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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 Using 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.


  1. Does anyone know if you can change the 'No results found' message?

    I would like to change this message to link back to our intranet site but am not sure if this possible. \\\

    Any ideas?

    1. Hi Anh Bui,

      Yes, you can. You need to edit the vmd file responsible for the particular page.
      In your case, this will be /confluence/decorators/components/search-results.vmd.

      Find for the following code, it will be almost at the bottom of the file:

      And include one line that points to your intranet back. For example, this will point you back to your dashboard:

      Hope this helps.


      1. Hi JSashi,

        What would be the syntax to return to a confluence site (not the dashboard) on the search-results.vmd page?



  2. Is it possible to modify the search function to allow searching of multiple spaces? So, for example, changing from a drop-down list where only one space can be selected (producing a &where=SPACE statement in the query string) to a checkbox that would allow the user to select more than one?

    1. Hi Adam,

      I am afraid this is not currently possible. However, I have found similar feature requests that highlight your requirement:

      Please add yourself as a watcher, vote for this feature and add your own comments to this feature request. For further details on how we include new features and improvements, you might want to read this page.


    2. You can do something like this to search specific spaces: AND (spacekey:spacekey1 OR spacekey:spacekey2)

      This isn't obvious in any of the documentation that I've seen - but it works.




  3. Anonymous


    How to set the Search box to be case-non-sensitive.

    For example when I search for "mypage" only pages containing "mypage", "Mypage" are returned but not pages containing "MyPage" or or "MYPAGE".




    1. Hi,

      How to set the Search box to be case-non-sensitive.

      For example when I search for "mypage" only pages containing "mypage", "Mypage" are returned but not pages containing "MyPage" or or "MYPAGE".

      As far as I know, the feature requested is not available yet. However, you might want to raise a feature request in JIRA:

      Hope that helps.
      Best rgds,

  4. Hi there, look at my screenshot in the bottom of the comment (URL:
    As you can see, I have created a document called "Bogus Bananas".
    For some reason the "normal" search is unable to find the page, while the "live search" finds it instantly!
    If I search for "Bogus Banan" i also get 0 hits. But hold on - if I search for "Bogus Banana" (without the "s" in the end) it suddenly finds the page.
    How can i solve this problem?

    1. The Quick Nav search matches to the page title because it is autocompleting the string you have typed.

      The "normal" search is trying to find an exact match, which is why it doesn't find the page (as "ba" and "bananas" are two different words). To perform a wild card search, you need to use the * symbol. That is, searching for the string "bogus ba*" will match to the page title.

      See here for more information on search syntax.

      1. The Quick Nav search matches to the page title because it is autocompleting the string you have typed.

        Thanks for clearing that up!

  5. Is there a way to include "Breadcrump" in the search results?
    That is - showing every parent page of the page which returned the result?
    It only shows the Spaces atm - is there a file I could edit to include Breadcrump instead of the spacename?
    Or is this perhaps a feature request?

    1. Hi Jonny,

      Is there a way to include "Breadcrump" in the search results?
      That is - showing every parent page of the page which returned the result?
      It only shows the Spaces atm - is there a file I could edit to include Breadcrump instead of the spacename?
      Or is this perhaps a feature request?

      As far as I know, the feature requested is not available yet. However, I found a feature request in JIRA:

      Please add your comments to the discussion, vote on it and add yourself as a watcher for future updates. Also, please bear in mind the following document on how we schedule features for inclusion in our products: Implementation of New Features and Improvements.

      Hope that helps.
      Best rgds,

  6. Hi!

    Is it possible to change the number of results displayed per page? The default is 10 results per page, but 20 would be more useful for our purposes. I can't find a setting for this nor any discussion for this in the documentation.

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Jonas,

      I am afraid that this is not currently possible. However, I have found a similar feature request. Please add yourself as a watcher, vote for this feature and add your own comments to this feature request. For further details on how we include new features and improvements, you might want to read this page

      Hope that helps.


  7. Anonymous


    If I have secured space, let's say HR or Legal which I do not want to have access to general audiance which I think I can set up. But when people try to search this secured content, would that appear in their search results?



    1. No - if a user does not have 'View' permission for a space, then content from that space will not appear in search results for that user.


      1. I'm having restricted pages that I do have view permissions for still not popping up in search. Is this normal?

        1. Doesn't sound normal, though it depends on what content you are searching for. You could raise a support ticket to look into this further.

  8. Anonymous

    We have a lot of spaces (One space for each released version of our product). By using "Favorite Spaces" then one can limit the search. But how can one make the "Favorite Spaces" the default search location ?

