Product Support

Combo Multi-Search

A Participants Database Add-On providing two different configurable multiple-field search capabilities.

Product Setup

The Combo Multisearch Plugin offers two main search control types: a single text input (like a search engine) or a set of selectors/checkboxes/text fields that provide a search term for each field. Both search types may be used, but in most cases, you’ll be using one or the other.

Setting up the Combination Search

Combo Search provides a single-input search that will look in multiple fields for a match to a single input. Use this search type in situations where a simple easy-to-use interface is desired to search the database.

To set up the Combo Search, you’ll need the names of all the fields you want searched with the user’s input. Type the names as a comma-separated list into the “Combination Search Fields” setting. To disable the combo search, leave the setting blank.

The “label” and “placeholder” settings give you two ways to prompt the user. The “label” is shown alongside the text input, and remains visible when the user types in their search. The “placeholder” is shown inside the text input, and disappears when the user begins to type in a search. A placeholder is good when you don’t need to explain much and want a clean, simple interface. The label is good for situations where you want to explain a little bit what the search is for. You can use either, neither, or both if you want.

Combo Search Modifiers

The “combo search modifiers” are a set of radio buttons to allow the user to set the type of search desired: “any,” “all,” or “phrase.” When enabled, these radio buttons will be shown next to the combo search input. There is a default search type that will be initially selected, and this is also the search mode that will be used if the combo search modifiers are not shown.


“Autocomplete” is also known as “autosuggest” and provides the user with a list of suitable search terms. The list of suggested search terms is shown as a pop-up window when the user begins typing, and the list is pared down as the user types in more letters. The list of autosuggest words is drawn from the database, so it can reliably guide the user to search terms that will yield results. The fields that the autocomplete terms are drawn from is defined in the “Combo Search Autocomplete Fields” setting. It is a list of field names like the “combination search fields” setting. This means that the combo search can search on fields that don’t contribute to the autosuggest. This is helpful in cases where some of the fields searched contain blocks of text, which could add a lot of useless terms to the autosuggest list.

Multi Search provides a comprehensive interface for searching on multiple fields using a separate input for each field. This is best for situations where a precise, complex search is needed (such as a technical database) or in situations where you want to show the viewer what kind of information they can search by (for example, a services directory).

Starting with version 2.0, the multisearch fields are defined in a special interface under the “Multi Search Fields” tab in the plugin’s settings. In this new interface, each field in the multisearch can be customized in several different ways, changing how it looks, how the user may interact with it, and how it finds matches. Which options are available to a field depends on the type of field it is as defined in Participants Database.

If you already had Combo Multisearch set up and are updating from an older version, your fields will still be configured as before, only now you can fine-tune how each field works.

shows how to interact with the multisearch fields interface
Configuring the Multi Search Fields

On this page, you configure which fields will appear in the multisearch and in what order. The display shows a list of all the fields configured for the Multi Search so you can edit the parameters of each one. You can add as many fields here as you want, you can also also delete and re-order them.

Note that fields that are included in the Combo Search configuration are not available for Multi Search; remove them from Combo Search to make them available in the “Add Field” selector.

Field Parameters

Each field in the list of fields has its own parameters where you can change how it is presented or how it works. There are several parameters, and which ones are available to each field depends on the field type. Here is a description of the parameters:

  • Label – This defaults to the normal field title, but if you want to give it a different label in the search interface, you can do that here.
  • Help Text – defaults to the field’s help text, but you can choose a different help text for the search interface.
  • Attributes – allows the addition of HTML element attributes, such as the “required” attribute to selectively make fields required in the search interface.
  • Input Type – depending on the original field type, there will be several different ways the field can be shown in the search interface.
  • Include Label in Result Summary – when checked, the field’s label will be shown along with the searched-for value in the search result summary.
  • Database Values in Selector – for any kind of selector input type, instead of showing the configured field options, the options shown in the control will be drawn from the database.
  • Show “Any” Option – for selector input types, enabling this shows an option that will match any value in the database: this is essentially a “reset” for the selector, removing it from the search. Uncheck this if you want to force the user to make a selection.
  • “Any” Option Label – when the “any” option is shown, this is how it will be labeled. You can leave it blank for a blank option.
  • Multiselect “Or” Mode – (only for multiselect input types) if this is checked, the search result can match any of the values selected, instead of needing to match all of them when using “filter” mode. This setting makes no difference when not using filter mode because the values will be treated as an “or” in that case anyway.

Multi Search Field Input Type

Some field types will have several options available for the “Input Type” selected in the Multi Search Fields interface. A text field can be shown as a text input (of course) but also as a dropdown selector that shows a list of values taken from the database entries. Dropdown fields can be shown as a dropdown or as a multiselect, giving the user the ability to select several possible matches for that field.

