Skip to main content
Wave Success Center by McKinsey

Text Search Tips

Wave has two types of search available: search of all data and using search as an additional filter for your data. In both instances, the following tips will help you make the most of this functionality.


  • Use lower case or capitals to type your search terms - Wave search is case insensitive.
  • Put your search terms in double quotes " " to limit the search to exact matches of multiple words.
    • Example: "new york" dismisses results where only new or york is found
  • Use one or more question marks ? to replace a single character and limit the search to the exact number of characters specified.
    • Example: ?W40 dismisses results like 105W40 or W40, but returns 5W40
    • Example: ????stream dismisses upstream, but will return workstream or downstream
  • An asterisk * can replace any number of characters.
    • Example: *stream returns upstream, downstream, and workstream
  • Use only the ID number or part of the ID number to search for an initiative (or milestone, activity, etc.). Including # will limit your results.
    • Example: 45 returns Initiative #45, as well as Initiative #145, Initiative #450, etc., while #45 does not
  • Prefix a word in the search string with a plus sign + to dismiss results that do not have that word. 
    • Example: +new york returns only those initiatives where new is present and maybe york (if york is present)
  • Include AND when you only want to see search results that include both keywords.
    • Example: new AND york returns initiatives where both new and york are present
  • Include NOT when you want to dismiss results where that keyword is present.
    • Example: new NOT york returns initiatives with new, excluding any results where york is also included


  • Some characters will not be taken into account in a text search: | @ # % $ § < > / \ [ ] ( ) { } = - + ~ ° !.
  • When searching by ID number, do not preface the number with #. This will search only the descriptive text of an initiatives (or milestone, activity, etc.).
    • Example: #55 dismisses initiative #55, but returns cards where 55 is present in any text field
  • It is not possible to combine AND and OR behaviors.
  • Was this article helpful?