Performing a Complex Search

A complex search enables you to search the full Directory Information Tree (DIT), or use the currently selected entry as the search base distinguished name (DN). It also allows you to create search filters that comply with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), and  join them together, as per RFC 2254. For more information about Request For Comments (RFC) documents, see


To perform a complex search:


  1. Do one of the following:


    • From the Search Menu, choose Search

    • Right-click an entry in the DIT, and then select Search from the drop-down list

    • Press Ctrl + F


  1. Enter the DN of the subtree you want to search in the Start Searching From text box.

  2. (Optional) Select the Resolve Aliases While Searching check box if you want to return alias entries for subordinate entries of the base object.

  3. (Optional) Select the Resolve Aliases When Finding Base Object check box if you want to return alias entries while locating the base object of the search.


Note: If you choose to resolve aliases while searching (Step 3) and when finding the base object (Step 4), all aliases are resolved; however, if you do not choose either option, no aliases are resolved.


  1. (Optional) From the Select Search Level list, select one of the following:


    • Search Full Subtree if you want to search the whole of the DIT from the current entry down

    • Search Next Level if you want to search one level down from the current entry

    • Search Base Object if you want to search the selected entry only


  1. (Optional) From the Information to Retrieve list, select a Return Attribute list to tell the search to return a list of nominated attribute values.


Note: To create a Return Attribute list, choose Return Attribute Lists from the Search menu.


  1. From the Build Filter tab, select an attribute from the drop-down list.


  1. Select a function from the drop-down list.


  1. Enter the search criteria in the empty text box.


  1. Click the More button, select an operator from the drop-down list, and repeat steps 6 through 8 until you have completed the filter.



    • To view the current filter in LDAP format, click the View button.

    • To delete the last line of the filter, click the Less button.


  1. (Optional) To negate the entire filter, select the Not check box.


  1. (Optional) To save the filter, enter a name in the Filter Name text box, and then click the Save button.


Note: You must save the filter if you want to join it to another filter. When you have saved the filter you can load it from the Search dialog by clicking the Load button.


If you want, you can join this filter to another pre-defined filter to create a more complex search.


  1. Click the Search button to execute the search.


Note: To repeat a saved search, you can select it from the Search Menu.


Tip: If you receive an error indicating that a search limit is exceeded, you get a partial result. To set the search limits, choose Advanced Options from the Options menu and click the Search Limits tab .

Related Topics

Deleting a Filter

Joining Filters

Performing a Quick Search

Setting Search Limits

Using the Return Attributes Dialog
Using the Search Results Window

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