    1. You can append a URL parameter "where=conf_favorites" to every request for the search results. For instance:


      To make it appended automatically, you can probably edit the templates that render the search fields. One place that I can think of is in <confluence-install>/confluence/template/includes/macros.vm:

      <form id="quick-search" class="quick-search" method="get" action="$req.contextPath/dosearchsite.action">

  9. Does confluence support a cached page view for search result just like google search results. For e.g: When one searches in google, in each search result, google provides a "Cached" link (if it has a snapshot of that page in cache). When user selects the cache link to view the details of the search result, it highlights all the search words in the page. Is this possible in a search result displayed in Confluence, where when user views the details page returned in a search result, the page displays with the search words highlighted

    Thank you


    1. Hi Lumina,
      Unfortunately, the feature that you are after is not available now. Currently, Confluence only can highlight the search keyword in the search result title and description. We do have a similar feature request being tracked here:

      Please feel free to share your comment, vote on it, and add yourself as a watcher for future update.

      Thanks & regards,

      1. Thanks Jack, I will add myself as a watcher on the request. Have a great day



        1. Hi Lumina,
          You are welcome. Please feel free to ask again if you need further assistant.


  10. Anonymous

    Hello together,

    is it possible to change the location of the search field from right to e.g. left?

    Many Thanks!



    1. Hi

      I have a mere suggestion you can try edit the Main Layout via Confluence Admin >> Layouts >> Main Layout. Now look for the following code:

      Now you can relocate position of the search box by relocating the code in the Main layout

      Hope that helps.
      Best rgds,

      1. Anonymous

        Thanks... but now I have one search field on each level of the site (on the right site) with a grey background.

        Do you have any idea? Many Thanks!



  11. Anonymous

    Is there a way to weight spaces so that hits from various spaces rank higher in the search results?

    For example a space that is more formal, eg written by the leaders, might want to be weighted higher so to generally have matching results appear higher on the result list.

    1. Hi,

      I am afraid that this is not currently possible. Feel free to raise a feature request at and describe in detail how you require this feature to work. Please add yourself as a watcher, vote for this feature and add your own comments to this feature request. For further details on how we include new features and improvements, you might want to read this page

      For further details about ranking of search results, you might want to check this documentation.


  12. Hi,

    I use lots of linking for terms and I would like to know how I could set confluence that way that it renders the content of search results?

    The content gets unreadable due to sometimes macros and all links showing up. Sometimes I get just a few words of content and the rest are  raw links as markups.

    It is also hard to find something if you search for one word in content but you have this name also used as a page or space name. It would be helpful to exclude in the search result the links but not the linknames.

    As it is I get for example 100 search results for a word which is only one time used inside a content but 100 times inside a link. I have to look them all through until I find the single file which should have shown up only with a search for a word.

    Does anyone know how to generate a search that shows up only real content as it would show up in display view?

    May I use linking in a wrong manner, how do I avoid that behavior?



  13. Hi,

    Is it possible to set the Quick Nav for using non English characters?

    If  I search for a page with an accent on its name (for instance, "Mètriques", wich means metrics in catalan) the quick nav tool doesn't show me any information, but if I hit "Enter" going for the full search, I do get the page.

    Thanks  regards,


    1. Hi Tony,

      I believe you are encountering this bug. I would suggest you to add yourself as a watcher for the mentioned bug report and feel free to comment or address your concerns through it. For further details on our bug fixing policy, you might want to read this page


  14. Hi,

    I am currently evaluating confluence and all of the documents I added within the past 5 days are not appearing in search results but most appear in the index. Some are not even appearing in the index but when I try to re-upload the documents, I get an error message saying that a page with that title already exists.

    Any ideas about why this is happening?



    1. What version of Confluence? How long did it run without problem? What did you or someone do - 5 days ago with the installation? Do you have administrator rights?

      1. Version 3.2.1. I have administrator rights.  It was working without a problem since June 30. Now I think that the problem is that I'm using the evaluation version and not the production version.  Is it possible that there is just not enough memory? The space has many large attachements (a few hundred)

        1. well… than you could upgrade to 3.3 since in 3,2,1 there is a bug with the quartz.jar 1.6. With 3.3. you get quartz.jar 1.8 which solves an issue that indexing does not work properly on some installs. After upgrading to 3.3 make sure to upgrade also outdated plugins. After that redo an index on scratch in the administer area. That all should solve it. If you cant upgrade to 3.3. for any reason you should upgrade the quartz.jar to 1.8. What actually happens due to this bug is that your servers Java hangs not totally but on some indexing library files on the server. After reboot it will work a while and than it will hang again. Thats why you have sometimes pages indexed and some not.

          Not enough memory just makes it slow down but not loose indexes for my experience. You can check the service on the administration page how much memory is in use. I have a big install too and 1GB of RAM should handle one install on a server. But see your servers memory allocation and look how many pages are swapped to disk and how large your free memory is. That should give you some reality of whether or not any change on memory setting will speed up your system. On my installation I have had the same experience and quartz.jar 1.8 solved it.

