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Searching Tips

Here's some handy tips to help you find what you're looking for when using search in the CRM.

Paul Holland avatar
Written by Paul Holland
Updated over a week ago

If you're new to searching in the CRM, we've got a guide to get you started with searching here. The article below offers useful tips and tricks to help you hone your searches to more quickly find exactly what you're looking for.

What Gets Searched?

When you're using the Global Search, it searches all the main data entities in the system (depending on what record types you have selected). It searches all the key fields on the record, such as the record name or description, as well as some other common fields like email, postal code, etc. It also searches related fields from other entities, such as the name on the related Company when searching Problems.

If you're searching Documents, then the search even looks at the first few-hundred words from the body content of emails.

If you're using a search entity within a Report, then it will search all the same fields.

Search Terms

When you type a phrase or multiple words in the search box, each bit of text (any text separated by a space, dash, comma, etc.) is treated as its own search term. The search will look for a maximum of five search terms - any other terms will be ignored.

For example, if you were to search for the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, the search would only look for records that contained the quick brown fox jumps - and none of the additional words after those first five.

Not Case Sensitive

The search in the CRM is not case sensitive, so searching for text in different cases will return the same results. For example, searching for paul is the same as searching for Paul, or PAUL.

The Sequence Doesn't Matter

Unless you use double quotes to create an exact search term (see below) then the sequence of the search terms you use doesn't matter. You'll find a Red Pen by searching for any of these terms:

  • Red

  • Pen

  • Red Pen

  • Pen Red

Acronyms & Abbreviations

The CRM search will process acronyms and symbols out of names. For example, “I B M” can found using the term “ibm” despite the missing spaces

Apostrophes in Your Search Term (e.g. O'Leary)

When searching for something containing an apostrophe, the text after the apostrophe is treated as a separate search term. So, if you search for Pam's, the search is actually trying to find Pam s.

If you want to specifically search for Pam's you can either omit the apostrophe e.g. Pams and the CRM will try and find matching records, or you can make use of Exact Searching and enclose your term in double quotes. e.g. "Pam's".

This is particularly important for Irish and other names such as O'Leary or O'Brien. To search for these names either simply search for OLeary, Leary or use double quotes to search for "O'Leary".

Prefix & Partial Word Searching

The search algorithm will, by default, search for matches using the beginning portion of a term. This is called a Prefix Search. For example, to find Paul Wyatt, you'd succeed with any of the following search terms:

  • paul

  • wyatt

  • paul wyatt

  • paul wya

  • pau wyat


By default, you're searching for term 1 AND term 2 AND term 3. For example, searching for the phrase Paul Nicole will find a company called "Paul Nicole Inc" or "Nicole Paul Inc", but it won't find "Paul Inc" or "Nicole Inc"; nor would it find a Contact called "Mr Paul Smith" or "Dr Nicole Smith".

You can use OR within a search to find two things at once, but you have to do that explicitly. For example, if you wanted to find all records that contained Paul or Nicole, you'd simply search using the text Paul or Nicole.

Let's explain that with another example. If you don't include a specific OR between your search terms then the search will look for records that contain ALL of your search terms. For instance, if you search for Red Pen then the search will return all Products (or other record types) that contain both Red and Pen (in any sequence). This search would return:

  • The red pen

  • The pen that is red

But it would not return:

  • The blue pen

  • the red box

However, searching for Red OR Pen would return all of the above records.

Searching for an Exact Phrase

It's possible to have the search look for the exact phrase, searching for multiple terms exactly as you've entered them. To do this, simply wrap double quotes ( " " ) around your search term. For example, to explicitly search for a Product called The red box and exclude The box that is red then you could use double quotes to create an exact search, searching specifically for "red box".

Combining OR with Exact Searching

You can also combine multiple search types. For example, you could search for

"Red Pen" OR "Blue Pen" to find any pen that matches either of those exact search terms.

Search Result Scoring

The CRM uses a complex algorithm to score the results of any search and return the "best matches".

This algorithm takes account of the number of matches found (across multiple fields), the priority of fields, and it also reduces the score for matches of any frequently used word (so for instance, matches on common words such as the, of, on, ltd, pty etc. will score lower).

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