Adobe Experience Manager Assets provides robust asset discovery methods that help you achieve higher content velocity. Your teams can reduce time to market with seamless, intelligent search experience using out-of-the-box functionality and custom methods. Searching assets is central to the usage of a digital asset management system – be it for further use by creatives, for robust management of assets by the business users and marketers, or for administration by DAM administrators. Simple, advanced, and custom searches that you can perform via Assets user interface or other apps and surfaces help fulfill these use cases.
Experience Manager Assets supports the following use cases and this article describes the usage, concepts, configurations, limitations, and troubleshooting for these use cases.
|Search assets||Configuration and administration||Work with search results|
|Basic searches||Search index||Sort results|
|Understand search UI||Check properties and metadata of an asset|
|Search suggestions||Mandatory metadata||Download|
|Understand search results and behavior||Modify search facets||Bulk metadata updates|
|Search rank and boosting||Text extraction||Smart collections|
|Advanced search: filtering and scope of search||Custom predicates||Understand and troubleshoot unexpected results|
|Search from other solutions and apps:|
|Limitations and Tips|
Search assets using the Omnisearch field at the top of the Experience Manager web interface. Go to Assets > Files in Experience Manager, click in top bar, enter search keyword, and select
Return. Alternatively, use the keyword shortcut
/ (forward slash) to open the Omnisearch field.
Location:Assets is pre-selected to limit the searches to DAM assets. Experience Manager provides suggestions as your start typing a search keyword.
Use the Filters panel to search for assets, folders, tags, and metadata. You can filter search results based on the various options (predicates), such as, file type, file size, last modified date, status of asset, insights data, and Adobe Stock licensing. You can customize the Filters panel and add or remove search predicates using search facets. The File Type filter in the Filters panel has mixed-state checkboxes. Therefore, unless you select all the nested predicates (or formats) the first-level checkboxes are partially checked.
Experience Manager search capability supports searching for collections and searching for assets within a collection. See search collections.
Familiarize yourself with the search interface and the available actions.
Figure: Understand Experience Manager Assets search results interface.
A. Save search as a smart collection. B. Filters or predicates to narrow the search results. C. Display files, folders, or both. D. Click Filters to open or close the left rail. E. Search location is DAM. F. Omnisearch field with user-provided search keyword. G. Select the loaded search results. H. Number of displayed search results out of the total search results. I. Close search. J. Switch between card view and list view.
You can discover the desired assets faster from the search results page using the dynamically updated number of expected search results in the search facets. The expected number of assets are updated even before applying the search filter. Seeing the expected count against the filter helps you navigate through the search results quickly and efficiently.
Figure: See the approximate number of assets without filtering search results in search facets.
When you start typing a keyword, AEM suggests the possible search keywords or phrases. The suggestions are based on the assets in AEM. AEM indexes all the metadata fields to help with search. To provide search suggestions, the system uses the values of the following few metadata fields. To provide search suggestions, consider populating the following fields with appropriate keywords:
You can run keyword searches from the OmniSearch field. The keyword search is not case-sensitive and is a full-text search (across the popular metadata fields). If more than one keyword is used,
AND is the default operator between the keywords.
The results are sorted by relevance, starting with closest matches. For multiple keywords, more relevant results are the assets that contain both terms in their metadata. Within metadata, keywords appearing as smart tags are higher ranked than keywords appearing in other metadata fields. Experience Manager allows giving a particular search term higher weight. Also, it is possible to boost the rank of a few targeted assets for specific search terms.
To quickly find the relevant assets, the rich interface provides filtering, sorting, and selection mechanisms. You can filter results based on multiple criteria and see number of searched assets for various filters. Alternatively, you can rerun search by changing the query in the Omnisearch field. When you change your search terms or filters, the other filters remain applied to preserve your search’s context.
When the results are many assets, Experience Manager displays the first 100 in the card view and 200 in the list view. As users scroll, more assets are loaded. This is to improve the performance. Watch a video demonstration of the number of assets displayed.
At times, you may see some unexpected assets in the search results. For more info, see unexpected results.
AEM can search many file formats and the search filters can be customized to suit your business requirements. Contact your administrators for understand what search options are made available for your DAM repository and what restrictions your login may have.
The search results that match all search terms in metadata fields are displayed first, followed by the search results that match any of the search terms in the smart tags. In the above example, the approximate order of display of search results is:
woman runningin the various metadata fields.
woman runningin smart tags.
runningin smart tags.
