The Search & Preview Search Box is a Web control that creates a simple text field, which enables users to search the SharePoint content index and view results on a page from the Search & Preview Search Center. Unlike most Search & Preview Web Parts, the Search Box is not affected by any search-tab configuration. Instead, it has its own, independent system of preferences which, like search-tab settings, can be made at any level in the SharePoint hierarchy and inherited down the site structure.
The intention of the Search Box is that it should be placed on every page of your SharePoint site, thereby making it easy for users to submit a search no matter where they are. The Search Box is furthermore able to forward information about where the user was when submitting the search, thereby enabling the result page to adapt itself accordingly.
In addition to the text-input field, the search box can also display a search-scope drop-down list (for limiting the scope of the search to, for example, a single site) and/or a link to an advanced search form.
Figure: Example of an Search & Preview Search Box with scope selector and advanced-search link
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