Displaying search results using transformations

You can use the following default transformations to display search results using the Smart search dialog with results and Smart search results web parts:

  • CMS.Root.SmartSearchResults
  • CMS.Root.SmartSearchResultsWithImages

The system returns search results in a search dataset. No matter how the fields are named in the found objects, the search dataset always contains the following fields that are automatically mapped to the corresponding object fields:

Search result field



Expresses the relevance of the search result item as a numeric value. Higher values indicate higher relevance.


Mapped to the field selected as the Title field on the Search fields tab for the given object type.


Mapped to the field selected as the Content field on the Search fields tab for the given object type.


Mapped to the field selected as the Date field on the Search fields tab for the given object type.


Mapped to the field selected as the Image field on the Search fields tab for the given object type.


The code name of the search index where the given result was found.


Available for page search results. The imageClass field contains the name of the CSS class that defines the font icon representing the MIME type of the given page. The system generates the class based on the URL extension of the page (automatic for CMS.File pages).

For example, you can display the MIME type font icon in your search results using the following transformation code:

<i class="<%# Eval("imageClass") %>"></i>

In the code of ASCX transformations, you can get the values from the dataset by using the Eval(“<field name>”) method: Eval(“score”), Eval(“title”), etc.

To learn how to configure search fields for different object types, see the following pages:


The following example shows how to create a basic ASCX transformation for displaying smart search results and configure it for the search web part. For more information about creating transformations, see Creating transformations for pages.

  1. In the Pages application, open web part properties of the smart search web part, i.e., Smart search dialog with results or Smart search results.

  2. In the Transformations section, click New to create a transformation.

    1. Assign the new transformation to a specific page type or custom table.

    2. Fill in the transformation definition.

      Smart search result ASCX transformation example
           <a href="<%# SearchResultUrl() %>"><%# Eval("Title") %></a> (<%# Eval("Created") %>) <br>
               // Applies keyword highlight to the text of the 'Content' field stripped of HTML tags and limited to 200 characters
               SearchHighlight(LimitLength(HTMLHelper.StripTags(Eval<string>("Content")), 200), "<strong>", "</strong>")
    3. Click Save.

  3. Click Save & Close to apply the web part setting.

The format of the smart search result items now corresponds to the selected transformation definition.

For more advanced examples of smart search transformations, see the default transformations for pages and products used on our sample sites:

  • CMS.Root.SmartSearchResults
  • CMS.Root.SmartSearchResultsWithImages
  • DancingGoat.Transformations.SmartSearchProductList
  • DancingGoat.Transformations.SmartSearchResults
  • EcommerceSite.Transformations.SearchResults

Search transformation methods

You can also use the following methods in your ASCX transformations:



Description and examples


  • bool absolute
  • bool addLangParameter

Returns the URL of the page containing the details of the search result.

  • The optional ‘absolute’ parameter indicates if the returned URL is absolute.
    • False by default.
  • The optional ‘addLangParameter’ indicates if a culture specific query should be added to the URL.
    • True by default. Note that clicking a link leading to a different culture changes the visitor’s site culture.

<%# SearchResultUrl(true, false) %>

Note: The SearchResultUrl method does not return valid URLs for search results produced by general indexes, since the indexed objects are not pages and there is no default page to display the object details. You need to write and use a custom transformation method to generate the correct URL of a custom page displaying the appropriate information.

Combine with default culture 

When the Combine with default culture setting is enabled, visitors will see pages in the default culture if they aren’t translated to their current culture.

  •  If the addLangParameter is set to false, the site culture will NOT change once visitors click the link leading to the page in the default culture. That is, they keep on browsing the site in the culture they made the search in.
  • If the addLangParameter is set to true, the site culture will change once visitors click the link leading to the page in the default culture. That is, they keep on browsing the site in the default culture afterwards.


  • string text
  • string startTag
  • string endTag

Wraps the text of the first parameter into the tags specified by the other two parameters.

<%# SearchHighlight(SearchResultUrl(),“<strong>”,“</strong>”)%>


  • string noImageUrl
  • int maxSideSize

Returns the URL of the current search result’s image.

The first parameter specifies the URL used if no image is found – enter either the full relative path starting from the application root (~/), or a partial path starting from the ~/App_Themes/<skin_folder>/Images/ directory. The second parameter specifies the maximum side size to which the method resizes the image.

<%# GetSearchImageUrl(“~/App_Themes/Default/Images/CMSModules/CMS_SmartSearch/no_image.gif”, 90) %>

<%# GetSearchImageUrl(“/CMSModules/CMS_SmartSearch/no_image.gif”, 90) %>


  • string columnName

Returns the value of the specified field for the current search result. Allows you to access both the general fields of the given objects type (page, custom table etc.) and any other fields included in the search index.

<%# GetSearchValue(“DocumentName”) %>


  • string content

Parses the searched content as XML if required, and removes dynamic controls and macro expressions.