Confluence gives you a few ways to find the content you're looking for. Here's a basic overview of Confluence search, and a few tips to help you find things more easily.

Confluence quick search

To perform a quick search in Confluence, choose the search field at the top-right of every page, or type GG on your keyboard to place your cursor in the search field. Type the name of a page, blog post, person, file/attachment, or space and select from the list of options displayed.

Hover your pointer over the options in the list to see the space they're in. If you don't see what you need in the quick search, press Enter or choose the Search for option at the bottom of the search results to perform a full search.

 You can also search for administrative options in the quick search. For example, type 'general' into the search field to go to the General Configuration screen.

Screenshot: quick navigation showing titles matching the query 'st'


More information about quick navigation:

  • Matching items are grouped by type so that you can quickly find the type you want. Confluence shows a maximum of 3 administrative items, 6 pages and/or blog posts, 2 attachments, 3 people and 2 spaces.
  • Items are ordered with the most recently updated first.
  • The part of the title that's matched by the search query is bolded.
  • Confluence permissions determine the administrative options that appear in the search results. You will only see the options you have permission to perform.


Perform a full search

When you perform a full search, Confluence will search all content in all spaces (site and personal), mail, personal profiles, attachments and the space description.

To use the full search:

  1. Type your query into the search field at the top-right corner of every screen (or at the top of the Search screen)
  2. Press the Enter key
    The search screen appears, as shown below. If any Confluence pages or items match your search query, the search screen shows a list of the matching items. Choose an item's title to open it.


Screenshot: Search results page


In the search results you'll see the following information for each item:

  • An icon representing the content type (user profile, space, page, blog post, comment, or attachment).
  • The title or name of the content item, linked to the item.
  • The most relevant few lines of content from within the item. Any words that match your search query are highlighted within the content.
  • The space to which the item belongs, displayed on the last line of the item's text block.
  • The date when the content item was last modified.

You'll see only search results which you have permission to view.

On the left of the page are options which allow you to tailor or filter your search results.

(warning) We recommend you don't use special characters in page or attachment names, as the page or attachment may not be found by Confluence search, and may cause some Confluence functions to behave unexpectedly.


Filter your search results

On the left of the search results page are options which allow you to filter the search results.

Define your filter criteria:

  • By – Restrict your search to content last modified by a particular person. Start typing the person's username or part of their name and Confluence will offer you a list of possible matches.
    (info) You need to enter at least two letters. For example, if you enter just 'john s', the filter will look for users called 'john' and will ignore the 's'.
  • Space – Restrict your search to a particular space, your favourite spaces, or choose from a list of suggested spaces. You can also include archived spaces.
  • Last modified – Restrict your search to content updated within a particular period of time.
  • Type – Restrict your search to a particular content type.

Search for labels

Use the ' labelText:' prefix to search specifically for content that has a specific label. The table below gives examples of search terms that you can enter into Confluence's search box, and the search results that you can expect.

Searching for ...

Returns content that ...

recipe labelText:chocolate

contains the word 'recipe' or has the label 'chocolate'

recipe AND labelText:chocolate

contains the word 'recipe' and has the label 'chocolate'

labelText:cake OR labelText:chocolate

has the label 'cake' or the label 'chocolate'

labelText:cake AND labelText:chocolate

has both labels 'cake' and 'chocolate'


Search the content of attachments

When you search Confluence, by default the search will include the content of the following types of attachments:

  • Word
  • Text
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • PDF
  • HTML

To search the content of other attachment types, you will need to use an attachment content extractor plugin.  For more information, take a look at the following:


Search options for the Documentation theme

When using the Documentation theme, the Confluence search offers a few options as described below.

Using the search box at the top right of the page:

  • By default, the main Confluence search is configured to search the entire Confluence site.
    • You will see the words 'Search Confluence' in the search box at top right of the page.
    • The Confluence search will look for matches in the entire Confluence site. This is the default behaviour for other themes too.
  • A space administrator can configure the Documentation theme to restrict the search to the current space.
    • You will see the words 'Search this space' in the search box at top right of the page.
    • The search will return results from the current space only.
    • You can override the search restriction. Enter 'all:' and your search term to search the entire site. For example, enter the following into the search box at top right of the page to search the entire site for 'technical writing':
      all: technical writing

Using the search box in the left-hand panel:

  • By default, the Documentation theme's left-hand panel includes a search box. Enter your search term there, to restrict the search to the current space. Specifically, this will search only the pages that are children of the space's home page.
  • If your administrator has restricted the main search to the current space, there will not be a search box in the left-hand panel.

For screenshots and a full description, see The Documentation Theme.

Advanced search syntax

See Confluence Search Syntax for more ways to refine the text you enter in the search field.

Additionally, see Confluence Search Fields for special parameters you can use in the search field to search on various metadata.


Search Confluence from your browser's search field

If you are using Firefox or Internet Explorer, you can add your Confluence site as a search provider, using the dropdown menu next to the browser's search field.

The example to the right shows the 'Extranet' Confluence site offered for inclusion as a search engine in the browser's search field.

Information about OpenSearch:

  • Confluence supports the autodiscovery part of the OpenSearch standard, by supplying an OpenSearch description document. This is an XML file that describes the web interface provided by Confluence's search function.
  • Any client applications that support OpenSearch will be able to add Confluence to their list of search engines.
  • Your Confluence Administrator can enable or disable the Open Search feature using the Confluence Administration Console.

Useful plugins

Before installing an add-on (also called a plugin) into your Confluence site, please check the add-on's information page to see whether it is supported by Atlassian, by another vendor, or not at all. See our guidelines on add-on support.This plugin extends the Confluence search, so that you can search for macro parameter names and values: the Confluence Macro Indexer plugin.

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