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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 paramter 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 23 Oct 2017 - 06:08
$isodate Time stamp of last topic update, like 2017-10-23T06:08Z
$rev Number of last topic revision, like 1.4
$wikiusername Wiki user name of last topic update, like Main.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.

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. We want to search for topics, do a nested search with each hit, and show the result as nested bullets. Parameters like scope="text" regex="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" are omitted for simplicity.

Note that we escape the second search so that it does not get evaluated by the first search:


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:

-- PeterThoeny? - 16 May 2002

Topic FormattedSearch . { Edit | Attach | Ref-By | Printable | Diffs | r1.9 | > | r1.8 | > | r1.7 | More }
Revision r1.7 - 20 Apr 2002 - 02:37 GMT - PeterThoeny?
Parents: WebHome > TWikiVariables
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