1. I created the following:

    • a list (named Category) at the top-level site,
    • a Lookup site column (SC) (named Category) on Category, which allows multiple selections, and
    • a Document-based content type (named Categorized Document) with the additional Category column added.
  2. On the top-level site (Parent) AND on a subsite (Child), I added the Categorized Document content type to Shared Documents and removed Document from the list content types.

  3. I mapped RefinableString00 to the Crawled Property created for my site column (ows_Category).

  4. I added three (3) items to the Category list, with Titles of "White," "Red," & "Blue."

  5. I uploaded multiple documents to both document libraries and randomly chose Category values for some of them: each document has zero (0), one (1), two (2), or three (3) Category values.

  6. In Security & Compliance, I created a Content search on RefinableString00:White and added filters on File type equals any of doc; docx; xls; xlsx; pdf:

    • RefinableString00:White‎(c:c)‎‎(filetype="doc")‎‎(filetype="docx")‎‎(filetype="xls")‎‎(filetype="xlsx")‎‎(filetype="pdf")‎


When I run the query, it finds all of the documents from both Shared Documents libraries, ONLY where Category="White," not if it's "White" and something else.


What do I change to make sure it finds all of the documents where Category includes "White," even if it also includes other values?


Marko Tica's syntax was super helpful to getting me closer to the final answer:


In the case of a string with spaces (e.g. "Red and Blue"), the following worked:



  1. Marko's answer included {|…} around the entire query, which is probably very helpful when working with Search. Security & Compliance's Content search wouldn't accept it, and it ultimately wasn't needed.
  2. Marko's answer also wrapped the search text in "", which also returned no results. I haven't tested this with other 'Refinable' types, but my assumption is that because it's a RefinableSTRING, the quotes weren't needed to type the query. Even in the case of a string (e.g. "Red and Blue"), the quotes weren't needed; instead, wrap each word in the phrase with {} IN ORDER to search on the phrase.
  • Let us know if you find a solution because I am going to have to deal with this soon in a project...
    – mannaggia
    Oct 18, 2017 at 11:05
  • 2
    Can you use the SharePoint Query Tool and check what the value for RefinableString00 is for a document which has more than one value in it? Oct 23, 2017 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


Try with this


Query would be something like this



Query variables with multiple values Query variables can contain multiple values, and by using the syntax {|ManagedProperty:{QueryVariable}} or {|{QueryVariable}}

The expansion will be made using the OR operator, and there is no option for AND expansion. If a user has set the Ask me about field on the user profile to: SharePoint, Search and Apps, then the transformation


expands into

((SharePoint) OR (Search) OR (Apps))

Working syntax

  • 1
    Did you try with {|RefinableString00:{"White"‎}}
    – Marko Tica
    Oct 23, 2017 at 16:42
  • 4
    Thanks, Marko! +50 for you because it was the most helpful. Here's the actual syntax that worked: RefinableString00:{White} No {} around the whole thing, no "" around the value. Oct 23, 2017 at 19:12

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