Work Smarter With Our New Search Features

We all love strong and informative content. The more the better right? But even the best content can be hard to search and filter when you work in a large organization that produces thousands of product descriptions, landing pages and so on.

At Contentful we care about efficiency. And creating an easy-to-use product is our number one priority. So we've worked hard to show you a set of new Contentful search enhancements designed to help you to organize your content better.

By reading this blog post you will learn how to take advantage of our new search features like combining search filters, inversing queries, looking for patterns and much more.

Five Contentful search hacks

Here is a quick rundown of five powerful hacks to try the next time you are looking for entries.

1. Combine multiple filters

You can eliminate a lot of irrelevant results by adding a few extra pieces of metadata to your query. These can include approximate time of creation, possible content type, author's name among others. You can preview all available options by clicking on the Filter icon in the Search window.

2. Inverse your query

If your search yields a long list of irrelevant results dominated by John's discarded drafts and Valery's hashtag-infested Instagram campaigns, try running negative searches. Sometimes excluding an apparent false positive like John (or Valery) does the trick.

3. Look for patterns

Rather than look at exact matches produced by using IS operator, use fuzzy search operator MATCHES to access a collection of related content. That is, your results will list all the entries sharing a specific naming convention or a particular field value. It's a great way to surface related content. Note, at the moment, the feature is only supported in the short text field.

4. Search by reference

References are other entries you link to from within an entry, for example, an author entry you attach to a blog post. In the past, we have shown you how to search by references via API, either using advanced operators or with the help of the GraphQL library. Now you can do the same inside the web app. The best part? You don't even have to know how to code.

5. Praise the unsung heroes

Attribute praise/blame to the right people. Have you ever wondered who is the good Samaritan fixing your awkward spelling of the word 'doppelganger'? Well, you are about to find this out, for we will start displaying the information about the last person to edit an entry. You can use this information to filter entries too, making it easy to pick your work from where you left it.

Search shortcuts anyone?

We are creatures of habit and tend to repeat identical searches day in and day out. Therefore you can now save a search for future use. The saved searches are found under the 'My views' tab in the left sidebar. To add a new view, click on the "Save as a view" link that appears next to your search criteria. You can then go one step further and order your saved views, or group them into folders. As the name implies, "My views" are private to you - they cannot be accessed by or shared with your colleagues.

Eager to put saved views to good use? One Contentful search feature we recommend is working with unpublished entries. You can search for entries that were last edited by you, and that currently are in "Draft" status. After you perform the search, click on the "Save a view" link. Done! Now you can always check for loose ends with a single click.

Keeping spaces clutter-free

Space administrators have been privy to the saved view functionality for more than two years. And unlike private views, stuff created by admins is visible to the entire team. Going forward, we added the possibility to assign such public views to users with a specific role. This enhancement enables space admins to customize the list of entries seen by editors, translators, outside contributors, and users with other roles within the space.

If your space structure is complex with many auxiliary content types —the kind of content that gets assigned names like "Block: Text," "CTA: Big Blue Button," or even "DO NOT DELETE OR GARY WILL BE FIRED" - can be hidden from the default view. Editors appreciate working with a default view that consists of high-level items like landing pages, blog posts, and author profiles. Meanwhile, secondary content will continue to be accessible through reference fields, where it's consumed. Role-specific views make it easy to organize your content this way.

Learn even more

This blog post barely scratched the surface of what you can do with the new Contentful search implementation. For further tips, read our knowledge base entry on content search. There you will find more technical details as well as practical examples of how to perform your searches.

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