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How can I limit the Quick Search to only one space in Confluence Cloud?

Hey everyone, we have a requirement to set our Quick Search to only search through a single space, we host over 4 spaces and would prefer to have it go through a 'chosen' space rather than 2 or 3 or all. Any help would be really appreciated smile. We are running on Confluence Cloud. I went through the Documentation but could not really find the answer. 

2 answers

1 vote

The quick search is designed to allow a user to search all of a Confluence instance for something.  You can't limit it to a space, as that defeats the purpose of what it is there to do.

In that case, is there some sort of permission set I could apply so that when users outside of the organization search for a page, they only see results from a particular Space rather than all spaces in the organization. 
This confluence cloud help page [] says that:

"Confluence shows a maximum of 3 administrative items, 6 pages and/or blog posts, 2 attachments, 3 people and 2 spaces".

I am fine with this, but I just would like the quick search results to fetch pages from 1 space. I would appreciate some light on this smile.

No, as I already said, the quick search is there to allow the user to search for something.

It won't return results the users can't see, but that's the only limit.

James Dellow Community Leader Mar 12, 2017

You could try archiving the other spaces, but no-one will see content from them in search results.

@Nic Brough _Adaptavist_   Why would you make the assumption that "that defeats the purpose of what it is there to do."   Its a perfectly valid use case to focus search to just one space.  For those that want to search across all spaces they can always go to advanced search, right?  Default can still be all spaces. 

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My "assumption" is based on the documentation and design when I've talked to Atlassian people about improving searches and doing them differently.  The purpose of the quick search is to search the whole of Confluence (and, in fact, should be extended to search all linked applications as well!).

If you want to search just one space, put it into the search term, or put a "livesearch" macro on a page and limit that to the space.

This makes the search box worthless.  Sorry, but in an enterprise environment when there's hundreds of departments across the globe, each department could have articles with the same or similar titles and keywords. So when I search, I just get back reams and reams of search results that are totally irrelevant. 

Edit: I tried to RTFM again, and I saw there is some advanced query syntax:

...but I was never able to find out how to invoke that, however, I discovered by just starting to type in the quick search box, filter options appear in the right pane, including a checkbox for filter-by-space, which satisfies my requirement.   However, in my opinion:

  • The default should be search in the space of the page you're in and have a checkbox for global search (whatever that's worth - not too much in a big org)
  • Better documentation on how to use/enter the Confluence Search Syntax
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James Dellow Community Leader Sep 30, 2021

Since the original question was posted, Atlassian now supports 20,000 users in Cloud, and that will soon increase to 50,000. With that in mind, it probably is worth revisiting this question.

The global search box function in a way that could be more contextual - i.e. start as a global search on the dashboard and other global pages, then a space search from the space overview, and then perhaps even differentiate between pages and blog posts as a user navigates through a space. 

SharePoint has this an option and I think it would work for Confluence. But it should definitely be a configurable option.

Unfortunately, I don't work for Atlassian, so this is only an opinion 🙂

I suggest submitting a suggestion via

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Agree with everyone who commented that the current quick search is rendered non-functional for real users when a company has multiple spaces with pages that have the same titles and common keywords.

Our use of spaces is to capture BA work and notes related to the implementation of projects where the projects are highly similar, so not having this make it very difficult to quickly search a space to check something from a meeting note for example, because the point discussed comes up across all projects.

Atlassian - Please implement an intuitive, usable search that is limited to a single space. I like the suggestion to have a space search page within each space or built into the overview page of each space.

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