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Search facility for the NatSkin.


NatSearch unifies the Search and the Jump box known from the standard TWiki. It uses one input field to either jump to a topic or perform a query. You can even use it as a quick way to create and edit new topic by entering e:NewTopic into the input field.

NatSearch is heavily inspired by the PhotonSearch of the TWiki:Plugins/PhotonSkin.


NatSearch basically works in three modes that are distinguished depending of the input to the search formfield:
  1. if your input starts with an uppercase letter, NatSearch tries to find the named topic and jumps to it; you may enter the target topic using the web.topic notation
  2. if your input starts with an uppercase letter but does not exist as a topic, a topic search tries to find it; if there is exactly one search hit, NatSearch jumps to it directly
  3. in any other case a combined topic+content search is conducted and its result is displayed in a table, sorted by modification time, descending


The search string may be prepended with a set of options that are separated from the rest of the search string with a colon(:). Known options are:
Option Description
e(dit) edit the named topic; note, that this does not perform any search operation
n(new) same as e but create a new topic, the named topic must not exist
g global search (default is local)
l local search
k do a keyword match

A search string may consist of a list of terms that are retrieved. If a term shall contain spaces it can be surrounded by double quotes. Each term may be preceded with a minus (-) to exclude this term from the hit set.


Search Description
TWikiUsers if the current web is the Main go to the TWikiUsers
  if the current web is the TWiki06x00 go to the TWikiUsersGuide
g:twikiusers list all topics in all webs whose name match "twikiusers"
g:copyright -webpref list all topics that contain the word "copyright" but not "webpref"
g:"Good morning" -natskin list all topics that contain the term "Good morning" but not "natskin"
e:Sandbox.TestTopic411 edit Sandbox.TestTopic411
TWiki.graphics search for "graphics" in the TWiki web


NatSearch can be restricted to certain webs and topics by setting WebPreferences. Besides the NOSEARCHALL feature of every web that excludes a web from search the following variables restrict the hit set:

Name Description
NATSEARCHINCLUDEWEB a regular expression that must match webs to be considered
NATSEARCHEXCLUDEWEB a regular expression that must not match a web
NATSEARCHINCLUDETOPIC a regular expression that must match a topic in the hit set
NATSEARCHEXCLUDETOPIC a regular expression that excludes a topic from the hit set
NATSEARCHGLOBAL 'on' searches in all public webs, 'off' restricts search to the current web (default), same as the g option
NATSEARCHKEYWORDS 'on' searches for full words only, ' off' tries to match substrings also (default)
NATSEARCHLIMIT limits the number of topics to show, defaults to all
NATSEARCHIGNORECASE 'on' or 'off', the default is case insensitive
NATSEARCHTEMPLATE configure application-specific search templates topic

The WebPreferences variable NATSEARCHTEMPLATE can be set to a template topic that is used instead of the skin's search template. This can be used in TWikiApplications to define a customized look of search results.

Topic revision: r1 - 2007-12-03 - MichaelDaum
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