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User Help > User FAQ > What Are Field Queries and Free Text Queries?

What Are Field Queries and Free Text Queries?

You can use free text queries and field queries in Coveo search boxes.

Free text queries
A free text query is simply one or more words, terms, numbers, and optionally operators. The Coveo Platform searches free text query keywords in the content of documents.
Example:

Coveo AND search

Finds documents containing both terms (Coveo and Search).

Field queries
A field query specifies searching in document metadata, that is information about documents, using specific fields contained in or attached to documents. A field query is more effective as a query refinement tool than free text queries. A field query takes the form @fieldname=fieldvalue, where = can be replaced by other relational operators (see Search Prefixes and Operators, Useful Field Query Examples, and Available Field Aliases).
Example:

@sysauthor=John

Finds documents whose author is John.

Furthermore, field and free text queries can be combined to form complex queries.
Example: The following query finds documents containing the words Coveo and Search whose author is John.

Coveo AND Search AND @sysauthor=John

You can use field queries without having to know and type fields (see User Interface Elements Hiding Complex Queries).
Note: Stemming does not apply to field queries (see What Is Stemming?).