  • To search for terms near to one another, enclose the terms in quotes and specify the maximum distance using the ~ operator. The criteria "10uF tantalum"~3 will return all items with up to 3 words intervening between 10uF and tantalum.

  • To ensure a specific term is included in your results, use the plus (+) operator. The criteria flat +washer will return items with washer and may or may not include flat.

  • To reduce the number of items returned, you can put a minus (-) operator immediately in front of a term that you want to exclude: hardware -rivet returns all hardware items that don't include the term rivet. You can also use uppercase NOT: hardware NOT rivet

  • You can create logical expressions within criteria using AND (or &&) and OR (or ||) between terms. The && operator will return items when all terms are present, while the || operator will return items with one or more of the terms present.

    By default, the OR operator is applied between all terms of your search, and need not be explicitly used except when including other operators (see next example).

  • Logical expressions contained within parentheses are evaluated before those outside. The expression wire && (copper || steel) will return items with either copper wire or steel wire or both; (wire && copper) || steel will return copper wire or anything steel or both.

  • Use the [ TO ] operator to search for a range of up to 100 item numbers. The criteria [10011 TO 10034] will display up to 24 items, including the two end terms.

System tags

System-level tags are automatically added as items are indexed. Tags follow the same search and operator rules as other item text, such as part washer and file && *.pdf.

Tag Added to
home Items where the home organization is the owner
partner Items where a partner organization is the owner
document Document records
part Part records
change Change forms
pending Pending documents and parts
released Released  documents and parts
canceled Canceled  documents and parts
Change forms at the specified lifecycle state.
file File attachments and external links

Tags aren't as specific as filters because the item content may include conflicting tags. For example, a home document record always includes the home tag, but its title may contain the word partner.


When an item is indexed, its data is split into system-defined categories. You can search a specific category by using filter:parameter.

You can use any combination of full or short filters and full or short parameters. Tags and parameters are case-insensitive.

Search in... Filter Short Parameter Examples
Class class: c: change, document, part, chg, doc, prt class:part
Owner owner: o: Organizations Name or Display name owner:3M
Type type: t: Document Types, Part Types,
Change Forms
Name or Abbreviation
Number number: n: Item Number or isempty1 number:12345
Description description d: Document Title, part Name, change Description, or isempty1 description:Bolt
Release state state: s: Document or part release state:
 pending, pnd
 released, rel
 canceled, can
Change lifecycle state:
 originated, org
 submitted, sub
 routed, rtd
 held, hld
 accepted, acc
 released, rel
 completed, cmp
 stopped, stp
 rejected, rej
 canceled, can
Trustee trustee:   Persons Name as document or part Trustee
or as change Originator
Checkbox true is:   Parts marked as serialized, certified, compliant2 is:serialized
Checkbox false isnot:   Parts not marked as serialized, certified, compliant2 isnot:certified
  1. The isempty parameter allows searching for empty (missing) text.

  2. Assuming that the part type compliance label is Complies, then is:complies returns parts that have the checkbox marked. Use double quotes if the label contains any spaces; labels are case-insensitive: isnot:"Meets RoHS" is the same as isnot:"meets rohs"

Filters can exclude items; for example, -class:part excludes all parts from the search results. Filter parameters can be combined; for example, state:(ORG OR SUB) returns change forms that are at the Originated or Submitted lifecycle state.

Custom attributes

Where the custom attribute scheme is:

  • Boolean: The is: and isnot: tags are supported.
  • Integer: Searches return the exact match only, without any digits after the decimal. For instance, 10 will return only 10, and not 10.01 or -10.
  • Float, UOM, Money: All numbers with fractional values are converted to text strings. The indexed values always include the integer and at least one decimal digit. Other fractional values are rounded and saved with up to 7 decimal digits, unless the trailing digits are 0. For example, the custom attribute value 23.00018 is returned in a search for 23, 23.0, 23.0002 or 23.00018, but not 23.000 or 23.000180.
  • UOM, Money: Item values are searched using the numeric value followed (without a space) with a unit of measure or ISO currency; for example, 12kg or 17.25USD.
  • Date: A date is saved in the form YYYY-MM-DD (numeric year-month-day). For example, search for March 21, 2017 as: 2017-03-21. You can use wildcards, for example: 2017-03-??.

Invalid queries

  • You cannot search for stop words such as a, an, and the.

  • You cannot directly search for the operators + - && || ! ( ) { } ^ " ~ * ? : \  You can search for these using the backslash character, such as \+ and \:


alphanumeric character
Any valid character in ranges A to Z, a to z, 0 to 9, or its local language Unicode equivalent
The set of all terms and operators used to define the search
A set of numeric characters and special delimiters that represent an ISO 8601 date (YYYY-MM-DD) or US date (MM/DD/YYYY).
letter character
Any valid character in ranges A to Z, a to z or its local language Unicode equivalent
A sequence of one or more valid characters in the range 0 to 9
A symbol that signals special treatment for the immediately-following term
stop word
A token that is not indexed because it's very common and probably won't differentiate one item from another
Any valid character that is not an alphanumeric character
A token, or a sequence of valid characters enclosed in single or double quotes; any valid operator that immediately precedes the term acts on the term but is not considered a part of it
A sequence of one or more valid characters
valid character
Any user-entered Unicode character, excluding non-displayable control characters

Operators acting on a single term

? (question mark)
Indicates that any single character can be matched (cannot be first character in term).
* (asterisk)
Indicates that one or more characters can be matched (cannot be first character in term).
+ (plus)
Indicates that the immediately-following term is required (prefix only).
- (minus)
Indicates that the immediately-following term should be excluded (prefix only).
~ (tilde)
Indicates that the immediately-following number is the maximum distance permitted between the tokens contained in the quoted term (prefix only).

Operators between two terms

[ TO ]
A range between, and inclusive of, two item numbers. The range must be enclosed by square brackets [ ].
&& (double ampersand)
A logical AND between two terms. Can also use the uppercase AND operator.
|| (double pipe)
A logical OR between two terms. Can also use the uppercase OR operator.

Grouping operators

( ) (parentheses)
Used to make logical grouping of terms for Boolean (AND/&& or OR/||) evaluation
" " (paired double quotes)
Used to enclose one or more valid characters to create a term

Parsing rules

  • Any symbol that is not an operator is treated as whitespace, except as noted.
  • Prior to parsing, implied operators (OR) are added and stop words may be removed.


Learn More
Help Guide Contents [PDF]