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You can search all of your Watson Explorer application sources by using the large search box at the top of every Watson Explorer application page. This search looks at every document which you have access to and returns the documents that most closely match your query.

When you start typing in the search box for example, name of an item, a list of matching items will be generated for choosing.

If any of the search terms are identified as incorrectly typed, the Watson Explorer application will automatically suggest corrected spelling terms.

NOTE: This search does not search the activity feed. If you want to search the activity feed, use the activity feed filter within the activity feed widget.

When you perform a search, the results are returned in the right hand column with some optional refinements at the left hand side. To refine your search, click on one of the listed refinements. To remove a refinement from your search, click on the refinement again.

Saving searches

If workspaces are enabled in your application, in addition to adding items to workspaces, you can also save searches to workspaces. To save a search to a workspace:

  1. On the search results page, click the workspace icon.
  2. Optional: Enter a name for the search. The default name is search term search.
  3. Select a workspace. If you want to create a workspace to save this search in, you can create a workspace in this window, and then add the search to the new workspace.
  4. Optional: If monitoring saved searches is enabled in your application, you can choose an interval to monitor the search. Monitoring saved searches reruns the search at the selected interval and adds an activity to the workspace if the search results change. If notifications are enabled in your application and you choose to receive notifications for the space that you save a search to, changed search results will be listed in your email notification.
  5. Click Add to workspace.

If monitoring saved searches is enabled in your application, to change the frequency that you monitor saved searches:

  1. From the workspaces icon, which is located on the right side of the header, select View all workspaces.
  2. Select the workspace that contains the saved search you want to change the monitoring for.
  3. From the list of items in the workspace, find the saved search you want to change the monitoring for.
  4. From the Monitor search column, choose the interval for the saved search to run at.

Previewing search results

You can preview items in search results if a preview is available for the document from where the item was created. If a preview is available, a Preview link is displayed next to the item name. Preview links are also displayed on the item pages.

In addition to previewing documents, you can preview email and email attachments. As with other documents, if a preview is available for an email, a Preview link is displayed next to the item name. If an email has attachments and previews are available for those attachments, the title bar of the preview window shows an attachment icon that contains the number of attachment previews that are available plus one for the message body preview. To see the attachment previews, click the attachment icon and select the attachment you want to see. To return to the preview of the email body, click the attachment icon and select Message Body.

Tagging Results

Search results can be tagged to be explicitly associated with an item (for example, a user, a product or an account). To tag a result, select the "Add tag" field at the bottom of any search result, and type in the name of the item that you want to tag this result as.

If you enter a tag that does not match an item, a workspace will be created for that tag. Any other items that have the same tag added will also be added to that workspace. Any items that are added to a workspace are also tagged with the name of that workspace.

Searching in Context

To the left hand side of the large search box at the top of every Watson Explorer application page is a context drop-down. This drop-down lets you change the scope of what is being searched. If you select "All" the search will be performed against all of the application. If you select another option from the drop-down (for example, "Current user"), the search will be limited to those items that are associated with the context that you have selected (in this case the user associated with the page that you are viewing).

You can add results to a search scope by tagging a search result so that it is included within that context. For example, to associate a result with the user "John Smith", add the "John Smith" tag to that result (the item will autocomplete as you type).

Search Syntax

Just like most search systems, the search widget lets you use some standard search keywords and operators. These should be used when searching for something specific that would typically yield varied results. The keywords and operators in the following list can be combined to create complex search parameters:

  • "" - using quotation marks tells the application that the phrase must be matched exactly as written with no rearrangement of words. So searching for "John Smith" will match John Smith, but not Smith John.
  • AND, OR, NOT - all the standard logic operators can be used, you can even use more than one in the same search. If logic operators are not used, the AND operator is assumed (searching for John Smith is the same as searching for John AND Smith).
  • () - you may want to use brackets (phrase) to separate different parts of the search logic. For example: (John AND Smith) NOT Jones
  • BEFORE - the first word in the phrase must appear before the second in the document. For example searching for John BEFORE Smith will match with a document that contains John Robert Smith, but will not match Smith, Robert John.
  • NEAR - the words must be close to each other in the document (within 32 words of each other).

Search Results

Results are presented to you with a title, brief description and any meta-data that is available. You can navigate to the location of a result by clicking on its title.

If you do not find the result that you are looking for, enter additional search terms or use any refinements that appear to the left of the results.


If you find that the search that you entered has returned too many results, you have the option of refining the search by choosing one or more refinements from the refinement widgets in the left side column. Each widget works independently to restrict your search criteria, and a refinement can be chosen from each widget to further restrict your search criteria (for example, you could choose your own name from a Refine by Author widget and then further refine the search to Open by using a Refine by Status widget).

Query Expansion

An expanded query contains one or more terms related to one of your query terms. If one of your query terms has expansions, a message will be displayed above the search results. Clicking on the link to show expansions will display each search term with expansions. For each term with expansions, you will see the returned expansions grouped by type. Expansions with selected check boxes are active and have already been added to the query. Expansions can be added and removed from the query by checking and unchecking the associated check box. The modified search can then be performed by clicking the Update query button.

What is a widget?

A widget is a part of the Watson Explorer application code that delivers content in a page to you based on the settings for that widget.

Each page visited in the Watson Explorer application is a collection of data that is specific to the subject of that page. Different types of information is delivered to you depending on what the subject of the page is. For example on your home page the subject is you, so all the information displayed are items that are relevant to you. On an item page the subject is the specific item, only information relating to that item is displayed.

You can find an item by typing its name in the search box or by using the list page links at the top of the page.

You can follow an item by navigating to its page and clicking the button. If hovercards are enabled in your application, you can hover over an item's name on a list page and click the Follow button in the hovercard.

You are automatically logged out of the Watson Explorer application when you close your browser session.

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