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Understanding the functionality of the thesaurus wordlist file
Answer ID 2787   |   Last Review Date 12/31/2018

How is the thesaurus wordlist file used when searching the enduser answer pages?


Word List files, All versions


The thesaurus.txt file contains a list of words and their synonyms used in the Similar Phrases search technique on the Answers page. Words in the text search are matched with synonyms to extend the searching capability to include ontologies. The word and its synonyms must be uppercase and comma delimited as seen in the example below.

The thesaurus word list file is similar to the aliases word list file in that only the first word listed on each line in the thesaurus file can be used to represent the rest of the aliases on that line.  For example, if the following line is entered into the file:


then a search on the word FRUIT will be equivalent to searching on APPLE,PEACH,PEAR and GRAPE.  However, this is not the same as a search on GRAPE being equivalent to FRUIT,APPLE,PEACH,PEAR.  If the intent is to also have GRAPE be equivalent to the rest of these terms, you will need to add an additional line in the thesaurus file as in the following:


There are a few other items that need to be enabled before you can effectively use the thesaurus word list file on your enduser pages.  Please ensure the following items are enabled and used on your site.


  1. Add keywords to your thesaurus wordlist file using the File Manager (Configuration > Site Configuration > File Manager >  switch to: wordlist files)

    Important Note: Use extreme caution when using the File Manager. The files you can modify affect your production site. Before you edit or replace a file, make a backup copy of the original file, either on the server or locally. This backup will allow you to revert to the original configuration if necessary.

  2. The SearchTypeList widget would need to be added to the page.

  3. Create answers that contain ANY of the keywords found in your thesaurus wordlist file and make sure they are public answers.

  4. When searching on the enduser pages, you must select 'similar phrases' from the 'search by' dropdown box for the thesaurus to work.

  5. You must search on the first word of the line as mentioned above.  In the examples above, this was either FRUIT or GRAPE.  When you do, all the other words on the line will be looked up in ALL your answers and returned as results.