I just want to point out, I'm by no means familiar with SharePoint so this functionality probably exists and I just haven't found it.

The organisation I volunteer for has an SharePoint online site which they're currently not using and they've asked me if I can find some sort of use for it.

My role in this organisation I'm developing and maintaining an inhouse database system for them. (tl;dr IT guy)

My idea is to store all of the documentation on SharePoint in either a wiki or a Document library.

While the wiki is definitely useful for the documentation, (linking to other pages, searching page content etc.) I don't really editing the pages in the browser, and since SharePoint Designer 2013 doesn't have a WYSIWIG view anymore, this makes trying to edit the pages in the designer a nightmare since I really hate ASP.NET, but I digress.

My other idea was to store the documentation as separate word documents in a Documents Library. I think this is a better idea since users can download individual documents on the topics they need and of course, I can sync the library with OneDrive on my machine and update the documentation from Word. However, the contets of the documents don't appear to be searchable. I tried creating a garbage document filled with 'Lorem Ipsum', but when searching for words from that document in the search I get no results.

What would be a good way to proceed with this? Can I make SharePoint search document content or will I just have to bite the bullet and use a wiki?

Honestly, if SharePoint 2013 had WYSIWIG functionality, I wouldn't feel too bad about using a wiki, but since it puts the entire document one a single line in the editor... well... nope, not even going to start formatting that.

2 Answers 2


The content inside the documents is searchable, it just takes time to index the content in SharePoint Online. They haven't officially mentioned how often the search indexers run. Give it up to 24 hours, and if you aren't seeing results, submit a ticket through the Office portal.

  • Is there not a command to force it? I'm sure I saw something like 'Reindex' when going through the settings. Also, separate question: Is the content searchable via the search bar at the top of the document library, or do I have to use the site wide search for that?
    – Jake
    Nov 17, 2015 at 19:03
  • You can click the reindex button in the advanced settings of the library to trigger a reindex, but again, you are at the mercy of the timer jobs that run on the backend of the farm. Once indexed, it should be searchable in either location. Nov 17, 2015 at 19:14

SharePoint search can search inside Word, Excel and text files. It depended on when you upload the file. The search feature takes couple of hours to index the files.

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