Searching in Webdam

This article will review:


Basic search:

Basic search allows you to perform a quick search across all metadata fields (i.e. keywords, description, etc.)

  • Log into Webdam.

  • Enter the search term(s) in the search box and click Enter/Return on your keyboard. (Read more about search tips.)

  • Search terms/parameters will display above the asset thumbnails. Click the X to remove a search parameter.
  • Search cannot be made for folders and EXIF fields.


  • Status filters: Filter your results by asset status. You can refer to the following DAMSuccess articles to learn more about the corresponding statuses: Setting a folder or asset status (active, inactive, expired and unexpired), approval requests (approved, rejected and pending) and publishing (published and unpublished).
    • Click Status filters.
    • Click each status type that you want returned in your search results.
    • Click the file type again to remove it from the list.




Advanced Search:

Image filters: Allows you to filter your results by resolution, size and orientation.

To filter:

  • Click Advanced option under the search box.
  • Click Image filters.
  • To filter on images by resolution, width and/or height:
    • Enter the desired resolution or size into the corresponding box. 
    • Click the dropdown menu to set the filter by minimum, maximum or equal measurements. 
    • Click Apply
  • To filter on images by orientation:
    • Click Vertical, Horizontal or Square to filter on orientation. 
    • Click All to include all asset orientations.




    • Click Keywords.
    • Check the box next to the keyword(s) you want to search for.
    • If you select multiple keywords, click AND to return assets that have all keywords associated or OR to return assets that have any of the keywords associated.  
    • Uncheck the box next to Auto select parents if you don’t want parent keywords to be selected when choosing a nested keyword.

  • Archival: Allows customers with the archival storage add-on feature to filter on assets that are archived or not archived. (Read more about archival storage.)

    • Click Advanced options under the search box.
    • By default, assets that aren’t archived will be returned in search results. Click Archived to filter on assets that have been archived or All to have all assets returned.

Additional search tips:

Folder search: You can narrow your search results to a specific folder (including nested folders) by first selecting the desired folder in the folder tree and entering your search variables.

Partial match: When searching, partial word matches are not typically returned (with the exception of filenames, see below). For example, searching “brand” will not return assets with “branding” associated. You can use an asterisk to expand your search results.

  • Format: Add an asterisk before or after the term. Don’t add a space between the term and the asterisk
  • Example: brand*
  • Results: Returns assets with brand, branding, brands or other terms containing “brand.”

Filenames: When searching, partial filenames will be returned. For example, searching for brand will return a filename of “Superfly Branding.” In addition, you can either search for the entire filename, including or excluding the file extension.

In-document searching: Certain assets, such as Word documents and PowerPoint presentations, will be returned if the searched term is found in the text of the file. (Read more about the file types that allow for in-document searching.)    

Empty field operator: Find assets that don’t contain any metadata for a specific metadata field. For example, you may be looking for assets without any keywords applied.

  • Format: Enter the metadata field name into brackets beginning with a question mark: ?[metadata field name]
    • Example: ?[keyword]
  • Result: Returns assets that have no keywords associated.

AND operator: Returns assets with all searched terms associated. The terms may be found in any order and any metadata field (see below to search for phrases).

  • Format: Enter the terms separated by a space or an “and”.
  • Example:
    • brand guidelines
    • brand and guidelines
  • Results: Returns assets that have both “brand” and “guidelines” associated. 

OR Operator: Returns results containing any of your search terms.

  • Format: Enter the terms separated by an “or”.
  • Example: brand or guidelines
  • Results: Returns assets that that have either “brand” or “guidelines” associated. 

Negative Operator: Exclude a word from the search results.

  • Format: Add a minus sign in front of the word. Don't include a space between the minus sign and the word.
  • Example: brand -guidelines
  • Results: Returns assets where the term “brand” is associated but not “guidelines”.

Phrases or exact match: Returns results where the searched terms are found together in the metadata or document and in the same order.

  • Format: Include quotation marks around the search terms.
  • Example: “new brand guidelines”
  • Results: Returns assets with the phrase “new brand guidelines” associated.

Searching by filenames

Filenames are treated differently than other metadata fields and keywords. When a basic search is conducted, all metadata fields are queried. For filenames, the search parses filenames and returns assets with any of the terms or phrases in the filename. This ensures broader results are retrieved. For example, if you search brandguidelines123, the following filenames could be retrieved:

  • BrandGuidelines123.jpg
  • BrandGuidelines456.jpg
  • BrandGuidelinesandLogos.eps
  • 123_photoshoot.jpg

To search an exact match for a filename, surround it with quotes. The closest match will always be ranked at the top of search results. To locate an asset with the filename brandguidelines123, search “brandguidelines123”. The file extension is not needed, but may be included.




