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OCLC Support

Search Box Generator

Learn about using the Search Box Generator, which enables libraries to construct and customize advanced WorldCat Discovery search boxes.

To access the Search Box Generator, navigate to the WorldCat Discovery and WorldCat Local module of the OCLC Service Configuration.  

The Search Box Generator enables libraries to construct and customize advanced WorldCat Discovery search boxes. The output of the Search Box Generator is an HTML snippet that can be embedded on your homepage or LibGuides.

 Note: OCLC Support does not troubleshoot customized HTML code for search boxes.

Search Box Preview and Code

The first section of the Search Box Generator page displays a preview of the search box and the HTML code that can be copied and pasted into library pages to generate the search box. As changes are made to the search box settings, the preview and code update to match. The preview box is fully functional, searches can be run within the box to test configuration and view search results.

Click Copy to clipboard to copy and paste the HTML code to a separate application. 

Select Databases for Search Box

You must configure your databases in the Default Databases and Licensed Content module before generating an external search box.

Select a database or group of databases from the drop-down list to include in your search box. If no database or database group is selected, your configured default will be used.

Create Search Tabs

Create a tabbed search experience with up to five tabs. Tabs allow users to search for a specific material or content type and exclude other materials from the search results.  If no selection is made, the search box will search all materials by default.

To create a search tab:

  1. Click Create tab. Tab display options appear.
  2. Enter a Tab Label. This text will appear on the tab in the search box.
  3. Select Formats and/or Content types.  Note: Tabs are limited to one parent material format category per tab.
  4. Optional. Select an icon to appear on the tab from the Select tab icon list.
  5. Click Save.


The following formats can be selected for search tabs:

  • Everything
  • Articles
  • Books
    • Braille Book
    • Recursos continuamente actualizados
    • eBooks
    • Large Print Book
    • Microcorm
    • Print Books
    • Tesis/Disertación
  • Images
  • Videos
    • Bluray Video
    • DVD Video
    • eVideo
    • Película
    • VHS Video
  • Audiobooks
  • Journals
  • Música
  • Musical Score

Content types

The following content types can be selected for search tabs:

  • Full Text
    • The Full Text filter identifies: 
      • Records present in the institution's knowledge base, using the kb index to search the institution's registry ID, and match the record results based on: 
        1. ISSN
        2. Coverage start date
        3. Coverage end date
        4. Content
      • eBook records held by the institution using the wz and sz indexes.
        • wz: The index searches an internal OCLC institution number used by OCLC's internal APIs to identify when the institution owns an item. Used in place of an institution's OCLC symbol. 
        • sz: The index searches an internal OCLC branch number used by OCLC's internal APIs to identify the holding branch of the item.
  • Open Access
  • Peer Reviewed

Tab icons

The following icons are available for selection:

  • No icon
  • Everything
  • Articles
  • Books
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Journals
  • Música

Format display order

Control the order of your tabs. The first material in the format list will be considered the default selection. Use the arrow keys to reorder the list, or use your mouse to drag and drop the group name to the correct placement in the list. Press Enter or click out of the area to stop reordering.

Select Defaults for Search Results

In this section, you can configure default search behavior for the custom search box for the following settings:

Setting Descripción

Select default grouping for search results

Determine the grouping for search results

Options include:

  • Show all
  • Hide duplicates
  • Group editions and formats

Keep filter selections for next search by default

Determine whether the filters should remain for subsequent searches.

Provide direct link to Advanced Search page

Determine whether to provide a direct link to the Advanced Search page.
Select default library scope

If no default library scope is selected, your configured default will be used.

Select default search index

Options include:

  • Allow users to change search index
  • Keyword (kw)
  • Author (au)
  • Sujeto (su)
  • Title (ti)

Allow users to change search index

Determine whether to display the search indexes for library users to select.

Select default sort

Options include:

  • Best Match
  • Recency
  • Library
  • Author (A to Z)
  • Date (Newest)
  • Date (Oldest)
  • Most Widely Held
  • Title (A to Z)

Choose Colors and Text for Search Box

In this section, you can configure the colors and text displayed in the search box. Select preferences for:

  • Search Box Background Color
  • Unselected Search Tab Background Color
  • Button Color

You can also supply custom text for the search box:

  • Button Text (Verbs preferred to emphasize call-to-action; keep succinct)
  • Search Box Label (Provided for branding and accessibility purposes. Limited to 140 characters.)
  • Search Box Hint Text (Displayed below the search box. Limited to 140 characters.)