You can improve the relevance of keywords for particular assets to help boost searches based on the keywords. In other words, the images for which you promote specific keywords appear at the top of the search results when you search based on these keywords.
You can use this to your advantage by boosting the rank of some assets in the search results for the targeted keyword. See the example video below. For detailed info, see search in Experience Manager.
Video: Understand how search results are ranked and how the rank can be influenced.
AEM provides various methods like filters that apply to the searched assets, to help you locate the desired assets faster. A few commonly used methods are described below. Some illustrated examples are shared below.
Search for files or folders: In the search results, see either files, folders, or both. From Filters panel, you can select the appropriate option. See search interface.
Search for assets within a folder: You can limit the search to a specific folder. In the Filters panel, add path of a folder. You can select only one folder at a time.
Limit search results to a folder by adding a folder path in Filters panel
From within the AEM user interface, users can search Adobe Stock assets and license the required assets. Add
Location: Adobe Stock in the Omnisearch bar. You can also use Filters panel to find all the licensed or unlicensed assets or search a specific asset using Adobe Stock file number.
You can filter for Dynamic Media images by selecting Dynamic Media > Sets from the Filters panel. It filters and displays assets such as image sets, carousels, mixed media sets, and spin sets.
You can for assets based on exact values of specific metadata fields, such as, title, description, and author. The GQL full-text search feature fetches only those assets whose metadata value exactly matches your search query. The names of the properties (for example author, title, and so on) and the values are case-sensitive.
|Metadata field||Facet value and usage|
|Creator tool||creatortool:“Adobe Photoshop CC 2015”|
|Copyright Owner||copyrightowner:“Adobe Systems”|
|Usage Terms||usageterms:“CopyRights Reserved”|
|Range of time(expires dateontime,offtime)||facet field : lowerbound…upperbound|
|PDF Title||pdftitle:“Adobe Document”|
|Tags||tags:“Location And Travel”|
|Width of image||width:lowerbound…upperbound|
|Height of image||height:lowerbound…upperbound|
The properties path, limit, size, and orderby cannot be ORed with any other property.
The keyword for a user-generated property is its field label in the property editor in lowercase, with spaces removed.
Here are some examples of search formats for complex queries:
title:"John Doe" creatortool : Adobe*
title:"Scott Reynolds" OR "John Doe"
*Adobe* title:"John Doe"
Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) connects DAM repository to various other AEM solutions to provide faster access to digital assets and streamline the creative workflows. Any asset discovery starts with browse or search. The search behavior largely remains the same across the various surfaces and solutions. Some search methods change as the target audience, the use cases, and the user interface vary across the AEM solutions. The specific methods are documented for the individual solutions at the links below. The universally applicable tips and behaviors are documented in this article.
Using Adobe Asset Link, the creative professionals can now access content stored in AEM Assets, without leaving the supported Adobe Creative Cloud apps. Creatives can seamlessly browse, search, check out, and check in assets using the in-app panel in the Creative Cloud apps: Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Asset Link also allows users to search visually similar results. The visual search display results are powered by Adobe Sensei’s machine learning algorithms and help users find aesthetically similar images. See search and browse assets using Adobe Asset Link.
Creative professionals use the desktop app to make the AEM Assets easily searchable and available on their local desktop (Win or Mac). Creatives can easily reveal the desired assets in Mac Finder or Windows Explorer, opened in desktop applications, and changed locally - the changes are saved back to AEM with a new version created in the repository. The application supports basic searches using one or more keywords, * and ? wildcards, and AND operator. See browse, search, and preview assets in desktop app.
Line-of-business users and marketers use Brand Portal to efficiently and securely share the approved digital assets with their extended internal teams, partners, and resellers. See search assets on Brand Portal.
From within the AEM user interface, users can search Adobe Stock assets and license the required assets. Add
Location: Adobe Stock in the Omnisearch field. You can also use Filters panel to find all the licensed or unlicensed assets or search a specific asset using Adobe Stock file number. See manage Adobe Stock images in AEM.
You can filter for Dynamic Media images by selecting Dynamic Media > Sets from the Filters panel. It filters and displays assets such as image sets, carousels, mixed media sets, and spin sets. While authoring web pages, the authors can search for sets from within the Content Finder. A filter for sets is available in a pop-up menu.
Authors can use Content Finder to search the DAM repository for the relevant assets and use the assets in the web pages they create.
AEM search capability supports searching for collections and searching for assets within a collection. See search collections.
