Global Search is one of the most widely used features in Salesforce. With the constant need to find a specific record, Global Search can be optimized so everything can be found quickly and accurately.
Use Wildcards and Operators
Wildcards and operators are designed to refine search results. There are a number of wildcards and operators available but two are the most widely used.
The * (asterisk) Wildcard
The * wildcard is used to match one or more characters. For example, searching for pla* will return results containing plastic, plaza, plan and place. When you do not use an asterisk, Global Search looks for the exact word you entered only. This can limit results and often return things you weren’t looking for.
Let’s assume you want to find an Account named Suppliers Inc and you searched for the word “Supplier”. Suppliers Inc. would not be included in the results because the extra s at the end of Supplier caused them not to match. Had you included an * and searched for Supplier*, Suppliers Inc. would be found. Therefore, always make sure to include an asterisk at the end of your search term!
The “ “ (quotation mark) Operator
The " " operator finds an exact phrase. When searching for more than one word, Global Search uses an AND operator between the different words.
For example, if you searched for Conference Call (without quotation marks), Global Search would return any record where both Conference and Call are mentioned; they don’t have to be next to each other. But if you included “ “ in that search, it would only return results that had the exact phrase “conference call” in it, minimizing your search results and finding you exactly what you need.
Searching for Terms within the Content of a File
Does your company upload a ton of files to Salesforce? Do these files contain important detail you wish you could find in an instant? With Global Search, you can find detail within the content of a file. There are only two requirements to fulfill to make the content of a file searchable.
1. The file needs to be uploaded through Chatter Files or the Documents tab. If your file is attached to a record through the Notes & Attachments related list, only the document name, keywords, and description of the file will be searchable. But if you upload it through Chatter Files or the Documents tab, you can search within the content of a document.
2. The file needs to be in a searchable format. Many file formats, such as .doc, .ppt, .xls and even .pdf are searchable for both Chatter files and the Documents tab. Chatter Files has the additional capability of searching through the newer file formats of the Microsoft Office Suite, such as .xlsx, .pptx and .xlsx. Therefore, use Chatter Files to upload documents to expand the number of files that are searchable.
Note that image formats, such as .jpg, are not content searchable through either method.
Additional Tips & Tricks
Want to see a particular object at the top? Pin the object to the top of your results by clicking the thumbtack to the right of the object name on the Search Results page.
Want to limit search results to items you own? On the Search Results page, click on Options, then the Limit to Items I Own checkbox, and then click Save & Search.
Just created a new record but can’t find it in the search results? Don’t worry! Newly created records can take up to 15 minutes to be added to the search index.
15 minutes is perfect for a break!
Understanding Search Results: Video Tutorial