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Indexing file attachments for end-user searching
Answer ID 1948   |   Last Review Date 12/16/2018

Are file attachments indexed for searching on the end-user pages?


File attachments, Indexing


File attachments used with answers can be indexed so that searches will be compared to both the content of the answer itself and the file attachment(s). While it is possible to index attachments on answers, it is not possible to index attachments on incidents.

Enabling file attachments for indexing: Files are not automatically indexed when it is attached to an answer or meta-answer. To enable a file attachment for indexing with an answer, right click on the file attachment and select Properties. Then, check the Indexed check box. Click OK and then save the answer.


Special considerations:

•  Each answer can have 750 keywords and phrases indexed when the answer is saved.  Keywords and phrases are indexed in the following order for each answer:

File Attachments

Therefore, if you hit your 750 word/phrase limit in the preceding fields, the file attachments will not be indexed even if you have enabled them for indexing.

•  When file attachments (or parts of file attachments) are indexed, the phrases receive the weighting factor specified in the SRCH_ATTACH_WEIGHT configuration setting. By default, this weighting is the same as the weighting factor for content in the Answer field. For more information on the SRCH_ATTACH_WEIGHT setting, refer to Answer ID 1771: Affecting the Weight Used with Search Results.

If you determine that the answer with the file attachments is typically low within your search results, consider adding keywords and phrases to the Keywords field in order to give the answer a higher weight when the search is performed. If adding multiple words or phrases, be sure to separate each item with a comma.

•  Attachments must have real text and not be part of images. For example, if you are trying to index the text of a PDF, open the PDF up first and perform a search of the text you expect to be indexed. If searching in the actual PDF or file does not return any results, it may be because the text is not actually text but part of an image which cannot be indexed.

Multiple file attachments: If you have multiple files attached to an answer, any remaining phrases that can be indexed of the 750 are equally distributed among the file attachments. This allows each attachment to be indexed at least a little bit, instead of biasing it to the one that is first in the list.

That is, if you have two file attachments and have 100 phrases left after the answer fields are indexed, 50 keywords and phrases are dedicated to attachment 1 and 50 are dedicated to attachment 2. If you had 100 phrases left and 4 attachments, 25 phrases would be allocated to each attachment.