Customizing the search interface

You can customize some aspects of the search interface by using the GUI configuration entry in the Preferences menu.

There are several tabs in the dialog, dealing with the interface itself, the parameters used for searching and returning results, and what indexes are searched.

User interface parameters: 

  • Highlight color for query terms: Terms from the user query are highlighted in the result list samples and the preview window. The color can be chosen here. Any Qt color string should work (e.g. red, #ff0000). The default is blue.

  • Style sheet: The name of a Qt style sheet text file which is applied to the whole Recoll application on startup. The default value is empty, but there is a skeleton style sheet (recoll.qss) inside the /usr/share/recoll/examples directory. Using a style sheet, you can change most recoll graphical parameters: colors, fonts, etc. See the sample file for a few simple examples.

    You should be aware that parameters (e.g.: the background color) set inside the Recoll GUI style sheet will override global system preferences, with possible strange side effects: for example if you set the foreground to a light color and the background to a dark one in the desktop preferences, but only the background is set inside the Recoll style sheet, and it is light too, then text will appear light-on-light inside the Recoll GUI.

  • Maximum text size highlighted for preview Inserting highlights on search term inside the text before inserting it in the preview window involves quite a lot of processing, and can be disabled over the given text size to speed up loading.

  • Prefer HTML to plain text for preview if set, Recoll will display HTML as such inside the preview window. If this causes problems with the Qt HTML display, you can uncheck it to display the plain text version instead.

  • Activate links in preview if set, Recoll will turn HTTP links found inside plain text into proper HTML anchors, and clicking a link inside a preview window will start the default browser on the link target.

  • Plain text to HTML line style: when displaying plain text inside the preview window, Recoll tries to preserve some of the original text line breaks and indentation. It can either use PRE HTML tags, which will well preserve the indentation but will force horizontal scrolling for long lines, or use BR tags to break at the original line breaks, which will let the editor introduce other line breaks according to the window width, but will lose some of the original indentation. The third option has been available in recent releases and is probably now the best one: use PRE tags with line wrapping.

  • Choose editor application: this opens a dialog which allows you to select the application to be used to open each MIME type. The default is to use the xdg-open utility, but you can use this dialog to override it, setting exceptions for MIME types that will still be opened according to Recoll preferences. This is useful for passing parameters like page numbers or search strings to applications that support them (e.g. evince). This cannot be done with xdg-open which only supports passing one parameter.

  • Disable Qt autocompletion in search entry: this will disable the completion popup. Il will only appear, and display the full history, either if you enter only white space in the search area, or if you click the clock button on the right of the area.

  • Document filter choice style: this will let you choose if the document categories are displayed as a list or a set of buttons, or a menu.

  • Start with simple search mode: this lets you choose the value of the simple search type on program startup. Either a fixed value (e.g. Query Language, or the value in use when the program last exited.

  • Start with advanced search dialog open : If you use this dialog frequently, checking the entries will get it to open when recoll starts.

  • Remember sort activation state if set, Recoll will remember the sort tool stat between invocations. It normally starts with sorting disabled.

Result list parameters: 

  • Number of results in a result page

  • Result list font: There is quite a lot of information shown in the result list, and you may want to customize the font and/or font size. The rest of the fonts used by Recoll are determined by your generic Qt config (try the qtconfig command).

  • Edit result list paragraph format string: allows you to change the presentation of each result list entry. See the result list customisation section.

  • Edit result page HTML header insert: allows you to define text inserted at the end of the result page HTML header. More detail in the result list customisation section.

  • Date format: allows specifying the format used for displaying dates inside the result list. This should be specified as an strftime() string (man strftime).

  • Abstract snippet separator: for synthetic abstracts built from index data, which are usually made of several snippets from different parts of the document, this defines the snippet separator, an ellipsis by default.

Search parameters: 

  • Hide duplicate results: decides if result list entries are shown for identical documents found in different places.

  • Stemming language: stemming obviously depends on the document's language. This listbox will let you chose among the stemming databases which were built during indexing (this is set in the main configuration file), or later added with recollindex -s (See the recollindex manual). Stemming languages which are dynamically added will be deleted at the next indexing pass unless they are also added in the configuration file.

  • Automatically add phrase to simple searches: a phrase will be automatically built and added to simple searches when looking for Any terms. This will give a relevance boost to the results where the search terms appear as a phrase (consecutive and in order).

  • Autophrase term frequency threshold percentage: very frequent terms should not be included in automatic phrase searches for performance reasons. The parameter defines the cutoff percentage (percentage of the documents where the term appears).

  • Replace abstracts from documents: this decides if we should synthesize and display an abstract in place of an explicit abstract found within the document itself.

  • Dynamically build abstracts: this decides if Recoll tries to build document abstracts (lists of snippets) when displaying the result list. Abstracts are constructed by taking context from the document information, around the search terms.

  • Synthetic abstract size: adjust to taste...

  • Synthetic abstract context words: how many words should be displayed around each term occurrence.

  • Query language magic file name suffixes: a list of words which automatically get turned into ext:xxx file name suffix clauses when starting a query language query (e.g.: doc xls xlsx...). This will save some typing for people who use file types a lot when querying.

External indexes: This panel will let you browse for additional indexes that you may want to search. External indexes are designated by their database directory (e.g.: /home/someothergui/.recoll/xapiandb, /usr/local/recollglobal/xapiandb).

Once entered, the indexes will appear in the External indexes list, and you can chose which ones you want to use at any moment by checking or unchecking their entries.

Your main database (the one the current configuration indexes to), is always implicitly active. If this is not desirable, you can set up your configuration so that it indexes, for example, an empty directory. An alternative indexer may also need to implement a way of purging the index from stale data,