There is a site column docowner, hence managed property docownerOWSUSER

docowner is user field.

In a document library the docowner field has value John Doe

Searching query docownerOWSUSER:John Doe returns result but docownerOWSUSER="John Doe"

Document Library

enter image description here

On basis of document library shown above:

Not result with query text: path:"http://spsvr" IsDocument:1 AND docownerOWSUSER="John Doe"

Returns result: path:"http://spsvr" IsDocument:1 AND docownerOWSUSER:"John Doe"

I want to use = to filter, so that it returns exact matching.

  • Are you actually trying to find out "why" the operators work differently, or is there a question for "how" in the background?
    – moe
    Jul 21, 2017 at 6:09
  • I am looking for solution finds exact match for docowner Jul 21, 2017 at 7:28
  • The question becomes unclear with your screenshots as they are not consistent with what you are writing. Your screenshots 1 and 3 are identical - they are the same picture. What are you trying to indicate with these?
    – moe
    Jul 21, 2017 at 10:53
  • @moe Updated, please check Jul 21, 2017 at 14:34

2 Answers 2


The reason why exact matching would not work is because of what the OWSUSER field consists of in terms of data.

A typical OWSUSER field contains the following elements for a user, say johndoe@abc.com:

johndoe@abc.com | Doe, John | 123A12345E777C123A12345B51234D123A1A1F1C12 i:0#.w|abc\johndoe

So unless you construct your "Equal to" value in exactly the same format, it's not going to work. The same reason, why contains (:) works!

If your requirement is to get unique results for a particular user without using "contains" on the name, do the comparison using email ID for the same field instead of name. enter image description here

Technet description for User Field Managed Property structure: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj613136.aspx

  • Why do = works with author field? Jul 22, 2017 at 7:24
  • @AmitKB Again, it is based on the content it holds. The Author or CreatedBy field (Created By is internally mapped to Author) holds the multi text value of the user. e.g. typical author field will hold data like "John Doe". So equals or compares works. OWSUSER fields are different in terms of the way they hold user data. Jul 24, 2017 at 13:59
  • Thanks for information. If found that when the custom field docowner (of type user/group) was added in managed property it created one additional docownerOWSUSER continaing couple of elements including name of user, login id etc. as you described. Jul 24, 2017 at 15:27
  • @AmitKB Glad it helped! Jul 24, 2017 at 16:20

When searching with Managed Properties you can test for an exact match (“=”), or if the property contains the word (“:”).

Equal: Use the equal sign to find an exact match. Searching for title=jet will not find our PowerPoint presentation as its title is “Jet Airplanes and the Future of Flight” not only “jet”.

Contains: Use the colon to perform a “contains” search. Searching for title:jet will find our presentation, and also find a lot of other files. Note that “:” looks for whole words. You can use the wildcard “” at the end of a word, “title:jet”, and find both “jet” and “jets”, and also “Jetsons”.

Note: Many of the property searches will return zero results when using “=” due to the way SharePoint internally stores data. On the other hand, “:” may return more than expected due to its wildcard like behavior. As an example "Path=somepath" will always return zero items.

Keyword Query Language (KQL) syntax reference

  • I am aware of syntax, please check question update Jul 18, 2017 at 2:32

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