Sharepoint: Improve the search experience with the TermTree Refiner (September 1, 2020)

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Sharepoint: Improve the search experience with the TermTree Refiner (September 1, 2020)

Finding documents in Sharepoint online/Office 365 can be tedious. If you have a hierarchy of terms, like product groups, series and products, then you can easily refine search results for leaf terms. But it is impossible to refine for terms that sit higher in the term tree, e.g. product groups or series. This is because the standard refinement webpart shows leaf terms, only. This frustrates your users who cannot leverage the structural information of the term store.

You can provide your users with a better search experience if you use DIQA's TermTree Refiner. This Webpart extends the standard refiner webpart and visualises the terms in the hierarchical context of the term tree. Users can select terms in the hierarchy to drill down or drill up in the search results. This webpart makes use of managed metadata. This refinement webpart has these advantages over standard SharePoint-Search:

  • The terms contained in the search results are presented in their tree-context
  • Users can easily drill-up or drill-down in the tree to broaden or narrow the search

Frustrating search experience without meaningful refiners:


Entering the search term "order" returns a lot of irrelevant documents (e.g. a CV) and even misses some sales order documents.

Better: filter documents by type, language, etc:


If you provide search refiners, then the users will be able to precicely filter for all "sales order" documents, for instance.

The following steps assume that you have Sharepoint Online/Office 365 and a library that contains at least dozens of documents or scanned documents (pdf or image formats). If you are familiar with certain configuration aspects of Sharepoint then you will need 30 minutes to go them through in your tenant. If you require assistance then we are happy to help!

Watch the steps in the video:

What's next?

  • Add refiners for the document language like: english, french, german, spanisch
    • The Easy Tagging App has a built-in predictor that detects the language that is used in documents. You can simply use that predictor in a tagger to tag all your documents with the language. Similar to the steps in section 3 you would simply create another refiner that allows users to restrict their search results to certain languages.
  • Add refiners for important words:
    • The Easy Tagging App is able to identify important words from documents and store them in the termstore as a new termset. If you let the tagger tag your documents with them, then your users can use them to filter their search results.


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