# Setting up site search¶

Material for MkDocs provides an excellent client-side search implementation, omitting the need for the integration of third-party services, which might not be compliant with privacy regulations. Moreover, search even works offline, allowing users to download your documentation.

## Configuration¶

### Built-in search plugin¶

0.1.0 · Plugin

The built-in search plugin integrates seamlessly with Material for MkDocs, adding multilingual client-side search with lunr and lunr-languages. It's enabled by default, but must be re-added to mkdocs.yml when other plugins are used:

plugins:
- search


The following configuration options are supported:

lang

Default: automatically set – This option allows to include the language-specific stemmers provided by lunr-languages. Note that Material for MkDocs will set this automatically based on the site language, but it may be overridden, e.g. to support multiple languages:

plugins:
- search:
lang: en

plugins:
- search:
lang: # (1)!
- en
- de

1. Be aware that including support for other languages increases the general JavaScript payload by around 20kb (before gzip) and by another 15-30kb per language.

The following languages are supported by lunr-languages:

• ar – Arabic
• da – Danish
• de – German
• du – Dutch
• en – English
• es – Spanish
• fi – Finnish
• fr – French
• hu – Hungarian
• it – Italian
• ja – Japanese
• no – Norwegian
• pt – Portuguese
• ro – Romanian
• ru – Russian
• sv – Swedish
• th – Thai
• tr – Turkish
• vi – Vietnamese

Material for MkDocs goes to great lengths to support languages that are not part of this list by automatically falling back to the stemmer yielding the best result.

separator

Default: automatically set – The separator for indexing and query tokenization can be customized, making it possible to index parts of words separated by other characters than whitespace and -, e.g. by including .:

plugins:
- search:
separator: '[\s\-\.]+'


With 9.0.0, a faster and more flexible tokenizer method is shipped, allowing for tokenizing with lookahead, which yields more influence on the way documents are indexed. As a result, we use the following separator setting for this site's search:

plugins:
- search:
separator: '[\s\-,:!=()"/]+|(?!\b)(?=[A-Z][a-z])|\.(?!\d)|&[lg]t;'


Broken into its parts, the separator induces the following behavior:

[\s\-,:!=()"/]+


The first part of the expression inserts token boundaries for each document before and after whitespace, hyphens, commas, brackets and other special characters. If several of those special characters are adjacent, they are treated as one.

(?!\b)(?=[A-Z][a-z])


Many programming languages have naming conventions like PascalCase or camelCase. By adding this subexpression to the separator, words are split at case changes, tokenizing the word PascalCase into Pascal and Case.

Read more on tokenizing case changes

\.(?!\d)


When adding . to the separator, version strings like 1.2.3 are split into 1, 2 and 3, which makes them undiscoverable via search. When using this subexpression, a small lookahead is introduced which will preserve version strings and keep them discoverable.

Read more on tokenizing version numbers

&[lg]t;


If your documentation includes HTML/XML code examples, you may want to allow users to find specific tag names. Unfortunately, the < and > control characters are encoded in code blocks as &lt; and &gt;. Adding this subexpression to the separator allows for just that.

Read more on tokenizing HTML/XML tags

#### Chinese language support¶

Sponsors only · insiders-4.14.0 · Experimental

Insiders adds search support for the Chinese language (see our blog article from May 2022) by integrating with the text segmentation library jieba, which can be installed with pip.

pip install jieba


If jieba is installed, the built-in search plugin automatically detects Chinese characters and runs them through the segmenter. The following configuration options are available:

jieba_dict

insiders-4.17.2 · Default: none – This option allows for specifying a custom dictionary to be used by jieba for segmenting text, replacing the default dictionary:

plugins:
- search:
jieba_dict: dict.txt # (1)!

1. The following alternative dictionaries are provided by jieba:

jieba_dict_user

insiders-4.17.2 · Default: none – This option allows for specifying an additional user dictionary to be used by jieba for segmenting text, augmenting the default dictionary:

plugins:
- search:
jieba_dict_user: user_dict.txt


User dictionaries can be used for tuning the segmenter to preserve technical terms.

### Search suggestions¶

7.2.0 · Feature flag · Experimental

When search suggestions are enabled, the search will display the likeliest completion for the last word which can be accepted with the Right key. Add the following lines to mkdocs.yml:

theme:
features:
- search.suggest


Searching for search su yields search suggestions as a suggestion.

### Search highlighting¶

7.2.0 · Feature flag · Experimental

When search highlighting is enabled and a user clicks on a search result, Material for MkDocs will highlight all occurrences after following the link. Add the following lines to mkdocs.yml:

theme:
features:
- search.highlight


Searching for code blocks highlights all occurrences of both terms.

### Search sharing¶

7.2.0 · Feature flag

When search sharing is activated, a share button is rendered next to the reset button, which allows to deep link to the current search query and result. Add the following lines to mkdocs.yml:

theme:
features:
- search.share


When a user clicks the share button, the URL is automatically copied to the clipboard.

## Usage¶

### Search boosting¶

8.3.0

Pages can be boosted in search with the front matter search.boost property, which will make them rank higher. Add the following lines at the top of a Markdown file:

---
search:
boost: 2 # (1)!
---

# Document title
...

---
search:
boost: 0.5
---

# Document title
...


### Search exclusion¶

9.0.0 · Experimental

Pages can be excluded from search with the front matter search.exclude property, removing them from the index. Add the following lines at the top of a Markdown file:

---
search:
exclude: true
---

# Document title
...


#### Excluding sections¶

When Attribute Lists is enabled, specific sections of pages can be excluded from search by adding the data-search-exclude pragma after a Markdown heading:

# Document title

## Section 1

The content of this section is included

## Section 2 { data-search-exclude }

The content of this section is excluded

{
...
"docs": [
{
"location":"page/",
"text":"",
"title":"Document title"
},
{
"location":"page/#section-1",
"text":"<p>The content of this section is included</p>",
"title":"Section 1"
}
]
}


#### Excluding blocks¶

When Attribute Lists is enabled, specific sections of pages can be excluded from search by adding the data-search-exclude pragma after a Markdown inline- or block-level element:

# Document title

The content of this block is included

The content of this block is excluded
{ data-search-exclude }

{
...
"docs": [
{
"location":"page/",
"text":"<p>The content of this block is included</p>",
"title":"Document title"
}
]
}