Using wildcard characters in property searches (Search Server 2008)
Updated: July 9, 2009
Applies To: Microsoft Search Server 2008
Unless otherwise noted, the information in this article applies to both Microsoft Search Server 2008 and Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express.
Property searches are in the format of property:value. If you know the exact value of the property you want to find, enclose the value in quotation marks to return only exact matches. If you are not sure of the exact value you can type the letter or letters that the value begins with to find partial matches. For example, if you look for filename:"Budget" (with quotation marks), your search will return files named “Budget” such as "Budget.xlsx." A search for filename:budget (without quotation marks) will also return that file, as well as the files "Budget_Current.xlsx" and "Budget_Next.xlsx." Only prefix matching is allowed in property searches, which means that you must have at least the first letter of the property value to complete the search.
You can search for multiple property values in one query. The spaces between property:value entries are interpreted as an AND. If a query contains author:”Jane Doe” filetype:docx, the search returns Word 2007 documents that are authored by Jane Doe. This is only true if your query contains different properties. If you use the same property, Search Server interprets the space between the property:value entries as an OR. For example, if the query contains author:"Joe Jones" author:"Mike Jones", the system returns items authored by Joe Jones and items authored by Mike Jones.
You can also use wildcard characters in property searches. Wildcard searches include characters, such as “*”, which allows the search engine to substitute any number of characters and “?”, which allows the search engine to substitute any single character. Prefix matching is also required when you use wildcard characters. This means that you cannot insert wildcard characters in the middle of a property value such as W*ton or at the beginning of a property value such as *ington.