Windows SharePoint Services Search Keyword Syntax

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Windows SharePoint Services Search includes new keyword syntax for building keyword queries. This syntax is simpler to use than the SQL search syntax because you do not have to parse through search terms to build a SQL statement; you pass the search terms directly to the search service.

You can pass two types of terms in a Windows SharePoint Services Search keyword query:

  • Keywords (the actual query words for the search request)

  • Property filters (the property constraints for the search request)


You can use any of the following as keywords:

  • A word (includes one or more characters without spaces or punctuation)

  • A phrase (includes two or more words together, separated by spaces, but the words must be enclosed in quotation marks)

  • A prefix (includes a part of a word, from the beginning of the word)

The following table describes the three types of keywords: simple, included, and excluded terms.





Simple term

Keyword with no special requirements



Included term

Keyword that must be in content items returned in search results



Excluded term

Keyword that must not be in content items returned in search results



See Also



Windows SharePoint Services Search Property Filters

Windows SharePoint Services Search Keyword Syntax Inclusion and Exclusion


Building Windows SharePoint Services Search Queries