          The eval version is no good for an install if you dont run an external database like MySQL but the eval will work from an technical point of view. You should spend 10$ and use the Standalone installation instead, otherwise you will need to export and import all spaces.


          see: indexing

  15. Hi,

    I'm creating a lot of large pages, with lots of headings (heading 3 and 5) . The table of contents is autogenerated with the toc macro. So far so good. If I search for content which is somewhere on those pages, the page containing the content is listed. If I click on the page, I just get to the top of the page and not to the content I was searching for. This is very frustrating, because I have then to search either in the table of contents or with firefox search-function (ctrl-f).

    This all is resulting in a double-search, which is quite annoying.

    Is there a way, to make search more comfortable ?

    1. You can use anchors in addition to get the right part of the content at the top of the window displayed.

      I use subpages instead. I create a main page with a number of subpages for each paragraph. On the parent page I use the include macro to include all content of the subpages. If I search than, it first brings up the paragraph. I included scrollbar macro or a link in general layout for that space to be able to easy go to the parent page.

      Creating large pages makes them not that convenient to read. I found it better to use scrollbar to move from paragraph to paragraph while I still have the large pages existing as a parent page for e.g. printing.

      I first used this method, because I could not figure out how to handover a search to firefox, that it does automatically do a research on the page called up after a search, like you might know it using a MAC after a spotlight search. Later on I found out that people could read better small portions instead of getting overwhelmed with a long never ending page.

      The feature to get words and/or paragraphs get highlighted after a search is missing in confluence. 

      1. Hi Klaus

        sorry for the delay, I was on vacation.

        Thx a lot for your advice! I will try this and see if it works better like that. Problem is, that I would have to create
        approx. 500 subpages, most of them with several images on them, which I would have to upload all again.

        I will check how long this all would take, before I decide which way to go.

        again, thanks for your help



        1. Hi,

          first of all, you dont need to upload the images again, as you need just to add the source page name to the link of the image!

          You can place and view on any page any image from any other page as long as you have access to it.

          I did organize it like chapters and paragraphs as you would do in a book, while on the end the whole bokk is on one page. This makes it easier if you want to apply changes or if you search for something.

          So you just copy the whole content of your page to word, edit the links of the images so that they point to the current page that include the images. Than you create subpages and place portions of the content into subpages. Doing so, you can easily keep the current page as is and swap to the new one whenever you are ready with all subpages.

          The disadvantage of this workaround using subpages is, that later changes of page names are not updated on the parent page because macros dont get updated as links would do.

          good luck

          1. Dear Klaus,

            thx you so much for your help.

            I will try as you suggested. It is not perfect but the best solution there is at the moment.

            I think like this the it is easiest for the people to find stuff.



  16. Anonymous

    Is it possible to search by author, to find all pages a particular user has created? I know that I can filter results by author, but my initial search results for usernames only include pages containing the username in the page content.

    1. Sorry for the late response, but yes this is possible by doing a fielded search like this
      creatorName: username

      Note that you can only use the username in the fielded search. For other fields head over to Confluence Search Fields

      1. Regarding this... The search page could use an update. Perhaps the most blatant omission is the possibility to use labels to limit search results. Sure, everything is possible using the search fields, but not everyone is technical enough to use the syntax. Separate fields would be much more user-friendly.

        Here are suggestions for fields to include (or improve) in the Full Search:

        • Filter by label
        • Filter by age (also "older than" and "between specific dates")
        • Allow multiple selections in any category (multiple spaces, multiple authors, multiple content types)
        • Filter by attachment type (images, non-image attachments, office documents, pdfs)
        • Change the number of search results shown per page (current non-configurable default of 10 makes browsing through 200 search results really slow)

        A wilder idea would be to build a whole new search page using faceted navigation. It could be, say, an AJAX tool where you can type search terms or filters in a number of boxes. Each search performed would take those terms/filters and show them in bubbles below the search fields. You could then see which filters apply to the current search and quickly remove each filter by clicking on an X in the corner of the bubble. The number of search results would always show at the top so you can see how the filters affect your query.

        18 results in 2 spaces


        The cherry on top would be to dynamically hide those field values that have no relevance to the current query. For instance, if I search for content "older than 1 year", all spaces created within the past year would disappear from the space field until I remove the age filter, because they all have 0 results to the query "content older than 1 year". This would greatly speed up searching for specific content that is difficult to find by content search only. (smile)

        This function is most relevant for large instances with tens of thousand of pages, where keeping track of all content becomes impossible. A faceted search page like this not only makes it easier for users to find relevant content, but also facilitates managing large volumes of content since this is an excellent tool for cleaning operations. Let's say that I want to archive all content older than 2 years within a group of spaces. I would first like to know how many pages and attachments there actually are in those spaces with those attributes and perhaps browse through them first on a superficial basis before archiving or removing them. A faceted search provides a quick and visual way of grouping content using different conditions.

        1. Thank you Jonas!
          We are well aware that the search page needs updating and work. I really appreciate your feedback. We have a number of alternatives we are currently considering, among them faceting. With all the work with Confluence 4.0 this will not fit into that release. I wish I could give a timeline or a version where we aim to get this done but at the moment I can not do that. I have read all your suggestions and I will take them into account when I look further into this. If you feel you have more suggestions (or complaints, as that helps me know what needs attention), do not hesitate to send me an e-mail.

      2. Anonymous

        That doesn't return anything even though a valid user name or userid is used. Not from the search form or the search macro.

        In my opinion an empty search box, or search phrase * combined with picking a user form the list of users should produce a list of all pages the user made or was the last one to change.

        1. a search like creatorName: dkjellin will return all content created by me (you can try it here). An empty search box would cause a fairly significant performance problem which is why it is disabled. I believe the workaround by doing a fielded search is reasonable and should not cause too much hassle. I agree that this could be improved however.

        2. Whenever I want to make listings of content, I perform searches where I only enter into the search box:


          Then I choose some filters from the right-hand side and hit search. Of course sometimes you want to list other content than pages, but even so you can specify all of those into the search box:

          type:page OR type:blogpost OR type:attachment OR type:comment
  17. Is there a way to hide the Filters from the search results page? I use the livesearch macro, set to search within specific spaces based on user group, and it works fine if the user clicks on a link in the drop-down. However, if they click Go, they are able to see and select other spaces (for which they do not have permissions) in the Where filter. Even though selecting these other spaces doesn't have an effect on the search results, it still looks like they can search those spaces. I'd like to have the ability to hide the entire Filters section, if possible. Thanks!

  18. Anonymous

    Is there a way to hide username from search results? It currently displays

    Firstname Lastname (username)
    email address

    instead how will I make the results as shown below without the username.

    Firstname Lastname
    email address

    Please share your thoughts.

    1. This is possible. You would have to write (a very simple) plugin to do so. With that renderer you can then customise the output to be exactly what you want it to be. This is available in Confluence 3.2 and later. For documentation on how to write a search result renderer please see Writing a search result renderer

      1. Is there a way to customize the page that the search results are rendered on? I don't need to customize the results themselves, just the wrapper. Thanks!

        1. Yes, there are a number of velocity templates you can customised. Depending on what you want to change, the search-results.vmd search.vmd however the rendering of results themselves is done via plugins.

          1. Ok, great, I see there's quite a bit I can do in those files, however I still can't figure out how to customize the "header" section of the results page. Is that set somewhere else? 

            1. Hello Matthew,

              I think you may be better off asking this question over on, it is a much better forum for questions like this (smile)

              1. I did, but didn't get any good leads. Finally just figured out to adjust the SERPs, you can edit the site wide layouts (such as the Main Layout and Page Layout). Not ideal, since the results are applied to lots of different areas of the site, but I really needed to just get it working for an internal beta.

  19. is there a way to not to have a filter screen with search results. Problem is we have lot of anonymous users and we dont want to show them the space names that we have.. i can restrict user search to the particular space using space attribute.. bt then filter screen displayes all the spaces available..

    1. Hi kaustubh,

      At least for me, logging in with a user with less privileges than my own, going to the search screen, and opening the dropdown menu, I only see those spaces that I am permitted to search in.

      If you disable anonymous access for a certain space, anonymous users should not be able to see that space in any context.

      1. Hey Jonas .. thanks for the reply .. i was more keen on no displaying the filter option to the user. Our site may have many spaces and user may have anonymous access to them .. but still we want to restrict user in space context. ANyways i have hid that using stylesheet. :)

        Also can anybody help me in another problem. While trying to search the pages, search box macro is returning HTML page snippets in raw html code format. I mean the search result snippet contains html code than the display value of it... Is there a way i can overcome this ?

        1. How did you hide the filter option in the stylesheet? This is exactly what I need to do, but I'm

          new to wikis and stylesheets and could really use some pointers.

  20. Anonymous

    I have the standard search box, which makes use of quick navigation, in the header of all of my pages. When I try to add another search box (and I've tried several kinds, including builder-search since I'm using Theme Builder), quick navigation doesn't work for the second search box. The second search box is limited to searching the space only. Is quick navigation only available for one search box per page? Any suggestions? I've tried livesearch, which is working, but I dont' like the way the results are being displayed.

    1. You can try instantsearch, which is based on livesearch but is more configurable (also layout- and appearance-wise). We use that for all our search needs in Theme Builder.

      Perks compared to quicksearch:

      • Can be limited to the current space only
      • In global search, can display the space in which the search result resides + the path to it
      • Can optionally display the page excerpt
      • Can optionally highlight the search term(s) in the search result
      • Input field, button and search results can be styled separately
      • Also looks for search terms in space name, labels and content (quicksearch uses only the page title)

      Disadvantages compared to quicksearch:

      • Not quite as fast (but fast enough)
      • Does not display an icon for the content type Heh, turns out it does display an icon :)
      • Does not display matching spaces in a separate portion at the bottom like quicksearch

      I recommend you give it a try. :)

  21. Anonymous

    Hello, Is there anyone help me ?