Asset selector lets you search, filter, and browse the DAM assets in a special way. Asset selector is available at
https://[aem_server]:[port]/aem/assetpicker.html. You can fetch the metadata of assets that you select using the asset selector. You can launch it with supported request parameters, such as asset type (image, video, text) and selection mode (single or multiple selections). These parameters set the context of the asset selector for a particular search instance and remains intact throughout the selection.
The asset selector uses the HTML5
Window.postMessage message to send data for the selected asset to the recipient. The asset selector is based on Granite’s foundation picker vocabulary. By default, the asset selector operates in Browse mode.
You can pass the following request parameters in a URL to launch the asset selector in a particular context:
|resource suffix (B)||Folder path as the resource suffix in the URL:https://localhost:4502/aem/assetpicker.html/<folder_path>||To launch the asset selector with a particular folder selected, for example with the folder /content/dam/we-retail/en/activities, selected, the URL should be of the form: https://localhost:4502/aem/assetpicker.html/content/dam/we-retail/en/activities?assettype=images||If you require a particular folder to be selected when the asset selector is launched, passed it as a resource suffix.|
|mode||single, multiple||https://localhost:4502/aem/assetpicker.html?mode=multiplehttps://localhost:4502/aem/assetpicker.html?mode=single||In multiple mode, you can select several assets simultaneously using the asset selector.|
||Use it to filter assets based on MIME type(s)|
|dialog||true, false||https://localhost:4502/aem/assetpicker.html?dialog=true||Use these parameters to open the asset selector as Granite Dialog. This option is only applicable when you launch the asset selector through Granite Path Field, and configure it as pickerSrc URL.|
|assettype (S)||images, documents, multimedia, archives||Use this option to filter asset types based on the value passed.|
|root||<folder_path>||https://localhost:4502/aem/assetpicker.html?assettype=images&root=/content/dam/we-retail/en/activities||Use this option to specify the root folder for the asset selector. In this case, the asset selector lets you select only child assets (direct/indirect) under the root folder.|
To access the asset selector interface, go to
https://[aem_server]:[port]/aem/assetpicker. Navigate to the desired folder, and select one or more assets. Alternatively, search for the desired asset from the Omnisearch box, apply filter as required, and then select it.
Figure: Browse and select asset in the asset picker.
The search capability in Experience Manager Assets has the following limitations:
Returnwithout typing in Omnisearch bar, Experience Manager returns a list of only files and not folders. If you search specifically for folders without using a keyword, Experience Manager does not return any results.
Visual search or similarity search has the following limitations:
The search functionality can have performance limitations in the following scenarios:
When monitoring the review status of assets, use the appropriate option to find which assets are approved or assets that are pending approval.
Use the Insights predicate to search for supported assets based on their usage statistics obtained from various Creative apps. Usage data is grouped under Usage score, Impressions, Clicks, and Media channels where the assets appear categories.
Use the Select All check box to select the searched assets. Experience Manager initially displays 100 assets in card view and 200 assets in list view. More assets are loaded as you scroll the search results. You can select more assets than the loaded assets. The count of the selected assets is displayed in the upper-right corner of the search results page. You can operate on the selection, for example, download the selected assets, update metadata properties in bulk for the selected assets, or add the selected assets to a Collection. When more assets are selected than displayed, an action is either applied on all selected assets or a dialog displays the number of assets it is applied on. To apply an action to the assets that did not load, ensure that all assets are explicitly selected.
To search for assets that do not contain the mandatory metadata, see mandatory metadata.
Search uses all metadata fields. A generic search, such as searching for 12, usually returns many results. For better results, use double (not single) quotes or ensure that the number is contiguous to a word without a special character (for example
Full-text search supports operators such as
^. To search these letters as string literals, enclose the search expression in double quotes. For example, use
"Notebook - Beauty" instead of
Notebook - Beauty.
If the search results are too many, limit the scope of search to zero-in on the desired assets. It works best when you have some idea of how to better look for the desired assets, for example, specific file type, specific location, specific metadata, and so on.
Tagging: Tags help you categorize assets that can be browsed and searched more efficiently. Tagging helps in propagating the appropriate taxonomy to other users and workflows. Experience Manager offers methods to automatically tag assets using Adobe Sensei’s artificially intelligent services that keep getting better at tagging your assets with usage and training. When you search for assets, the smart tags are factored in if the feature is enabled on your account. It works alongside the in-built search functionality. See search behavior. To optimize the order in which the search results are displayed, you can boost the search ranking of a few select assets.
Indexing: Only indexed metadata and assets are returned in the search results. For better coverage and performance, ensure proper indexing and follow the best practices. See indexing.
