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Search for phrase

Topic Labels: Base design
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I have installed the Advanced Search block.

As there is (currently) no way to add keywords globally (to avoid having to have separate keywords in each table), I am experimenting with scrapping keywords altogether and rely on search.

However, I cannot work out how to search for a phrase, for example ‘as a whole’. Any suggestions please? Also is it possible to confine search to a particular field?


9 Replies 9

Hi Michael,

Yeah, unfortunately, there are many constraints to the way search functions in the search block and isolating results based on phrases or fields is not possible as far as I know. Ideally, you want something like this which is possible to build (and you can see in a functional demo), but not a trivial undertaking.

Noted, thank you.

I shall stick with keywords for the time being!

Yep, and you might find this thread useful as well. Note - applying this approach using Script Blocks would be even easier than the way I did this pre-Script Blocks era.

Noted, thank you.

I’m not into scripting because I don’t understand what steps to take to incorporate the script.

Early days for me I know but considering AT promotes having designed from the ground up, after 8 years I would’ve thought the foundations (if any) would include a global search for phrases. Also, probably how I’ve gone about things but I don’t understand why fields I haven’t added to tables get added regardless whenever I link. Surely that should all be done out of sight?

However, I cannot work out how to search for a phrase, for example ‘as a whole’. Any suggestions please? Also is it possible to confine search to a particular field?

What sort of search problems are you having? I can successfully search for just a phrase, such as the phrase “as a whole”, and I am also able to confine the search to just a particular field. This is all done using the Search Block.

Indeed, but you haven’t thoroughly tested this assertion. Imagine searching for “as an *** whole” (quoted) and getting all records that match “as a whole”. :winking_face: It appears to be tokenizing the words in the quoted string and asserting a match based on each token - this is not a phrase search.

I think what he’s saying is that something like this following example should not return results - it is not an exact phrase match despite the quotes, and yet it returns unmatched results.


Correct, by reconfiguring the block. That’s silly. Imagine if Google required you to change the settings when you needed to search for a specific type of document.

Ahhhh, I see, I stand corrected. Yeah, that would be amazing if Airtable let us put quotation marks around the search phrase — to indicate that we are searching for an entire phrase, not individual words. I’m actually surprised that this isn’t in the system! I will add it to the #show-and-tell:product-suggestions topic.

Interestingly, though, you ACTUALLY CAN search for an entire phrase when using the “Find Records” command, but that doesn’t return the results in a list. It just highlights the matching records in the view.

I just added this as a feature request here: