Searching and Finding

Entering search queries

Usually there is a simple but rather short search query input field offered by the theme. By submiting a query it will search in item names and content, but only in the current contents, not in non-current revisions, and display the search results to you.

On the search results view you will get a bigger search query input field, for example for refining your query, and you may also choose to additionally search in non-current item revisions. Selecting that will search in all revisions.

Simple search queries

Just enter one or more words into the query input field and hit Enter.

If your query consists of multiple words, it will only find documents containing ALL those words. You can use AND, OR, NOT to refine your search. “AND” is the default.


Search for “wiki”:


Search for documents containing “wiki” AND “moin”:

wiki moin

or (does the same):

wiki AND moin

Search for documents containing “wiki” OR “moin”:

wiki OR moin

Search for documents containing “wiki” and NOT “bad”:

wiki NOT bad

Using wildcards

If you want to enter word fragments or if you are not sure about spelling or word form, you can use wildcards for the parts you do not know:

Wildcard Matches
? one arbitrary character
* any count of arbitrary characters


Search for something like wiki, wika, wikb, …:


Search for something like wiki, willi, wi, …:


You can also use it for poor man’s language independent word stemming.

Matches on clean, cleaner, cleanest, cleaning, …:


Using regular expressions

Regular expressions enable even more flexibility for specifying search terms.

See for basics about regexes.

See about python’s regex implementation, which we use for MoinMoin.

You need to use this syntax when entering regexes: r”yourregex”


Search for hello or hallo:


Search for words starting with foo:


Search for something like wiki, wika, wikb, …:


Search for something like wiki, willi, wi, …:


Searching in specific fields

As long as you do not specify otherwise, moin will search in name, name_exact and content fields.

To specify the field to search in, just use the fieldname:searchterm syntax.

Field name Field value
wikiname wiki name, e.g. ITWiki, EngineeringWiki, SalesWiki
name document name, e.g. Home, MyWikiPage
name_exact same as name, but is not tokenized
content document contents, e.g. This is some example content.
contenttype document type, e.g. text/plain;charset=utf-8
tags tags of the document, e.g. important, hard, todo
language (main) language of the document contents, e.g. en
mtime document modification (submission) time, 201112312359
username submitter user name, e.g. JoeDoe
address submitter IP address, e.g.
hostname submitter DNS name, e.g.
acl access control list (see below)
itemlinks link targets of the document, e.g. OtherItem
itemtransclusions transclusion targets of the document, e.g. OtherItem


Search in metadata fields:


Search items with an item ACL that explicitly gives Joe read rights:


Limiting search to a specific wiki, for example in a wiki farm’s shared index:



moin uses indexed search. Keep in mind that this has some special properties:

  • By using an index, the search is usually rather fast
  • Because it is only using an index, it can only find what was put there
  • If you use wildcards or regexes, it will still use the index, but in a different, slower way

For example:

  • “foobar” is put into the index somehow
  • you search for “ooba” - you will not find it, because only “foobar” was put into the index
  • solution: search for “foobar”: fast and will find it
  • solution: search for “ooba” or r”.*ooba.*”: slow, but will find it

More information

See the Whoosh query language docs.