Confluence search defaults to OR; can I change to AND? Edited

We have naive users who assume that if they enter a search string in the main Confluence search box they will get articles that match all the entered terms.

But it looks as though if you enter, say,  VM west

you get all pages that match either word.  Yes, I know we could have them type VM AND west to get the results they expect.  That's not likely to work with this group.

Is there a way to change the default to act like Boolean AND?

Having heard no response, is this something where I should request an enhancement?

2 answers

0 votes
Ann Worley Atlassian Team Jul 26, 2017

We changed the default search to AND back in Confluence 2.3:

Search should use AND logic by default

But since then, it has become more sophisticated, as mentioned in:

multi-term search the default "OR" in Confluence 5.2.x, 5.3.x.

When a user inputs a simple (read: without boolean operators or lucene search syntax) search query like "confluence search" - we translate the query to improve the search results.
It is more than just OR-ing the terms together.
Could you explain why you want AND?
Documents that have the best match against the search query will have the highest score and will be ranked at the top irrespective or AND / OR.

The best feature request to vote on is:

Default search behaviour should be "AND" for multi-term search or at least configurable

I suggest commenting there with your use case, to let the dev team know you need the search to work differently. It sounds like it's not a simple AND or OR at the moment.


Thanks, Ann.  I'll go look at these articles and will vote on the issue if it makes sense to do so after I read it.

Our use case is a knowledgebase with lots of troubleshooting articles, being  moved over from Remedy.  Remedy uses OR, which means that users get many many irrelevant articles in the search results.  The customer wants to see a limited number of relevant articles for a multi-word query, as he thinks a large result list is overwhelming to his users.

If the Confluence search as configured internally tends to pop the items matching more than one term up to the top, that may satisfy him.  I'll talk to him and see.  There aren't enough transferred articles yet for him to get a good sense of how it works in practice.  He'll be thrilled enough to know it isn't a simple "OR" search.

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