Seek And You Shall Find—Global Documentation Search

Categories: Community, TYPO3 CMS, Documentation Created by Tymoteusz Motylewski
Magnifying glass on orange background.
Photo: Marcus Winkler / (Modified)
The Documentation Team invites you to try out the new global documentation search in beta.

A significant pain point for readers who come to the TYPO3 documentation, has been the challenge of finding what they’re looking for. A dedicated working group has implemented a new global search mechanism. It’s now in beta and we’re looking for community members to help put it through its paces. 

The global search is part of our broader initiative to make our documentation shine.


The TYPO3 official documentation has grown organically over time, enjoying a wealth of contributions from community members and dedicated work from the Documentation Team. is a hub for not only official documentation (tutorials, manuals, guides, references, Core manuals), but also community extensions. This situation is unique in the market, and brings its own set of challenges.

The nature of the documentation is that it is published separately—each manual is separate. You can search within them, but not across them.

This has been a pain point for our readers for some time. Readers usually come to the documentation seeking answers, and we shouldn’t make them guess where to look for the information they need.

The idea of resolving this by implementing a global search was started by Mathias Schreiber back in 2019. During the TYPO3 Initiative Week in October 2019, Daniel Siepmann updated the code base of the initial solution with the current version framework, template engines and tests. In late 2020, Tymoteusz Motylewski applied for a budget to work on this as a special interest group: Documentation should have a global search and good start page. With his employer, Macopedia, sponsoring his time, Tymoteusz was able to to work on finalizing and implementing the solution.

Since January this year, Tymoteusz and a team of other community members have been working to develop the solution. In particular, developers from Macopedia, plus Daniel Siepmann and Mathias Schreiber who consulted and helped brainstorm the solution, and Susi Moog who prepared infrastructure and deployment.

The Solution

The team used a variety of technology, most notably Elastic Search and PHP CLI indexer.

What it Does

The search includes features such as filtering and sorting based on relevance; and displays paginated results.
The search indexes all types of documents including: Core changelog, Official tutorials and references, Core extension manuals and community extension documentation.

  • Full indexing of all manuals at once.
  • Indexing specific manuals or manuals in path.
  • Indexing the same section of the manual once, even if it exists in multiple versions.
  • Search index is automatically updated after documentation changes.

Search Analytics Will Improve The Documentation

Matomo analytics on the search will enable us to make further tuning possible. Analytics will give us various information to improve the search, and will also feed into our current project of reimaging the TYPO3 documentation.

  • Popular search terms. We can make sure we have documentation for those topics.
  • Unusual keywords or phrases. We can check for terminology our users are searching for that exists under a different name in the documentation. We can then incorporate alternative word choices (synonyms and aliases) in the content.
  • Phrases that return 0 results. We can work on our documentation coverage.

Get Ready To Find What You’re Looking For

The search is currently live in beta at

This screenshot shows an example search results page.

  1. Type your search term in the search box. The default search for multiple terms is OR. Use AND to find all terms in the result.
  2. Search results list the name and location of the manual or guide where the term is found. In this example, the top result for the search “admpanel” is the ‘Configuration’ section of the core extension documentation for the Admin Panel. 
  3. Filter results based on version and document type (including core changelog, core documentation, system extensions and community extensions). Multiple selections are possible. 
  4. Click a result to go to that page.

We Want To Hear From You

Please check out the search and have a play around with it. Experiment and let us know your feedback. 

Want to propose a feature or improvement? We welcome your contribution. Go to t3docs-search-indexer on GitHub and raise an issue.

Join #t3docs-sig-search … on TYPO3 Slack for support and to join the discussion.

Thank You

  • Daniel Siepmann
  • Lina Wolf
  • Martin Bless
  • Mathias Schreiber 
  • Susi Moog
  • Thomas Löffler

We are especially grateful to have the ongoing assistance of Rafał Kuć, a world wide search engine expert who has authored many books on the subject. He will help us tune the search engine to get most of it and make our search results as relevant as possible. 

Additional contributors for this article
  • Copy Editor : Felicity Brand
  • Content Publisher : Mathias Bolt Lesniak