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  • Comment author
    Jennifer Vanoni

    Is there a way to hide assets from a search?

  • Comment author
    Patrick Gallagher

    I have the same question.

  • Comment author

    Hello Jennifer and Patrick! Depending on your search needs you can limit the results from search by removing the "view" access for the users/group folder permissions.

    Please review article below:

    If the asset is an 'Embargo asset' you can inactivate the asset so that only Admins and Contributors can have view/ search access.

    Please review asset status article below:

    Feel free to reach out with any additional questions or concerns. If you have a specific use case that you would like advise on please submit a support ticket with additional details.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Comment author
    Media Gallery

    The negative operator function as described above does not work for us. Searching (for example) "labs -engineering" brings up numerous results that have neither "labs" nor "engineering" in any of the metadata. I have raised a support ticket for this over a month ago with no progress (as far as I can tell). Can someone please help?

  • Comment author
    Sean Johnson

    Hi Micheal,

    Our Product Team is currently reviewing a fix for this issue and will be correcting this as soon as possible. Once corrected, Webdam will notify all users of the fix.

    I'll be following up with you in a separate ticket shortly.

  • Comment author
    Wyatt Hatfield

    Are there special characters that will break the search, for example: ( ) symbols?

  • Comment author
    Catherine Liu

    Hi Wyatt,

    Spaces and symbols (not related to a keyword) can make the search ineffective. If you know the exact phrase to search for, we recommend searching with quotations since it will search for the exact phrase within the quotes. Feel free to reach out with any additional questions or concerns. If you have a specific use case we can help with you, please submit a support ticket with additional details.

    Thank you!

  • Comment author
    Keith Clements

    If the basic search term ?[keyword] will result in showing assets with empty keyword fields, is it possible to use this operator to search "just" the keyword field? It doesn't seem to work in our account. For example: cover[keyword]

  • Comment author
    Sun Sneed

    In the cloud frontend, when I search for 'foo' in without selecting a folder - I get results from all folders, how can I see, in which folder a certain search result asset is currently stored?

  • Comment author
    Bill Keiffer

    Hi Sun,

    At the moment, the search results don't break down with folders but it is something that we're considering. We've got a lot of effort going into search this year, and we'd love to add that to the UI as well.

  • Comment author
    Rita Ryan


    I understand how to search for [empty] contents in a metadata [field], however, there is no way to search for empty keywords. We need to find all assets that have no keywords assigned. Is having our data exported to a .csv the only way to do it? Thanks.

  • Comment author
    Bill Keiffer

    Hello Rita,

    I'm afraid the CSV method you outlined above it the only way to do it at the moment. We currently don't have the functionality to search for empty values in metadata fields.

  • Comment author
    Christine Zhu

    How do you reveal all nested assets within a particular parent folder? I thought to do so, you highlight the folder and hit enter. However, this is only showing those assets within that parent folder, not in all of the subfolders?

  • Comment author
    Teresa Metcalfe

    Is there a way to clear all the search parameters at once. For example, let's say I have searched for arch bridge and water using our keywords list, and I've indicated horizontal orientation and a certain resolution, and included a couple of terms using the "Add a new field" function. Is there a way to clear them all at once so I can start a new search? Or do I have to click the x on every term to remove it?

  • Comment author
    Bill Keiffer


    Indeed, when performing a search within a folder it will include any subfolders inside it. If this isn't working as expected, send us a support message with some precise details on where you're searching and we'll take a close look at what's happening.


    Sadly, no...there isn't a way to remove all the filters at once right now. I'll send on that thought to our team and see if it's something we can do.

  • Comment author
    Teresa Metcalfe

    Is there a way to search for a "V2" assets in a folder? I need to find and delete them, as multiple assets were uploaded twice by mistake.

  • Comment author
    Bill Keiffer

    Hi Teresa,

    Not directly...but, you could export the metadata (either on a folder or a search) and then find the assets that have multiple versions from there.

  • Comment author
    Rita Ryan

    Aloha All-
    Regarding my comment on Feb 21, 2018: I think WebDam fixed the keyword search issued because now we are able to search on ?[keyword] and find all the assets with missing keywords without having to go to the spreadsheets. Thank you WebDAM, makes my life sooo much easier. -RR

  • Comment author
    Suzanne nelson

    How do I search for all AI file types (Adobe Illustrator). I have tried *.ai and also by the field "File Type" but I get other file types in the mix.

  • Comment author
    Suzanne nelson

    Also, why are the oldest comments at the top of this list instead of the most recent?


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