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TWiki Formatted Search Results

Inline search feature allows flexible formatting of search result

The %SEARCH{...}% variable documented in TWikiVariables has a fixed format for the search result, that is, a table consisting of topic names and topic summaries. Use the format="..." parameter to specify a customized format of the search result. The string of the format parameter is typically a bullet list or table row containing variables (such as %SEARCH{ "food" format="| $topic | $summary |" }%).


Two parameters can be used to specify a customized search result:

1. header="..." parameter

Use the header parameter to specify the header of a search result. It should correspond to the format of the format parameter. This parameter is optional.
Example: header="| *Topic:* | *Summary:* |"

2. format="..." parameter

Use the format parameter to specify the format of one search hit.
Example: format="| $topic | $summary |"

Variables that can be used in the format string:

Name: Expands To: down
$pattern(reg-exp) A regular expression pattern to extract some text from a topic (does not search meta data; use $formfield instead). In case of a multiple="on" search, the pattern is applied to the line found in each search hit. The pattern must cover the whole text (topic or line). For example, $pattern(.*?\*.*?Email\:\s*([^\n\r]+).*) extracts the email address from a bullet of format * Email: .... This example has non-greedy .*? patterns to scan for the first occurance of the Email bullet; use greedy .* patterns to scan for the last occurance.
$dollar Dollar sign ($)
$quot Double quote ("). Alternatively write \" to escape it
$formfield(name, 10) Form field value, "- " hyphenated each 10 characters
$formfield(name, 20, -<br />) Form field value, hyphenated each 20 characters with separator "-<br />"
$formfield(name, 30, ...) Form field value, shortended to 30 characters with "..." indication
$text Formatted topic text. In case of a multiple="on" search, it is the line found for each search hit.
$nop or $nop() Is a "no operation". This variable gets removed; useful for nested search
$locked LOCKED flag (if any)
$username Login name of last topic update, e.g. jsmith
$createusername Login name of topic revision 1.1, e.g. jsmith
$web Name of the web
$n or $n() New line
$rev Number of last topic revision, e.g. 1.4
$percnt Percent sign (%)
$formfield(name) The field value of a form field; for example, $formfield(TopicClassification) would get expanded to PublicFAQ. This applies only to topics that have a TWikiForm
$formname The name of the form attached to the topic; empty if none
$isodate Time stamp of last topic update, e.g. 2017-02-23T05:23Z
$date Time stamp of last topic update, e.g. 23 Feb 2017 - 05:23
$createdate Time stamp of topic revision 1.1
$topic Topic name
$topic(20) Topic name, "- " hyphenated each 20 characters
$topic(30, -<br />) Topic name, hyphenated each 30 characters with separator "-<br />"
$topic(40, ...) Topic name, shortended to 40 characters with "..." indication
$summary Topic summary
$wikiname Wiki user name of last topic update, e.g. JohnSmith
$wikiusername Wiki user name of last topic update, like Main.JohnSmith
$createwikiname Wiki user name of topic revision 1.1, e.g. JohnSmith
$createwikiusername Wiki user name of topic revision 1.1, e.g. Main.JohnSmith

Note: For $pattern(reg-exp), specify a RegularExpression that scans from start to end and contains the text you want to keep in parenthesis, like $pattern(.*?(from here.*?to here).*). You need to make sure that the integrity of a web page is not compromised; for example, if you include a table make sure to include everything including the table end tag.


Bullet list showing topic name and summary

Write this:

%SEARCH{ "FAQ" scope="topic" nosearch="on" nototal="on" header="   * *Topic: Summary:*" format="   * [[$topic]]: $summary" }%

To get this:

Table showing form field values of topics with a form

Write this in the Know web:

| *Topic:* | *OperatingSystem:* | *OsVersion:* |
%SEARCH{ "[T]opicClassification.*?value=\"[P]ublicFAQ\"" scope="text" regex="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" format="| [[$topic]] | $formfield(OperatingSystem) | $formfield(OsVersion) |" }%

To get this:

Topic: OperatingSystem: OsVersion:
IncorrectDllVersionW32PTH10DLL OsWin 95/98
WinDoze95Crash OsWin 95

Extract some text from a topic using regular expression

Write this:

%SEARCH{ "__Back to\:__ TWikiFAQ" scope="text" regex="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" header="TWiki FAQs:" format="   * $pattern(.*?FAQ\:[\n\r]*([^\n\r]+).*) [[$topic][Answer...]]" }%

To get this:

TWiki FAQs:

Nested Search

Search can be nested. For example, search for some topics, then form a new search for each topic found in the first search. The idea is to build the nested search string using a formatted search in the first search.

Here is an example. Let's search for all topics that contain the word "culture" (first search), and let's find out where each topic found is linked from (second search).

Write this:

%SEARCH{ "culture" format="   * $topic is referenced by:$n      * $percntSEARCH{ \"$topic\" format=\"$dollartopic\" nosearch=\"on\" nototal=\"on\" separator=\", \" }$nop%" nosearch="on" nototal="on" }%

To get this:

Most recently changed pages

Write this:

%SEARCH{ "\.*" scope="topic" regex="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" order="modified" reverse="on"  format="| [[$topic]] | $wikiusername  | $date |" limit="7" }%

To get this:

WebStatistics Main.guest 22 Feb 2017 - 07:45
TWikiPreferences DetlevZundel 18 Dec 2014 - 13:24
TWikiRegistration FrankLichtenheld 08 Mar 2007 - 15:04
WebTopBar FrankLichtenheld 27 Feb 2006 - 14:55
WebHome FrankLichtenheld 27 Feb 2006 - 14:55
WebPreferences FrankLichtenheld 27 Feb 2006 - 14:51
TWikiSite FrankLichtenheld 27 Feb 2006 - 14:49

Embedding search forms to return a formatted result

Use an HTML form and an embedded formatted search on the same topic. You can link them together with an %URLPARAM{"..."}% variable. Example:

Write this:

Find Topics: 
<input type="text" name="q" size="32" value="%URLPARAM{"q"}%" />
<input type="submit" value="Search" />
%SEARCH{ search="%URLPARAM{"q"}%" format="   * $web.$topic: %BR% $summary" nosearch="on" }%

To get this:

Find Topics:

-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 16 Mar 2004