Windchill Fundamentals > Windchill Search > Search Reference > Special Characters in Keywords
Special Characters in Keywords
The following topic only applies when performing keyword searches with Windchill Index Search installed and enabled. When performing a database search or a non-indexed keyword search, all special characters are interpreted literally. For more information, see Keyword Search Rules.
When Windchill Index Search is installed and enabled, there are essentially two types of special characters:
Characters that are indexed, and can be either ignored or included when performing a search.
Characters that are not indexed, and which are always ignored when included in keyword searches.
For information about using the escape character, see Using the Escape Character with Wildcards.
Indexed Special Characters
The following special characters are included in the Windchill index and are used to distinguish keyword strings:
Hyphens -
Periods .
Underscores _
This means that when a keyword includes these characters, the keyword is indexed in its entirety and as individual components that are separated by the special character (-, .,and _).
For example, you create an object and assign “123-456” as its number identifier. This value is then indexed as follows:
If you perform a keyword search using any of these terms, the object with number 123-456 is returned as a search result.
However, when you include any of the indexed special characters (-, .,and _) in your keyword search term, Windchill considers the character a literal part of the keyword string.
For example, consider the following searches:
Keyword: 123
The search results would include the following objects:
Wheel Axle
Image 123
Keyword: 123-
Adding the hyphen character limits the search results to the following objects:
Wheel Axle
“Image 123” is excluded because, when present, the hyphen character is a literal part of the search string.
“Doc-123” is excluded because the placement of the hyphen character is also considered. “Doc-123” has been indexed as Doc, Doc-, -123, and 123.
You can also use a wildcard as part of a search that includes special characters. For example, to find the object with number 123-4567-890, you could search for 123-4567* or 123-4??7-*.
Special Characters That Are Ignored
Windchill Index Search ignores the following characters:
Percentage %
Slash /
Backslash \
Question mark ?
Open parenthesis (
Closed parenthesis )
Asterisk *
Quotation marks (curly and straight) “ ” "
When a special character is ignored during indexing, Windchill Index Search replaces the character with white space. For example, you create two parts and assign 123/456/789 and 123*456*789 as their number identifiers. Both values are indexed as 123, 456, and 789.
When you include any of these characters in your keyword search term, Windchill ignores the special character and treats the keyword as two separate strings joined by the AND operator.
For example, if you perform a keyword search for 123/456/789, then you are actually performing a search for 123, 456, and 789. This search would return objects with any of the following values:
Doc-123 A/456 model 789
Image-456 123 789