Depending on where you are in the help center, you can use any of the following search methods to locate content: instant search, native search, article suggestions, or Knowledge in the context panel.
Using instant Help Center search to get content suggestions
Instant search is used when you first start typing in the search field. As you type, article titles that match your search appear. Keep typing to reduce the list of articles.
- Uses a partial word search
- Includes article titles only, not body text or labels of articles
- Does not include community posts
You can click any matched article to go directly to the article without going to the search results page. If you don't see any articles that fit your criteria, press Enter, and the native Help Center search is applied.
Instant Search is available by default, in standard themes and themes that were customized after the release of instant search on July 5th, 2016. In standard themes you can disable Instant Search if needed.
Using native Help Center search for specific results
Native search is used when you type in the Help Center search field and click Enter. Search results appear as a list on the search results page.
- Uses full word search, not partial word search
- Includes titles, body text, and labels
In this example, you'll see results for content that includes the words instant or search, with the first results containing both instant and search. See searching for content for tips on how to find phrases and operands to perform specific searches.
By default in standard themes, the number of votes and comments appear next to each result on the search results page. You can filter your result set first by content type (knowledge base article or community post) and then by category or community topic.
Using Knowledge in the context panel to search for articles
Agents can use the Knowledge section of the context panel while working with tickets to conveniently get information and answers relevant to the conversation they're in.
The knowledge section uses Zendesk bots to automatically provide relevant suggestions you can use to answer questions in your tickets. You can also manually search your help center to find additional content, then you can link to content or quote content directly in the ticket. See Searching, linking, and quoting content in tickets.
Using article suggestion search when an end user submits a support request
Article suggestion search is used when an end user submits a support request in the help center. As the end user types in the Subject field, articles are suggested.
Article suggestion search:
- Includes titles, content, and tags or labels
- Uses a relevance score to order suggested articles
If a user clicks a suggested article, they are taken to the article directly, and the support ticket is not opened.
For information about deactivating article suggestions, see How can I remove "Suggested Articles" from the ticket submission form?.
I love Knowledge Capture!!
Hi Jennifer Rowe,
How does the Knowledge Capture app search work? Does it include title and body text, partial or full word match?
Thank you for messaging us. KCApp search works includes all of those. So mainly, agents search for keywords and in the search result of KCapp provides all results with the specified keywords or phrases.
You can also check this resource to know more about Knowledge Capture App.
Hi , Jennifer Rowe
How are the native Help center's search results sorted? Is it related to title, body text, labels and date?
Native Help Center search does not use partial word search and it searches through titles, labels, and content. When you search, any comments associated with an article and post are also searched. Thus, the search term might not be in an article or post itself, but in a linked comment
If you would like to narrow down your search in the Help Center, you can also filter the results by type or category
In addition to the info in Cheeny's comment, you might find this article helpful!
About Help Center end user search
Are there any plans to incorporate article body text into the instant search in the same way as they are included in the native search?
We've been paying for a third-party service (Algolia) to achieve this functionality for a while, though it has the limitation of not being able to index private HC articles, so it doesn't work for internal knowledgebase content - which is frustrating. Given that the native search can return results based on article body text already, surely it should be relatively straightforward to implement this into the instant search too? Would appreciate insight into this. Thanks!
hi all -
In regards "Using article suggestion search when an end-user submits a support request"
is it possible to show the articles suggested list when filling a custom text field like it does with the Subject ?
Hi! Thank you for this article! I have a specific question that I can't seem to find a solution for in the help center. We're looking to combine help centers for two different products. Some of our customers have one or the other - some have both. I'm wondering how we can separate the search results once they click the desired product from the main "Help Center Homepage". One keyword may mean two entirely separate things from one product to another. Any tips or tricks or special code or great advice? Maybe an article that can point me in the right direction? Thank you!
Hi Jana Debusk,
If you have assigned a category per product, you can limit searches within a category via scoped search attribute in themes https://developer.zendesk.com/documentation/help_center/help-center-templates/helpers/#search-helper
This scopes the search to the category or even community topic the user is currently in. You should add the
scoped=trueattribute on the
cateogry_page.hbs, section_page.habs, article_page.hbs and search_results.hbstemplates of your theme.
I'm wondering, is it possible to scope the instant search results? Even with my search bar having the scoped attribute, the instant search drop down contains results from all categories, but if I submit the search, the native search page only contains the articles from the current category.
I would also like to scope the search done by the subject in forms, ideally by form (eg. if i have 2 products and these have their own category, if someone is on a form for product 1 support, i only want product 1 articles to appear as suggestions)
Hi Cheryl Lane
Yes, it's possible to scoped the user search based on the current category they are in. For reference: Hiding and showing elements in your Copenhagen standard theme. Make sure that you only have "Scoped search in Knowledge Base" enabled so the search results will remain on the Category the end-user is in.
Please note that this function should only work if you are using the Copenhagen theme. If you are using a 3rd party theme, this feature will not be available.
I hope this helps!
Hi Hiedi Kysther
Thanks for your reply. We design and manage our own themes and have added this in the same way as Copenhagen does:
where the settings are boolean settings.
This correctly scopes the search (when you enter some text and hit enter and a new page opens, this is restricted to the category as expected), but not the instant search ( https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/4408832681626#topic_xqw_dd1_cw - where you start typing and a drop down appears before you hit enter).
Instant search is what I'm trying to see if it's possible to scope, which doesn't seem possible or at least isn't mentioned in the documentation and isn't done in the Copenhagen theme.
Hi Cheryl Lane
Thanks for the clarification! Natively, instant Search article suggestions ignore scoped parameters. For reference: searchHelper documentation.
While theoretically, it is still possible to implement using our Help Center API, it's likely that performance issues make this a bad option. It would be necessary to make an API call for every single character (or every x characters) entered in the search input. I did a quick research on my end and most of our internal teams recommended against this.
Also, note that any custom solution like this would fall outside the scope of our support.
Hi Hiedi Kysther
Thanks for confirming that, hadn't seen that specific part of the documentation.
Yeah, we assessed options like that, but instead turned off instant search and hid the subject based suggested articles box on the forms. But, thought I'd reach out and see if maybe we'd missed a setting that would let us do it natively.
It would be a helpful feature for us, but I suspect we're a niche case.
Hi Cheryl Lane
I do agree that it would be a nice feature to have, and I'm happy to pass your feedback to our Voice of the Customer team for further discussion. Please feel free to let me know if I can help with anything else!
Have a great day!
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