    I would like to hide the search box on the top in the menubar of dashboard. Anyone know how hide this ? Thanks

    1. You can remove it by modifying the main.vmd (assuming you are running the default theme). There are two references to the quicknav in there, on is a velocity macro the other for associative technologies (like screen readers). Remove both and you should be good. However, I have not tried this, and can not vouch for any unwanted side effects, so be sure to try it properly before changing a production server.

      1. Anonymous

        Ok thanks, I'll try this. But I use PonpKong Theme. I dont know if it's possible too. I'll tell you this if it's ok or ko.

  22. How can I exclude content labeled Archive from my Global Search? We have a lot of kruft that needs to be excluded from our search engine but we need to maintain for historical purposes.

    1. This is a bit of a tricky problem, but doable. What you need is the following query (Assuming the user is searching for "confluence search")

      (confluence search) AND NOT labelText: Archive

      What I did here was to wrap the entire query the user wanted in parenthesis and then added the "AND NOT labelText: Archive". You should be able to do that via some javascript. Of course the entire query will show up in the search box on the results screen. If you want to hide that from the user you have little choice but to write your own plugin that does the searching and displaying of results.

      1. So the only automated way to do this will be to create our own plugin?

        1. Not quite. It depends on what your requirements are. You can put some javascript into the templates around searching that binds to the form submission of the search. You make this JS modify the keywords entered by the user like I mentioned above. This will result in the user seeing your modifications as part of the query on the results page. However I think this may be good, as they can then remove the "and not labelText: Archive" to also include the archived stuff, should they so wish. This should not be all that hard to do.

          1. Thanks, I'll talk to one of our Engineers about helping us do this. Appreciate the help.

  23. Is it possible to prevent a page from showing up in search results?

    For the purpose of reusing content chunks we have several pages that exist solely to have their content excerpted into other topics. We store these excerptable chunks in a hidden section that is not included in the table of contents hierarchy. However, using a search box will return the chunk pages as well, which we don't want. Is there a way to exclude certain pages (or certain levels of the page hierarchy) from showing up in search results? Thanks!


    1. Hallo Matthew

      I don't know of any way to prevent a page from showing up in search results. There's a discussion about content reuse, and the problems with search, on these two blog posts:

      I hope they help to some extent.

      The good news is that Confluence 4.3, due out in a couple of months, will have a feature that allows us to hide spaces from the search results. I'll blog about it on the above blog when the release is available.

      Cheers, Sarah


  24. Anonymous


    Is there a way to prevent external users ( customers) from being able to locate and search the People Directory. We would like the people directory to be visible only to internal people.


    Thank you



    1. At the moment this is not possible. You may want to look at

      and vote for

      CONF-7837 - People Directory and "controlled" privacy / configure access to People Directory depending on Group membership Open

  25. Is it possible to restrict the search to just pages/spaces and not include any attachements?

    1. if you are searching for "how to search Confluence" you can make your query as such

      (how to search Confluence) AND NOT type: attachment
      1. Thanks for the quick response. I was hoping I could change the default settings for the search function as we have a very green support group and I want to make sure they are not taking shortcuts to documentation. I want all queries to be directed to the pages. Any ideas?

        1. No it is not possible to change the default settings to achieve this. There are varying degrees of "hacks" you can do that will most certainly degrade the experience and make it hard for Support to help you. Unfortunately I can not recommend hacks.

          You could try to see if any other customers have solved this, or similar, problem.

  26. Anonymous

    Using Confluence 4.2.13.  We have many pages where we have placed an HTML <table> with a custom toolbar at the top of the page.  The issue is that when you Search, if the search criteria appear in the Title of the page or near the top of the content, the search results come back with the messy HTML we're using for the toolbar included.

    Either we need to figure out how to not render the HTML in the search results page OR we need to figure out how to place the toolbar at the top of our page in a different manner.

    Searching for "desk" brings up these results in part:

    Performance Help Desk: Track Issues Centrally for Follow-Up

    Image Preview (1) | View All (1)

    Performance Help Desk: Track Issues Centrally for FollowUp <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpaddig="0"> <tr> <td><a href="http://XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/display/SC/SolutionCentralHome"><img src="http://XXXXXXXXXXXXX/SolutionStore/images/tbHome.jpg"></a></td> <td><a href="http

    Solution Central

    Nov 14, 2012

    People Finder

    Image Preview (1) | View All (1)

    People Finder <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpaddig="0"> <tr> <td><a href="http://XXXXXXXXXXXX:8090/display/SC/SolutionCentralHome"><img

    1. Hello,

      You have a limited set of options here. You can

      A. use the include page macro instead, and put your toolbar in that page, and then include it at the top of the page

      B. Write your own result renderer of course writing your renderer is a serious undertaking and I think A. is the way to go for you.

      If you have more question around this is the place to ask questions.

  27. Anonymous

    I would like to find all pages which link to a page.

    For example, I am editing on our internal Confluence wiki and would like to find all other pages on our internal Confluence wiki which link to that page so I can update them as needed.

    Confluence search seems to (quite sensibly) search on text and not the link.  Is there some way I can tell it to search on the link?

