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Why did a simple search on text return partial matches?

edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2017 Posts

In order to test the very basic search functions in SmartSheet, I added a unique text string to the Comments section in a few records in a few different ways -- with text before it, with text after it (a period), and alone.


The search results don't make sense to me. It returned all of those three instances I created, but also returned "partial" matches where only a few of the letters in the search string exist.


See the screen shot, which shows:


1. Period at end.

2. Leading characters.

3. Alone.

4. Only has “wer”!

5. Only has “ert”!


And in 4 and 5 I see no place else that has the full string that could account for the record being included in the list.









SS search excess.png


  • The simple answer is that search these days will search for matches lots of ways, and then try to present the ones most likely to be relevant at the top. This can help if you have a typo or a mostly similar word.


    The complex answer is if you want to excercise your nerd-fu, look up "search ngrams"


  • I had no idea this was even possible. Thank you. Now it makes sense.


    So, do I have any control over this? Such as how many characters, or the "n size," to be searched on, or a way to limit it to the full string I typed even if it's within a larger string?


    (Putting my five-character string in quotes didn't affect the ngram rules at all, it seems.)





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