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Searching within selections or visualizations

You can search for values and make selections from the resulting filtered list. You can search selection items in the selection bar, and within visualizations such as filter panes and tables.

Click a selection item, and in the selection pop-up, type your search string. The list is filtered as you type, to display matching values.

The result of searching for 'Food' in the selection Product Group.

Selection search.


The result of search for 'Mich' in the Sales Rep Name filter pane.
List search.
Information noteYou can search for strings that contain up to 5,000 characters.

You can use the following methods of searching in selections:

  • Text search. Use text, including wildcards and plus and minus signs.

  • Fuzzy search. The tilde character "~" as a prefix allows inexact matches to be found.

  • Numeric search. Relational symbols (">", ">=", "<" or "<=") allow values greater than, less than, and so on, to be found.

  • Expression search. An equals sign (=) indicates an expression. Field values that match the expression are selected.

  • Compound search. Use search operators to combine multiple searches within a single line. Multiple wildcards can be used in a single search.

You can also search your entire data set using smart search. For more information, see Using smart search.

Text search

As you type your search string, Qlik Sense filters the field values and displays the matching items. If you perform a normal search (without wildcards), strings that match the search string are displayed. If you use several strings, separated by blanks, each of these is interpreted as a separate search string and displays all field values that contain either of the strings. If you want the separate search strings to be interpreted as only one string, use quotation marks (" ") to link the strings together. You can also use a plus sign (+) for a similar result. By using a plus sign, you set the condition that strings with a plus sign must be included in the matching items. However, the strings need not necessarily be next to each other, nor in the same order as they were entered. A minus sign (‑) before a search term excludes results containing that text.

Information noteSearch is not case sensitive.
Text search examples
Example Result
"orange juice"

Only finds field values that contain the whole string “orange juice”.

orange juice Without the quotation marks, all fields that contain either “orange” or “juice” would be displayed.
+orange +juice Finds matches such as “orange juice”, “orange and apple juice” and “juice from oranges”.
-orange ‑juice Excludes results containing orange or juice.


You can use one or several wildcards in a search string. The following wildcards can be used:

Wildcard Representation
* Zero or more characters, including blank. This wildcard is flexible and matches any character or any block of characters in a specific position.
? A single character, including blank. This wildcard is useful when you suspect that a string may be misspelled, when you are unsure of the spelling, or when the string contains special characters that may be difficult to reproduce correctly.
^ Beginning of word within field value. This wildcard is used in conjunction with other wildcards.
Information noteIf you use wildcards, only those records that match the entire search string are displayed; that is, a blank does not imply a logical OR. The search string '*creamed' does not get a match on "Rocky's creamed corn" since the value does not end with “creamed”. Neither does “creamed*” result in a match on "Rocky's creamed corn", since the value does not start with “creamed”.
Wildcards examples
Example Result
a* Finds all values that begin with the letter “a”, including strings with several words where the first word begins with an “a”.
*b Finds all values that end with the letter “b”, including strings with several words where the last word ends with a “b”.
*c* Finds all values that contain the letter “c”, including strings with several words.

Returns all values that have words that begin with “ab”.

Equivalent to a normal search for “ab”, but unlike the normal search it can be made more complex using wildcards. It can also be used in a programmatic search, such as in Set Analysis.

r?ck Finds all values that have four letters and start with an “r”, followed by any character, and ending with “ck”, for example, “rack”, “rick”, “rock”, and “ruck”.
r?? ????d Finds all values that consist of a three-letter word beginning with an “r” and a five-letter word ending with a “d”.
Information noteSpace in a search string makes a difference. If you search for “*corn” you get matches on strings ending with, for example, “popcorn” as well as “corn”. If you use a space in your search string, “* corn”, you only get matches that end with “corn”.

Fuzzy search

Fuzzy search is similar to a text search, with the difference that it compares and sorts all field values according to their degree of resemblance to the search string. Fuzzy search is especially useful when items may be misspelled. Fuzzy search can also help you find multiple values that are nearly identical.

Begin your search string with a tilde "~" character. While typing, all values are sorted by the degree of resemblance to the search string, with the best matches at the top of the list. If you press Enter, the first value in the list is selected.

Numeric search

Numeric search is very similar to text search. The only difference is that the search string must begin with one of the relational operators ">", ">=", "<" or "<=".

Numeric search examples
Example Result
>900 Finds all values greater than 900.
<=900 Finds all values less than or equal to 900.
>900<1000 Finds all values greater than 900 and less than 1000.
<900>1000 Finds all values less than 900 or greater than 1000.

Expression search

An expression search always begins with an equals sign (=). The expression is evaluated for each field value in the search field. All values for which the search expression returns a non-zero value are selected.

In a filter pane with Sales values, you can use a search such as: =Sum(Sales) > 1000000 to find values larger than 1,000,000. This is a simple search and you could get the same result by using the numeric search: >1000000. Often, an expression search is the only choice. For example, if you want to search for values in associated fields, you have to use an expression search.


Let us assume that you have a filter pane for sales representatives. You can then use an expression search for the sales representatives who have sales larger than, for example, 5,000,000. The search string is similar to the previous one: =Sum(Sales) > 50000000. Because the sales values are associated with the sales representatives, you can perform the search in the Sales Rep filter pane.

Expressive search in a filter pane using a search string.

Expressive search.

Compound search

With a compound search, you can combine two or more searches with search operators. This allows customized and specific filtering of data. A compound search is triggered by enclosing the search within a set of parentheses. You can use multiple search operators in a single compound search.

Compound search in Qlik Sense

Example of a compound search

At its most basic level, a compound search can contain a single value. Unlike other search methods, a compound search for a single term will only return values that are an exact match with the search term. This can help you create more specific searches of your data.

Compound search using a single search term

Compound search using only one search term.

Compound searches can contain one or more wildcards. If search content contains spaces, use quotation marks to enclose the value as it appears within the compound search.

Compound search using multiple wildcards and quotation marks

An example of a compound search. This uses quotation marks (to specify search for strings with spaces), an OR search operator, and two wildcards (* and ?).

OR search operator ("|")

Using the OR operator, the compound search will return values that match any of the included searches.

Compound search using the OR search operator

Compound search using the OR operator.

AND search operator ("&")

Using the AND operator, the compound search will return values that match all of the search items included in the statement. Since compound searches return exact matches only, this operator is typically only used with one or more wildcards.

Compound search using the AND search operator

Compound search using the AND operator.

XOR search operator ("^")

Using the XOR operator, the compound search will return values that match either the first or second search, but not both.

Compound search using the XOR search operator

Compound search using the XOR operator.

In the example above, the search returns values that either start with the letter "J" or end with the letter "H", but values that match both these criteria (such as "Josh") are not included.

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