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Another way that you can help people find what they're looking for in SharePoint that really only takes a few minutes is by defining what's called a custom search scope. The search scope is the idea of what amount of the indexed search results are we actually looking at. And even if you don't have the dropdown search scope box, you're always using a scope. A lot of the times it's the All Sites scope, which really means everything in the search index or as much as we're allowed to see of it anyway. But searching just people is a scope, searching just a particular site is a scope.
So you can reduce what it is you're looking at by a type of document or by a location of the document. Maybe I want to just search documents created in the last 30 days and I'd like that as a scope. Maybe, I'd like to just search spreadsheets, maybe I'd like to just search things created by Bob. All of these things can be defined as custom scopes and made available in the search dropdown, so we can change our scope from search to search. Now, scopes are defined at the site collection level, so I'm going to go to the Site Settings of my top-level site and in the Site Collection Administration section, I'll find Search scopes, which right now has my All Sites and People.
The other one, which is just This Site, is always just kind of generated on the fly, you can't really change that. So I'm going to make a new scope, so let's call this one Only Spreadsheets. I could give it a description. Just search xls and xlsx files. I'd like this to show up in the Search dropdown and yes on the Advanced Search page as well. Then it's asking me, do I want to use the default Search Results Page and I'm going to say yes, probably, because I certainly haven't created another page for searching just this content, so I'll click OK.
Of course, it doesn't know what I want to do right now. I have to add some rules to the Scope to tell SharePoint what does it mean to be in this reduced set of information. And it's going to ask, the kind of rules that we can say are is it based on a particular address, do I want to only search a particular site, like only search the Record Center, only search the Document Center. Or I could base it on a property query, such as the author, or the filename. Well I'm going to base it on the FileExtension.
I'm going to say I want to add a rule that says the file extension has to be xls and I want to include anything that's an xls in the scope. Although I'm going to add another rule here. I'm going to go back into Only Spreadsheets and add a new rule that also says yes a property query, the FileExtension could also be xlsx, and include that too. So it's now saying these are my scope settings, Only Spreadsheets. It's a new scope. It will be ready after the next update, which starts in six minutes.
I'm going to go back to my Site Settings page and just look at my general search scopes page, which will give me the higher-level view we're down to five minutes here. That's because there's a background job that runs on the SharePoint server that doesn't run all the time. It's going to look at the scopes every 15 minutes or so and make sure that they're up to date. Now there's one thing you should really know about creating scopes. They are easy to make, but scopes exist at the site collection level, or certainly the way I've shown you here. So I've defined this scope at this site collection where my team site is, so it's going to appear in the dropdown box once it has compiled for that first time.
However, right now I'm unfortunately jumping across to a different site collection to use that scope. And you can do that but you need to make sure that the scopes exist with the same name and the same descriptions in both site collections. Alternatively, scopes can be created by your farm administrator and created in SharePoint central administration and then made available to multiple site collection, so you can just choose which one is that you use. So this is going to be up to you, but know that your scope definitions, although they're easy to create, will be created by you at the site collection level.
I'm going to go back into my Site Settings here and just take a look at how my scopes are going on. It's got four minutes to go, so I'm going to take this opportunity and just jump over to the other site collection and define the scope with the same name and the same details over there. Once that background job has run, we're ready to go. I can see that this scope is now counted as ready. I should be able to go back to the homepage of this site, I'm going to make sure to refresh the page and then hopefully, we will have this Only Spreadsheets scope in our dropdown box here, and I can search on the phrase like, let's say Monthly, hit Enter and I'm getting back five results and they are only Excel spreadsheets in this case.
So this is how we define the scope. Again, because I'm using two different site collections to both handle my query or where I put my query in and where the results come from, I did have to define it twice. If you are doing that a lot, you may want to get your farm administrator to define it at the farm level and just then use it across your site collections. But scopes are quite quick to set up and particularly when you start getting lots of information, thousands of files, you'll find it very useful to be able to filter that information down. Of course, your users can filter further down by the result type and the set and the author, but if you want to be a bit more explicit about it, create a custom scope.
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