Ideas for Arc XP

Please restore full-text search on text of a story in Composer. (It disappeared unannounced sometime week of 11/18)

Sometime during the week of 11/18, drastic changes were made in  the portion of a story that is in scope of searches within Composer.  This applies both to searches in the top search field, and in searching for related content stories in the right pullout menu.

Newroom users reported that they could no longer find stories by names and unique terms  that were mentioned in the body of the story.   I confirmed that this was the case.

The workaround i suggested to our newsroom is as follows:

  1. Perform the search using the terms they knew would identify the story using Google Search using "site: preceding their search terms.
  2. FInd the story in google search results, and copy headline to clipboard
  3. Paste the headline into the headline field at left of google search form, making sure that the Source field is cleared so it can be found regardless of source (we have default of ellipsis set in Composer Settings.

Note that this workaround will only work for published stories.


I reported this to ACS and they resolved the ticket, saying that search was behaving as intended, pointing to the description of search scope that was added to the Composer 1.33 Release notes on 11/22, which was after the fact of our noticing the problem.   (See note on Composer Release notes at the end of this Arc Idea)

For the convenience of all,  here is the paragraph that describes this:  

Search query change

In an effort to improve search, we switched from an open-ended search query to a search query that specifies the fields to be searched. These fields are as follows: editor_note, headlines.basic, subheadlines.basic,, taxonomy.tags.text, promo_items.basic (headlines, subheadlines, description), planning.budget_line, slug, label.basic.text, corrections.text. By targeting those specific search fields, it should return more reliable results instead of results from irrelevant fields (i.e. author bios, section name, etc.)

You will note that the actual text of the story, which i believe is contained in content_elements.content, is not included in this list of fields.

Please add this field to the list of specified search fields to restore full text search of the body text of the story.  It is ridiculous that it is necessary to do a search on google to find a story on Arc, and of course, that will only work for published stories.   There is no workaround that I know of for full-text search within the Arc Platform, especially for stories that were migrated from legacy platforms, which are not present in Websked (at least not present in our instance) 

I would think that it would be an embarrassment to Arc Publishing to have a content management system that did not include full text search, and left users needing to do Google searches to find stories they need to edit or attach as related content. 

Can this be done as a hot fix, as it should just be a matter of adding one more field name to the search query used within Composer.

Do note that was invited to respond to the "Composer Search Survey" (attached), which listed fields that were underlined as being the ones that Product felt should be included in search.  I do not believe that all of these fields are in the list above.   content_elements.text was underlined, which i  mistakingly thought would cover full text search of body of story.  In any case, i have no idea what that field is (the Survey should have had explanation of semantics of fields). and it does not appear in the list of fields above that are in Composer Search Scope.  

It would have made sense for Arc Product to present the list of final choices to users - at least those who completed the survey - to get a second review.   I suspect that we are not the only customer that is sorely missing ability to find stories by unique terms/names mentioned in story, that may not appear in headline or other fields listed above that are in search scope.

By the way, in my survey response I also requested three search fields that we were frequenty using in Composer Searches that were not in the list included in the survey (either underlined or not):  


  1. _id (Arc id for story)  this happily still does work
  2. source.source_id (which is legacy id for stories migrated from a legacy platform): this no longer works
  3. canonical_url:  this no longer works


Our photographers were also in the habit of finding unpublished stories on which their photos had been placed by searching on their name.  This worked until last week, when the search scope was made explicit as described above.   I suggested that they search for their name in Photo Center, pick the photo of concern and then click on pencil icon to open the Edit Image Details view, where they would find a list of headlines with links to composer for the stories on which the photo is placed.  Unfortunately this is an incomplete workaround as Featured Media positions are not recorded in Photo Center under "Appears On" (I submitted a separate Arc Idea on this:

Note on Composer Release Notes:

If you go to the full list of Composer Release Notes on the Composer Path in Arc Learning Center, this page is displayed:

You will note that Release notes for Composer 1.33 and 1.34 (just hit Sandbox) are not listed.

Please be sure that ALL release notes are included in the full list.  Otherwise it is very difficult to find them.



Ian Krantz
The Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Ian Krantz
  • Nov 27 2019
  • Planned
Categories User Workflow
  • Attach files
  • Admin
    Lawrence Tsai commented
    13 Feb, 2020 09:08pm

    Hi Ian - I believe with the above change, we can mark this as "shipped". Please verify. Thanks!

  • Admin
    Ryan Gladstone commented
    13 Dec, 2019 06:02pm

    Hi Ian

    Composer will once again include the content_elements.content in the search query. This will be re-released to sandboxes on Monday.

    Improvements to search query

    In v1.33 we made a change to the search query. We’ve further made improvements to the search query by making more fields queryable. The new fields now included in the search query are: the content body (content_elements.content) and the owner (

    "If you go to the full list of Composer Release Notes on the Composer Path in Arc Learning Center, this page is displayed: You will note that Release notes for Composer 1.33 and 1.34 (just hit Sandbox) are not listed."

    Also, thanks for flagging this issue. It appears some of the most recent releases were incorrectly tagged 'Ellipsis' instead of 'Composer'. We're fixing this.