    1. Hello,

      You do not need searching for this. If you go to the page in question and click on "Tools" and select "Info" it brings up a page which will list all incoming (and outgoing) links.

      1. Anonymous

        Thanks for that answer, I was also looking for this feature. 

        IMHO, the Info-page should contain all sections even the ones that will be empty. I was on the Info-page all ready, but didn't see the Incoming Links. Therefore, I thought I was looking at the wrong page and spent some time looking.

  28. Is it possible to search and replace a string in all pages of a space at once?

    1. Hi there. I'm afraid that isn't implemented. We have an issue tracking the request if you would like to vote or comment:

      CONF-2522 - Global Find and replace Resolved


      1. Thanks a lot Paul, I've voted. The issue has been there for 8 years already, though (sad)

        For now, I've worked around my problem by exporting the space, replacing the term I needed to, and then importing it back.

        1. Anton, 

          I would use SOAP API's to do this (or any other bulk) operation.  

          The methods are pretty powerful.   The first setup is a bit of pain, but after that its rather easy.  


  29. Hello, Is it possible to have search results take the user to the actual search terms in each of the search results.  For example, is there is a way to have the search term highlighted in yellow when the search results pages are opened?  Our pages are very long and the "search result" is not easily found just by opening the page.  The only way I can see to do this is by initiating a second browser search (Ctrl-F) on the term once the results pages are opened.  Thanks for your help.


  30. How can I search Accent_Insensitive?

    I mean, if i search a word like "máscara" the returning results will be "... máscara ..." but also words like "... mascara... "


    thanks in advance,

    1. Hello,

      I'm sorry to say but that is not supported at the moment. You can vote / comment on CONF-22495 - Allow search feature to ignore accent New to note your interest in this bug.


  31. Hey.
    Is it possible to restrict the search to just the page where the searchbox is?
    I have an FAQ page and want to search on it.


    Cheers, Chris 

    1. Yes, that is possible, you have to make use of the ancestorIds field. If you want to look at how this is done look at the Documentation Theme that ships with Confluence, it does exactly this in the search box it presents to the left.

  32. Anonymous


    I have a problem with including archived spaces into search list: if I enable to include them and the list extends the number of listed entries at the page, on klick to the next (or 2...) the include archive option is removed and so no archived spaces are listed. (v 5.1.3)

    best regards


    1. Hello Eckhard,

      That sounds like a bug, can you raise it over on For the Conf project, and put in the details on how to reproduce,

      Thank you.

  33. Hi!

    Is there some restriction in Lucene when it comes to indexing/ searching for URLs in Confluence?  I have a page with the following: If I search for "", the engine returns no results; the same is true for "se/nyheter".  If I search for "", the returns the page.



    1. There is not a restriction no, however what you are experiencing is likely due to tokenising and stemming. Without more information about your instance and a bit more sample data I can not help you further.

    2. My documentation contains Deeply.Nested.Identifiers. I can find Deeply.Nested.Identifiers but I cannot find Deeply or Nested or Identifiers by themselves.

  34. Anonymous

    Our company is currently upgrading from Confluence 3.5 to Confluence 5.1. We have noticed in our 5.1 sandbox that typing a search query and pressing ENTER will simply take the user to the first page of the quick search results. In 3.5, typing a search query and pressing ENTER would take the user to the Full Search page.


    Looking at the documentation above, this does not appear to be normal:

    1. Type your query into the search box located at the top right-hand corner of every screen (or type it into the text box at the top of the Search screen).
    2. Press the Enter key. (This means that you will ignore the dropdown list of titles offered by Confluence's quick navigation aid, describedabove.)
    3. 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.


    Is there a way to configure Confluence 5.1 to do the above and not automatically take the user to the first page in Quick Search after pressing the ENTER key? We are using the RefinedWiki theme, in case that affects the Search functions.

  35. Anonymous

    This actually appears to be a "feature" of the RefinedWiki theme. I will need to follow up with the RefinedWiki folks to see if this can be changed through the Confluence Admin.

  36. Anonymous

    Is there way of searching for content in personal tasks?

  37. Anonymous

    Is there a way to add multiple filters? like search for pages and blogs only

    Is there a way to show more user on the quick search. (It only shows 3)

    1. You can apply multiple filters in a drop-down using this plugin (in the quicksearch portion) and there is no limit on user's (and also no sorting by content type):

      However, when you hit return the "/sitesearch.action" (Dashboard->Search) will only allow a single filter.  

      In 5.x  you have to edit aui-header-secondary.vm to replace the global search menu

      ### <li>#auiQuickSearch($isSpaceSearchEnabled, $spaceKey)</li>

    2. If you do not want to head down the route suggested by Nathan, you can type up a more complex query, something like "(search terms) AND (type:page OR type:blogpost)" (without quotes) will give you all pages and blog posts with "search terms" in them.

      As for the number of users, no that is not possible as far as I know.

