This document is for search as implemented in flowcharts and checkflows, which are legacy flow types. If you do not have existing flowcharts and checkflows, we recommend you disregard this document and visit Understand search instead, which discusses the new version of this functionality.
As a first step in many flows, the assistant presents the user with a text box prompting them to describe their problem.
If the user enters text, the assistant searches for matching information across the entire flow.
This is called free text search because it allows the user to enter text to freely search for the most relevant part of the flow without having to go through intermediate steps.
Enable or disable
Free text search can be enabled or disabled for specific flows. Individual parts of flows can also be configured not to return as free text search results. For more details, see Configure free text search.
Up to five search shortcuts are displayed before the user enters any text, allowing commonly-used information to be surfaced more quickly. For more details, see Understand search shortcuts.
Many situations can be described in multiple different ways and there is no guarantee the user will search with the same words or phrasing used in your flow. To help ensure that users find what they're looking for, free text search automatically makes use of synonyms and related words to determine when search results should be displayed even without a direct text match.
This occurs automatically for common terms and can be augmented manually. There should not be a need to simply add synonyms, but it can be useful to add alternate phrasings or concepts that should lead to the same search results. If a free text search doesn't return the matches you expect, consider adding the searched text as a related term to the item that should be a match.
For example, suppose you have a flow designed to help users troubleshoot a personal electronic device. The flow contains information about replacing the battery, but your tests are showing that many users are failing to find this information from their free text searches. You determine that those users are entering "device is dead" as their search and that the "replace battery" solution is not being presented as a match for this search.
In this case, you could add "device is dead" as a related term to the "replace battery" solution. Then the users performing this search will receive the proper solution as a match right away.
See Configure free text search - Add related terms for details on how to add related terms in flows.