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In a usability test just now, I learned that the Key Filters part of Metadata Navigation operate on boolean AND. A document has to match all filters in order to appear.

Do I have any control over that logic? Since the results list on the right doesn't filter progressively as filters are typed in (you have to hit that Apply button), I have a strong possibility of someone carefully filling out several filters and then getting no results once they pull the trigger.

Can I either a) put some kind of boolean logic in place to allow "OR" matches on key filters, or b) filter the results list more progressively, ie before the Apply button is hit?

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If you search for multiple tags from one managed metadata column the results will be "OR" matches.

Searching two tags from two different managed metadata columns the results will be "AND" matches.

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After some playing around, I am 100% sure it would require custom web part(s) to cover your use cases.

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