Can SharePoint online be configured to search inside the actual files of a document library? For examples, word documents, excel files, PDF files (with searchable text), and html files.

I've come across many articles that explain how this can be achieved using on-prem SharePoint, but have yet to come across any regarding SharePoint online.

In this Overview of search documentation it only mentions that sites columns and values are added to the search index. It doesn't mention whether the actual content inside the documents are searchable.

1 Answer 1


Just like on-prem Search, this is automatically done with the same limitations about how much of the document it indexes (64Kb, if I recall correctly, but I could be off a bit). There is no way to either turn this on or off -- it is always enabled.

  • As far as my testing has gone, the search doesn't search inside the actual document contents though. Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 2:37
  • Search indexes the content of the file. This would be an issue with your testing.
    – user6024
    Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 15:12
  • Is there any documentation on which file types are supported? I'm wondering in particular whether it can index the content of PDFs (with selectable text) and also html files. Commented Apr 23, 2022 at 15:58

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