A wildcard is a placeholder character that, when included in a search word, will be matched against any zero or more characters in found documents. It is somewhat like the Joker in a deck of playing cards, from which it gets its name.

Search & Preview interprets an asterisk (*) to be a wildcard character when it is placed at the end of a search word. This wildcard character has no special effect if placed at the start or in the middle of a search word (this is a limitation of the SharePoint search engine).

For example, a search for “wed*” would find pages that include the words “wed”, “wedding” and “Wednesday”, but not “newlywed”.

Note: You can configure the Search & Preview SharePoint Search Result Web Part to apply an implicit wildcard to the end of all search words, but this demands extra computing resources and can make rankings less accurate; however, it often works well for people searches. See “Search & Preview SharePoint Search Result Web Part” for details.

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