Search for or Within File Attachments

If you store documents in a Quick Base app, you have the option of searching for a name or snippet of text that a file may contain. To enable this type of search, go to Table Settings, click Advanced Settings, then, under Advanced Table Settings, select Index file attachments for use in searches and report filters.

Advanced search lets you search file attachments in two ways:

Note: Quick Base searches are not case-sensitive.

Search all file attachment fields in a table

If the table you are searching has the index file attachments setting enabled, you can search file attachments by selecting <some attached file> in Advanced search. When you choose this option, you can't search filenames; you can only search the contents of the file using one of the following options:

When you choose

Quick Base returns a report listing records with file attachments that

contains the word

contain the exact word you enter

contains a word that starts with

contain a word that begins with the string you enter

Searching a particular file attachment field

You can choose to search a particular file attachment field. In this case, you can search for documents that contain a specific word, or that contain a word that starts with a particular string. You can also search the filenames of file attachments when you search for a particular field. You can search for:

When you choose the operator

Quick Base returns a report listing records with file attachments with filenames that

filename contains

contain the string you enter

filename does not contain

do not contain the string you enter

filename is

match the string you entered. Note that you must specify a file extension to get an exact match.

is not

are not an exact match with the string you enter

starts with

start with the character or string you enter

does not start with

do not start with the character or string you enter

Building search strings

Quick Base allows you some flexibility when entering search strings. You can:

To search for more than one string at a time:

To search for more than one string at a time, enter a search string that contains the following operators:






Searches for more than one string at a time.

apple AND pear AND banana

Contain all three of the words: apple, pear, and banana. Entries that contain only one or two of these words are not returned.


Searches for either one string or another.

apple OR pear OR banana

Contains any or any combination of these three words.

Note: AND and OR are called Boolean operators and the search phrases you build with them are called Boolean requests.

To search for an exact match:

To specify an exact match for your search, enclose the search string in double quotation marks.

Search character




"<phrase> "

Finds an exact match of the phrase you enter.

"ice cream"

Contain the exact phrase "ice cream."


Appends an exact string search to another search string.

+"ice cream"

Contain the exact phrase "ice cream" plus another search string.


Excludes an exact phrase from a search.

-"ice cream"

DO NOT contain the exact phrase "ice cream."

To use wildcard characters in a search: 

To search for strings that may contain characters that vary, place a wildcard character in your search string.

Wildcard character





Use in place of any single character.


Contain a series of letters. (Possible matches are woman or women.)


Use in place of any number of characters.


Contain words that begin with i and end with e. (Possible matches are ice and icicle.)



Use to indicate a numeric range.


Contain numbers between 5 and 12 (including 5 and 12).

To search for a document:
  1. Open a table from the Table bar, then click Search on the Global bar.

    Note: If you don't see this button, your app admin has removed access to it for users in your role.

  2. Click Advanced Search.

  3. Select all or any of these conditions are true under Show <records> where.

    You can add more than one search condition in Step 5.

  4. In the first dropdown on the left, select the name of a field, or <some attached file>.

  5. Select an operator from the middle dropdown.

  6. Type the term that you want to find in the dropdown on the right.

  7. To enter another set of criteria, click the plus sign that appears when you move the pointer over the search condition, then repeat Steps 4 through 6.

  8. Click Search.

    Quick Base searches the contents of records in the table, then displays a list of records that contain the documents that match your criteria. Quick Base automatically returns results in the column and row order format specified in the reporting defaults for the table. You can change the reporting defaults, if you like.

Tip: If Quick Base doesn't return the results you want, use the icon on the Page bar to edit your search conditions. Read more about searching for records.

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