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Just the Docs uses lunr.js to add a client-side search interface powered by a JSON index that Jekyll generates. All search results are shown in an auto-complete style interface (there is no search results page). By default, all generated HTML pages are indexed using the following data points:

  • Page title
  • Page content
  • Page URL

Enable search in configuration

In your site’s _config.yml, enable search:

# Enable or disable the site search
# Supports true (default) or false
search_enabled: true

Search granularity

Pages are split into sections that can be searched individually. The sections are defined by the headings on the page. Each section is displayed in a separate search result.

# Split pages into sections that can be searched individually
# Supports 1 - 6, default: 2
search.heading_level: 2

Search previews

A search result can contain previews that show where the search words are found in the specific section.

# Maximum amount of previews per search result
# Default: 3
search.previews: 3

# Maximum amount of words to display before a matched word in the preview
# Default: 5
search.preview_words_before: 5

# Maximum amount of words to display after a matched word in the preview
# Default: 10
search.preview_words_after: 10

Search tokenizer

The default is for hyphens to separate tokens in search terms: gem-based is equivalent to gem based, matching either word. To allow search for hyphenated words:

# Set the search token separator
# Default: /[\s\-/]+/
# Example: enable support for hyphenated search words
search.tokenizer_separator: /[\s/]+/

Display URL in search results

# Display the relative url in search results
# Supports true (default) or false
search.rel_url: false

Display search button

The search button displays in the bottom right corner of the screen and triggers the search input when clicked.

# Enable or disable the search button that appears in the bottom right corner of every page
# Supports true or false (default)
search.button: true

Sometimes you might have a page that you don’t want to be indexed for the search nor to show up in search results, e.g, a 404 page. To exclude a page from search, add the search_exclude: true parameter to the page’s YAML front matter:


layout: default
title: Page not found
nav_exclude: true
search_exclude: true

Generate search index when used as a gem

If you use Just the Docs as a remote theme, you do not need the following steps.

If you use the theme as a gem, you must initialize the search by running this rake command that comes with just-the-docs:

$ bundle exec just-the-docs rake search:init

This command creates the assets/js/zzzz-search-data.json file that Jekyll uses to create your search index. Alternatively, you can create the file manually with this content.