How does the search work?

The search on both your website and on the admin space look into all of your media files’ metadata (keywords, caption, location…), but they work in different ways.

Search in the admin space (“internal search”)

When you search for images within your admin space (My images & videos), the system looks for exact matches. For example, a search for cats will not return and image with the keyword “cat”. Partial matching and wildcards are not supported.

Tip: to look for an image, enter its ID. The ID of an image is its filename, without the .jpg/.tif extension.

You can limit the search to look only at keywords instead of the whole metadata by using the Keywords search field.

You can also save a search as a Smart Collection. The internal admin search is also used by the automation features.

The search is NOT case-sensitive. It looks at the following metadata: image ID (filename minus its .jpg/.tif extension), title, description, location, city, country, state, world region, keywords, author.

Special keywords

In your admin space Keywords advanced search field, use * to match files that have keywords, or ! to match files that don’t have any keyword.

Search on your website

On your website, the search looks at the same metadata fields, but is much more sophisticated. For example, it knows plurals, so a search for cats will return images with the keyword “cat”. It relies on a separate image search index, that is updated separately.

On your website, results for any given search query are cached for 10 minutes: if someone does a search right before you upload or update relevant files, it might take a few minutes before the change appears in the results for this specific search.
Updates will appear immediately for new, uncached search queries.

Hidden galleries

Hidden galleries are normally excluded from any search results, which two exceptions:

  • They can be included in public searches by forcing their public indexing (see below), but in this case their content is accessible to everyone even when they are protected or under a protected gallery.
  • When the search is made from within that very hidden gallery (and not from from a sub-gallery under it).

Galleries protected by password or login

Media in protected galleries are not included in your website’s public search index.

When a visitor logs in, the private galleries they have access to (up to 20) and their sub-galleries are then included in subsequent searches. Similarly, when they access a password-protected gallery, the password-protected gallery (and its sub-galleries) are included in subsequent search results.

Similarly to the access rights themselves, when a client has access to a private gallery containing sub-galleries, any sub-gallery that defines its own access rights might be excluded from the search results, unless it too specifically provides access to the client.

When testing access rights and private searches, first close your browser to ensure that no previous authentication is still active.

Including / excluding a gallery from the public search

In a gallery’s Authorizations panel, you can force a specific gallery to be either included in the results of public searches (made by unauthenticated users on your website), or excluded from them, via the Include images in public search option.

  • When a gallery is included in public searches, anybody will be able to find and access its media. Forcing inclusion can be useful for hidden galleries, but we recommend not using this for sensitive content in private galleries, as it makes it publicly available.
  • When a gallery is not included in public searches, its content will not be shown in public search results, except when the search is initiated from within that very gallery. It will still be normally included in “private” searches, i.e. if it is a private gallery that the visitor has opened access to.

This setting applies only to the gallery and does not impact the indexation of its sub-galleries.

Multi-word searches

This applies to both the search in the admin space and the search on your website.

Boolean operators help you or your visitor refine their search. For instance:

  • Apple Orange or Apple AND Orange will return all images that have both words in their metadata ;
  • Apple OR Orange will return images that have either the “Apple” word or the “Orange” word in their metadata. Note that the OR operator must be in capital letters ;
  • "black cat" will return images that match the exact phrase “black cat” ;
  • Kid OR Child AND Male will return images of boys (the “AND” is optional) ;

Note: searches are limited to 32 words and operators.

Grouping search results by gallery on your website

When your galleries contain very similar images, you can group results by galleries via My website / Setup / Advanced settings.

This way, when performing a search, your client gets the list of galleries having images that match, along with the number of results of matches per gallery.

Displaying search box on another website

You can display a search box on any website by adjusting and pasting the following piece of HTML code (replace YOUR-PHOTODECK-URL-HERE by your own website URL):

<form accept-charset="UTF-8" action="///YOUR-PHOTODECK-URL-HERE" method="get"> <input name="search" placeholder="Image search" type="search"> <input name="commit" type="submit" value="Go"> </form>