  38. Hi

    Is there a way to configure search in such a way that it displays all pages including the ones for which the user has no permissions?

    We want to restrict permissions as much as possible, but allow users to see if the content is available regardless. The user can than ask for permission or act accordingly instead of duplicating information.



  39. In testing, I found that "Modified" is actually "Last Modified," meaning you can easily locate stale content for archival or relocation.

    To verify this, use Search Results Macros to pull content from sequential date A to B, and B to C, and then another from date A to C. You will find that the number of items in A to C = the sum of A to B and B to C.

    To prune old content, you can put macros for several periods (Old, Older and Oldest) each into its own expand box. Then alert stakeholders of forthcoming archival or relocation of content within any period.

    In the Search Results Macro, in the search terms field type "modified:[19990101 TO 20130701]" where the date range is from the beginning of your Confluence space to the point in time six months ago or whatever you wish.

    "Modified" does not refer to all the dates that a given item was modified. It means only the last date that an item was modified.

    I think you can close Conf-27009 and that you should clarify applicable documentation at Searching ConfluenceConfluence Search Syntax and Confluence Search Fields.

  40. Is there a way to search for web links embedded in pages that follow a certain pattern, or to get a list of all such links for a given space?

    I have a number of pages that have been imported from another wiki system using copy & paste, which means that many now have web links pointing into the old system. I need to find and correct these.

    1. You could use the confluence API to search and replace the body text:

      The CLI tool by Bob Swift that uses the API looks like it is commonly used for this:



  41. The rendering of search results in Confluence is pluggable

    If it still is, then please update the documentation and tell us how to do it in 5.4. The tutorial is not accessible and the cached version from google is way outdated. The latest version which supports this was 5.1.5, which also had this plugin bundled;quick~confluence-imagesearchrenderer-plugin

    With the changes to the search in Confluence 5.2, this is all obsolete. While I agree, that some aspects of the new search are an improvement, the normal search result page is a nightmare. No more thumbnails for any attachments, what were you thinking?!

    Since I do not have the time to wait for the famous Atlassian Bug Fixing Policy, I wanted to write my own Searchresult-Renderer. But even this seems no longer possible. I am pissed.

    1. Hi TtheB, The tutorial has indeed been removed, I'm afraid I don't have any background on why specifically it was removed, but I assume it was no longer applicable or didn't work in later versions of Confluence. I have updated the page above to remove the reference to the tutorial.  Sorry. 

      There is also a ticket here related to thumbnails in search  CONF-4284 - Thumbnails of images and videos should be shown in search results Resolved .  

  42. Hi,

    From what I can gather, the first Confluence search searches only the home space, yet subsequent searches (from the Confluence search box in the blue toolbar) searches the whole site. How can I fix this so that the first search searches the whole site? Disabling the quick navigation has no effect on the search.



    1. Hi Debbie, not sure what you mean by 'home space', but I do know that if you use the Documentation theme, you can choose to make the Search bar on the blue toolbar search only the current space and not the whole site.  This might be what you are seeing in your site.  

      If you see a 'Browse' menu on the toolbar then you are in the Documentation theme.   To turn this off go to Browse > Space Admin > Themes > Configure and deselect the Limit search results to the current space checkbox. 

      If this is not what you are seeing, I'd recommend contacting Support who will help you troubleshoot what is going on. 

  43. Is it a "feature" that the quick search also picks up keywords in page history comments?

    When I save a page with the comment "I deleted xyz", and then do a Quick Search for "xyz", this edited page appears as search result, although "xyz" does not appear anywhere in the page content. The two-line excerpt in the search results now quotes history comments as context, which is confusing for users. (I assume only users with editing permissions get to see these results? Still, it's not expected behaviour.)

    1. Hi Ruth,  I'll need to check with the team to find out if this is intentional or not.  The search index certainly does include the page history comments ('What did you change" field), but it does not search the actual historical content of the page. 

      1. Yes, I mean the page history comments (and not historical content). It waters down the search results with internal meta discussions about, basically, "why somebody fixed a typo last year", looks kinda strange. Can we deactivate that?

  44. Hi Rachael,

    When search results are returned, is there a specific order in which they are returned? (ie: alphabetically by space, then within attachments??) Can you please point me to where this is documented? Thanks Debbie

  45. Selecting Favourite does not seem to make any difference. Isn't this supposed to search my favourite spaces?

  46. We use Confluence 5.4. I'm trying to understand the Confluence Search and specifically how search results are ranked. I found this page: Ranking of Search Results in your 5.1 docs. However a similar page does not appear in the 5.4 docs. Is the 5.1 discussion of ranking still applicable? If not, where can I find a description of how the ranking works in 5.4? Thank you.


    1. Hi Pamela, quite a lot of work was done on search in Confluence 5.2.  There is some information about the changes here Confluence 5.2 Release Notes#Fasterandcleanersearch.  The info in the Confluence 5.1 and earlier pages won't be accurate for 5.4. 

      Did you have a particular question about the search ranking?   I might be able to answer it for you. 