Use double quotations around keywords to find assets that contain the exact phrase in the exact order as specified by the user.
Figure: Search behavior with and without quotation marks.
Search with asterisk wildcard: To broaden the search, use an asterisk before or after the search word to match any number of characters. For example, searching for run without an asterisk does not return assets containing any variation of the word (including in the metadata). An asterisk substitutes for any number of characters. For example,
runreturns assets with exactly run keyword
run*returns assets with running, run, runaway, and so on.
*runreturns outrun, rerun, and so on.
*run*returns all possible combinations.
Figure: Illustrating use of asterisk wildcard in Asset search using an example.
Search with question mark wildcard: To broaden the search, use one or more ‘?’ characters to match exact number of characters. For example, in the following illustration,
run??? query does not match any asset.
run???? query matches the word
running with four characters after
??run query matches the word
rerun with two characters before
Figure: Illustrating use of question mark wildcard in Asset search using an example.
Exclude a keyword: Use dash to search for assets that do not contain a keyword. For example,
running -shoe query returns assets that contain
running, but not
camp -night query returns assets that contain
camp but not
night. The query
camp-night returns assets that contain both
Figure: Use of dash to search for assets not containing an excluded keyword.
You can do the following with the assets you’ve searched in Experience Manager:
Sort search results to discover the required assets faster. You can sort the search results in list view and only when you select Files from the Filters panel. Assets uses server-side sorting to quickly sort all the assets (howsoever numerous) within a folder or results of a search query. Server-side sorting provides faster and more accurate results than client-side sorting.
In list view, you can sort the search results just as you can sort assets in any folder. Sorting works on these columns – Name, Title, Status, Dimensions, Size, Rating, Usage, (Date) Created, (Date) Modified, (Date) Published, Workflow, and Checked out.
For limitations of sort functionality, see limitations.
You can check detailed information of a searched assets from the search result page.
To see all metadata of an asset, select the asset and click properties from the toolbar.
To check the comments on an asset or version history of an asset, click the asset to open large-sized preview. Open timeline in the left rail and select Comments or Versions. You can also sort the timeline activity like comments or versions in a chronological order.
Figure: Sort timeline entries for a search asset.
You can download the searched assets and their renditions just as you download regular assets from folders. Select one or more assets from the search results and click Download from the toolbar.
It is possible to make bulk updates to the common metadata fields of multiple assets. From the search results, select one or more assets. Click Properties from the toolbar and update the metadata as required. Click Save and Close when done. The previously existing metadata in the updated fields is overwritten.
For the assets that are available in a single folder or a collection, it is easier to update the metadata in bulk without using the search functionality. For the assets that are available across folders or match a common criteria, it is faster to bulk update the metadata via searching.
A collection is an ordered set of assets that can include assets from different locations because collections contain only references to these assets. Collections are of the following two types:
You can create smart collections based on the search criteria. From the Filters panel, select Files and click Save Smart Collection. See manage collections.
|Error, issues, symptoms||Possible reason||Possible fix or understanding of the issue|
|Incorrect results when searching for assets with missing metadata.||When searching for assets that are missing the mandatory metadata, Experience Manager may display some assets that have valid metadata. The results are based on indexed metadata property.||After the metadata is updated, re-indexing is required to reflect correct state of assets metadata. See mandatory metadata.|
|Too many search results.||Broad search parameter.||Consider limiting the scope of search. Use of smart tags may give you more search results than you expected. See search behavior with smart tags.|
|Unrelated or partly related search results.||Search behavior changes with smart tagging.||Understand how search changes after smart tagging.|
|No auto-complete suggestions for assets.||Newly uploaded assets are not indexed yet. The metadata is not immediately available as suggestions when you start typing a search keyword in Omnisearch bar.||Assets waits until the expiry of a timeout period (one hour by default) before running a background job to index the metadata for all newly uploaded or updated assets and then adds the metadata to the list of suggestions.|
|No search results.||
|Search filter or a predicate is not available.||
|When searching for visually similar images, an expected image is missing.||
|When searching for visually similar images, an irrelevant image is displayed.||Visual search behavior.||Experience Manager displays as many potentially relevant assets as possible. Less relevant images, if any, are added to the results but with a lower search ranking. The quality of the matches and relevance of searched assets decrease as you scroll down the search results.|
|When selecting and operating on search results, all searched assets are not operated upon.||The Select All option only selects first 100 search results in card view and first 200 search results in list view.|