First, I'll explain how I stumbled upon the issue. We need some serious, working search functionality.

I set up a custom field for cases. I set up the custom field to be searchable.

I then created a test case and populated my new field with latin text "Lorem....".

I then tried to find my new case with case search and "lorem" in my custom field. It couldn't find it.

I then tried to find the new case with the new field using "full-text search". It couldn't find it again. I then started testing full-text search. It seems to be hit and miss.

Perhaps it's user error, and in that case, please advise what I'm doing wrong. I would appreciate it.

For the following tests, I'm using "all tables" and yes, I have wildcards enabled. Full-text search doesn't find "lorem" which is in my case custom field. Full-text search doesn't find "john" which is in the name of several contacts (john, johnson...). Full-text search doesn't find "j" which is in many fields in many tables. Full-text search only finds four hits for "a" which are all names of contacts. Full-text search doesn't find "max" which is in at least four contact's names. Full-text search does find three hits for "bob" all within contact's names. Full-text search does find two hits for "sheep" which are all in case descriptions.

Can anyone shed some light on these inconsistent results?

Thanks so much!

  • What version of Civi are you using? Would be helpful to update your question with that. May 13, 2016 at 18:11
  • We are using version 4.7.6 .
    – 406CODE
    May 16, 2016 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


Try your search using % as a wildcard - like %lorem%

  • Be careful with % wildcards - see Eileen's civicrm.org/blog/eileen/… May 13, 2016 at 18:12
  • KarinG, a good point, and Eileen's blog post is definitely worth reading, and the variations for using % in a search worth looking at. But a 'slow' search using %, with a desired result, is better than a fast search which returns no result, right? May 13, 2016 at 18:46
  • %lorem% also showed no results.
    – 406CODE
    May 16, 2016 at 16:02
  • For this particular project, it's all about the search. Our users need to be able to find previous cases or clients. For example, cases about irrigation in Nebraska, or sheep grazing in Montana. They need to be able to search clients who are veteran farmers in Virginia. In this particular case, a slower search with desired result is not only preferred, it's a requirement. Users today are also used to Google and other search engines. They are accustomed to entering "sheep gra" and getting hits for "sheep grazing", "gray sheep", or "sheep in the grand valley". This is what they want.
    – 406CODE
    May 16, 2016 at 16:08

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