      1. Thank you for the response Rachel. We are trying to improve search results from our Confluence docs wiki. We want to know what the most important elements are in returning and ranking results for our content. Things, such as Title, labels, section headings, topic content? Do long titles matter, what does matter? We are developing guidelines for our writers and want to be able to have specifics. It appears from what I've read in 5.2, that labels do not influence the ranking, is that correct? (from this statement -  "search results no longer favours labels."). FYI - We use the documentation theme. Any guidance would be appreciated. We could also use advice on using labels and whether they affect search at all and in what manner. For example, if we use synonyms, does this effectively add the word to the topic so it is returned in the search results?

  47. Hi Rachel, I would also like to know this. Dave Norton from Atlassian did tell me the following but didn't mention labels. If the info in Confluence 5.1 is not accurate, why is it still available, and when will Atlassian provide the true picture of how search results are returned? Thanks

    "The search results were documented previously (check this out but due to changes to search in 5.2 it was decided not to document the search - as it's quite complex. As an example, if you go to http://<your confluence URL>/explain.action?queryString=keyword you can see just how Confluence ranks content in search results. Make sure to change keyword to something else 

    Here's a very brief run down on how search results are weighted:


    Newer Documents will be given a slightly higher score than older documents. Keep in mind that doesn't mean that newer documents will appear first, just that they give a slightly higher weight.


    Confluence will look at the number of words within a title (excluding minor words, such as "the", "and" etc), and will check how many times a word appears in the title. Titles that are shorter (around 4 words or less) will rank higher than titles with more than 5 words.


    As with the title, Confluence will look at the number of words within the content, and check how many times the number of words appear in the content. Longer pieces of content should rank lower than shorter documents with the same number of references


    Pages with the same content will be ranked according to their popularity within Confluence. A page that has more incoming links will be ranked higher than other pages that share similar content."

    1. Debbie,

      Thank you for posting that information. It was quite helpful. I would still like to know about labels and about multi-word labels. From testing, I think that at least single word labels are just treated as any other word in the text of a page would be treated. I know if I search using the exact format of a multi-word label, the page is found. However, this does not answer the question of whether bothering to enter multi-word labels is of any use whatsoever to an uninformed searcher. I'm still hoping that Rachel will help us with an answer to our label questions.

  48. Hi, I have been seeking information on whether headings (e.g. Heading 1, Heading 2) can be used by the author to affect rankings in search results. As I can't see it anywhere, I'm guessing that headings play no part in search rankings (unlike page titles). Assuming this is correct, why is that? To me, it seems that headings could give an author an ideal opportunity to help people find that they are looking for, especially in technical documentation. Thanks.

    1. Helen, you can check this for yourself by using this tip:  if you go to http://<your confluence URL>/explain.action?queryString=keyword you can see just how Confluence ranks content in search results. Make sure to change keyword to something else. This is posted in a previous comment above.

      1. Thanks. I did actually look at that before posting and, while it contained a lot of useful detail, what I am trying to establish is whether headings are taken into account in the same way as titles (i.e., treated differently to down-page content).

  49. How do you search for pages modified or created by someone who is no longer a user (e.g. they left the company)?  

    The pages retain their name as created or last modified by; however, the search seems limited to users which causes an issue because they are no longer active users.  

    1. I think former authors should not be removed, they should have their rights revoked.

      1. In our case, we don't delete any user, we just remove their assigned groups so that we can have the license back.  So, they still exist in our Crowd database.  But, when I try to use the advanced search Author option, I cannot get their name to pull up. And, I'm not sure how to find content that was last modified by a specific user.  

  50. Our company sells several products, and each product is documented in a separate space. Global search displays results from across all spaces on the server. I Is there any way to send a parameter to Confluence to limit the spaces included in search results? That way, users can only access documentation for products they've purchased. I understand that the search results for each space can be limited to the content in that space. But I'm trying to understand if global search can be limited dynamically. My guess is, it's not possible. I haven't found any indication in the Confluence documentation or in Google searches that the request is possible. But I'm reporting our options back to a team. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Mark,

      Unfortunately, no, I'm not aware of a way to dynamically restrict the search to certain spaces. You can always make a suggestion, but obviously there are no promises about if/when we would do this.

    2. I haven't seen a generic search plugin like that, Might be worth writing a custom plugin for your specific case. It all depends... What determines your customers' sets of search spaces (user permissions, user preferences, user groups, product suites, languages, labels, page properties, all of the above)? By what will your customers want to sort and filter results? Do you want to hide the other two search boxes from the UI, or integrate them somehow? Plus there is a lot of optimization (indexing and caching) that you can do in a custom plugin. 

    3. Thanks Giles and Ruth. That's what I thought. It's good to have confirmation.

      I'd have no idea how to create a Confluence plugin, and unfortunately don't have the time to learn. The need to filter out content by space isn't crucial. But it was something that we anticipate our product managers could ask for, and wanted to have a response ready.