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:
$web Name of the web
$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
$text Formatted topic text
$locked LOCKED flag (if any)
$date Time stamp of last topic update, like 21 Nov 2017 - 23:09
$isodate Time stamp of last topic update, like 2017-11-21T23:09Z
$rev Number of last topic revision, like 1.4
$wikiusername Wiki user name of last topic update, like User.JohnSmith
$username User name of last topic update, like JohnSmith
$summary Topic summary
$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
$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
$pattern(reg-exp) A regular expression pattern to extract some text from a topic. For example, $pattern(.*?\*.*?Email\:\s*([^\n\r]+).*) extracts the email address from a bullet of format * Email: ....
$n or $n() New line
$nop or $nop() Is a "no operation". This variable gets removed; useful for nested search
$quot Double quote ("). Alternatively write \" to escape it
$percnt Percent sign (%)
$dollar Dollar sign ($)

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:

  • Topic: Summary:
  • CodingFAQ: New: WikiName)"/ see also: CodingFAQTemplate
  • CodingFAQTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: CodingFAQ
  • CreatingColloredTextFAQ: FAQ: Can I write colored text? Answer: TWikiPreferences defines some commonly used colors: * %YELLOW%, %RED%, %PINK%, %PURPLE%, %TEAL%, %NAVY%, %BLUE%, %AQUA ...
  • CreatingFixedFontTextFAQ: FAQ: How can I write fixed font text? Answer: The quickest way is to enclose the text in equal signs: * You enter: Proportional text, fixed font, proportional ...
  • CreatingSeparatorsFAQ: FAQ: How do I make a separator? Answer: Create a separator a horizontal rule by entering three dashes at the beginning of a blank line: . You can enter more ...
  • CreatingTablesFAQ: FAQ: How do I create tables? Answer: There are three possibilities: 1 Use Wiki rule with " " vertical bars. 2 Use HTML tables with table , tr , td tags ...
  • DeleteOrRenameATopicFAQ: FAQ: How do I delete or rename a topic? Answer: New to the 01 Sep 2001 version of TWiki, you can rename, move and delete topics directly from your browser (previously ...
  • EmailFAQ: New: WikiWord)"/ see also: EmailFAQTemplate
  • EmailFAQTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: EmailFAQ
  • IncludingImagesFAQ: FAQ: Can I include images on a page? Answer: Yes. The easiest way is to attach a GIF, JPG or PNG file to a topic and then to place it with: %ATTACHURL%/myImage.gif ...
  • LaTeXFAQ: LaTeXFAQ New: see also: LaTeXFAQTemplate
  • LaTeXFAQTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: LaTeXFAQ
  • MiscFAQ: New: WikiWord)"/ see also: MiscFAQTemplate
  • MiscFAQTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: MiscFAQ
  • NatsFAQs: Frequently Asked Questions at the Natural Language Systems Divison The FAQ at NATS is a collection of problems (and solutions to these problems) that may be interesting ...
  • NatsWikiFAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About the NatsWikiFAQ New: see also: WikiSyntax, TextFormattingRules, GoodStyle, TWiki:TWiki/TWikiFAQ, NatsWikiFAQTemplate
  • NatsWikiFAQTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: NatsWikiFAQ
  • PrintingFAQ: New: WikiWord)"/ see also: PrintingFAQTemplate
  • PrintingFAQTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: PrintingFAQ
  • SecurityFAQ: New: WikiWord)"/ see also: SecurityFAQTemplate
  • SecurityFAQTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: SecurityFAQ
  • SoundFAQ: New: WikiWord)"/ see also: SoundFAQTemplate
  • SoundFAQTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: SoundFAQ
  • TextFormattingFAQ: This FAQ has been merged into the NatsWikiFAQ.
  • TextFormattingFaqTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: TextFormattingFAQ
  • WWWHtmlFAQ: New: WikiWord)"/ see also: WWWHtmlFAQTemplate
  • WWWHtmlFAQTemplate: FAQ: Answer: Back to: WWWHtmlFAQ

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\:__ NatsWikiFAQ" 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:
  • Changes are not visible. Answer...
  • How do I create a new web for a project on the NatsWiki site? Answer...
  • Can I write colored text? Answer...
  • How can I write fixed font text? Answer...
  • How do I create a heading? Answer...
  • How do I make a separator? Answer...
  • How do I create tables? Answer...
  • How do I delete or rename a topic? Answer...
  • Why does the topic revision not increase when I edit a topic? Answer...
  • What do BTW, FAQ, FYI, IMHO, RTFM, and other acronyms mean? Answer...
  • TWiki has a GPL (GNU General Public License). What is GPL? Answer...
  • Can I include images on a page? Answer...
  • Text I enter gets wrapped around. How can I keep the formatting as it is? Answer...
  • I've problems with the WebSearch. There is no Search Result on any inquiry. By clicking the Index topic it's the same problem. Answer...
  • What happens if two of us try to edit the same topic simultaneously? Answer...
  • I would like to install TWiki on my server. Can I get the source? Answer...
  • Text enclosed in angle brackets like <filename> is not displayed. How can I show it as it is? Answer...
  • So what is this WikiWiki thing exactly? Answer...
  • Everybody can edit any page, this is scary. Doesn't that lead to chaos? Answer...
  • What is WikiSpam? Answer...
  • Some words appear highlighted, with a "?" link at the end. How can I prevent that? Answer...

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).

  • First search:
    • %SEARCH{ "culture" format="   * $topic is referenced by: (list all references)" nosearch="on" nototal="on" }%
  • Second search. For each hit we want this search:
    • %SEARCH{ "(topic found in first search)" format="   $topic" nosearch="on" nototal="on" }%
  • Now let's nest the two. We need to escape the second search, e.g. the first search will build a valid second search string. Note that we escape the second search so that it does not get evaluated prematurely by the first search:
    • Use $percnt to escape the leading percent of the second search
    • Use \" to escape the double quotes
    • Use $dollar to escape the $ of $topic
    • Use $nop to escape the }% sequence

Write this:

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

To get this:

-- PeterThoeny - 16 May 2002
Warning: Can't find topic Support.WebLeftBarExample

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