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In a SP2010 enterprise setup we have started to use synonyms in the Term Store. But these synonyms seem to be ignored by the search engine. They only guide the user when entering keywords for a document.

Ex: We have a document titled "Setting up e-mail on your Smart Phone". Some people will search for "email" without the dash, some people will enter "smartphone" with no spaces. I tried adding these variations to "E-mail" and "SmartPhone" in our term store, but that does not help in search. To find this document, the user has to search explicitly for "e-mail smart phone", otherwise 0 hits are returned.

Q: Is there a way to get standard SP search to use the synonyms entered in the term store?

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I'm not an expert on Managed Metadata, but as far as I know the value saved to an item is the default term, not the other languages and synonyms. You could add email to an item, but the value saved is E-mail. The crawler will get E-mail. And that's why you can only search on the default term.

Update:

Found a question on MSDN with the same issue: Search and term store limitation

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Thanks, that reference clears things. I can see there's a workaround in appending to the thesaurus files. Not sure whether I'm going to do that, though. Maybe its better to just stick with a "classic" Keywords column, and just remind our editors to enter all likely synonyms themselves. Would have been easier though, if we could manage the synonyms centrally and have the search engine use the synonyms entered in Term Store directly. That's what I expected. (Lesson learned: Stop expecting things!) –  Biilmann Oct 4 '11 at 12:02

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