Search using variable metadata

Searching for objects in Author

Using variables as metadata tagging comes in handy when you want to locate objects that meet certain criteria. For example, you might want to find:

  • All topics associated with the ABC Company.
  • All topics about the XYZ product that are associated with the ABC Company.

    -or-

  • All topics about the XYZ product that are associated with the ABC Company, and supported on Unix.

If you've assigned variables to your objects, you can use them to search for all related objects.

Searching for objects using the metadata values

To find objects that meet your first criteria, search for the string <Customer>=ABC Company.

To find those that meet the second criteria, use the boolean search capability and search for the string <Customer>=ABC Company + <Product>=XYZ.

To find those that meet our third set of criteria, use the search string <Customer>=ABC Company + <Product>=XYZ + Cloud=Unix.

By including the <Variable> name in the search string as well as the value you're looking for, search returns only objects whose value has been defined as a variable assignment.

If you were to only enter the value, the results would return all objects containing that string. For example, the word "Unix" might appear in a topic that isn't tagged with the variable Cloud and with the value of "Unix", yet it would be returned in a search for that metadata value.

Important: The key to the power of metadata variables is that the values can be assigned to any object in your Author-it library. The actual placeholder does not need to appear anywhere in the text of the object. This enables you to apply metadata to any object and means the value does not need to be used in the publishable content.