Normally, a list shortcode configured to show the Combo Multisearch control will show all the fields you have configured in the Multi Search Fields interface. It is possible to determine on a per-shortcode basis which fields will be shown in the interface, as explained in the “Showing the Search Control” section. If you want to do this, you must configure all the fields you will show in all shortcodes, and then use the “search_fields” attribute in the shortcode to determine which of the configured fields to show in that particular display. In other words, you cannot add a field in the shortcode that has not been added to the Multi Search Fields configuration.

Filter Search Mode

The Combo Multisearch has two general modes of operation: Filter Mode on or off. With filter mode “on,” all chosen search values must match the record’s values for it to be included in a search result. If filter mode is “off,” a record will be included in the results if any of the provided search terms matches the record’s values.

When filter mode is on, any multi search fields that are configured with the “multiselect or” option will only require that one of the selected values in that field is a match. With “multiselect or” deselected, all the options selected for that field in the search must match.

Each search type, combo or multi, has a “Whole Word Match Only” switch so that text searches will only match a complete word in the search, not portions of a word. For multi-search controls, this only affects text inputs where the user types in the search term.

Searching on Date Fields

“Date” type fields can be presented as a single input or as a range with two inputs.

When using a single input, the search will attempt to include all records that correspond to the entered date.

When using the ranged inputs, the range will always include the date entered for the end of the range. For example, if the range is entered as “June 1, 2020” through “June 10, 2020” records that have a date of June 10, 2020 will be included in the result.

Partial Dates Supported

When using “date” fields in multisearch, it’s possible for users to enter partial dates, such as just the year, a month and a year, or just a month. For example “2010” will return all results with dates within that year. Entries like “March 2010” would return all dates within the month of March 2010. It’s als possible to enter a month: an entry of “May” will return all records with dates that are within the month of May in the current year. Partial dates can be used with ranged searches also: for example a search of “2000” through “2010” will return all dates between 2000 and 2010, inclusive.

When using a ranged input, if one of the inputs is left blank, it is assumed to be the current date. You can override this behavior by adding “required” to the attributes setting for the date field in the multisearch fields configuration.

Returning to the Search Results

Under the General settings tab is an option to enable restoring the previous search when returning to the search page. This is convenient for users who need to navigate away from the search page and wish to return to the same page of results. If this is unchecked, the search page will be reset every time it is loaded.

Showing the Combo Multi-Search Control

The Combo Multisearch Add-On provides its search capabilities through the use of a special template. There is a template for the list display and for the stand-alone search display. Once the plugin settings are defined, the template must be called in the shortcode like this:

[pdb_list template=multisearch ]

The plugin now also includes a table-less responsive template for the list multisearch shortcode:

[pdb_list template=multisearch-responsive ]

Or for the standalone search like this:

[pdb_search template=multisearch ]

If you are using the pdb_search shortcode, be sure to read Using the Search Shortcode as it can be tricky to configure.

It is possible to define the list of multisearch fields to search in the shortcode, drawn from the list of fields configured in the mutisearch fields setup. For example:

[pdb_list template=multisearch search_fields='company,city,state']

If you have both combo and multi searches configured, the combo search will only show if “combo_search” is included in the field list.

If you want a particular shortcode to show the combo search only, you can set that up like this:

[pdb_list template=multisearch search_fields='combo_search']

It is not possible to determine which fields are included in the combo search in the shortcode due to search optimization.

If you need to have the search control in a different location then where the results are displayed, you can do that with the [pdb_search] shortcode. You need to use the “target_page” attribute to tell the search shortcode where the results are to be displayed. The [pdb_list] shortcode is used to display the results. (Check this page for more on using the search shortcode…) For example, if your results are displayed on a page named “listings” then your search control shortcode will be like this: [pdb_search template=multisearch target_page=listings]. That shortcode can be placed anywhere. If you want to put it into a sidebar widget, you’ll need a plugin that will allow a shortcode in a widget. Then, on the “listings” page, put [pdb_list]. There is no need to set the template to multisearch unless you want another search control to appear at the top of the results.

Target Instance

In cases where the [pdb_list] shortcode is on a page with other Participants Database shortcodes, you may need to set the “target_instance” attribute to target the specific list shortcode where you want the results to appear. To find the target instance value, you must inspect the HTML. At the top of the list display, you will see a classname in the wrapper such as “pdb-instance-2” That means the list is instance 2, and you would need to put that value as the target instance in the search control shortcode, like this: [pdb_search template=multisearch target_page=listings target_instance=2].


Can I use both the Combo Search and Multi Search at the same time?

Yes, you can, but the set of fields selected for the Combo Search Fields should be different than the fields configured in Multi Search Fields. It will still work, but the results might not be as expected because the combo search will override the multi search if both are searching on the same field.

Is it possible for the user's last used search to be restored when they return to the search page?

Yes, there is a setting under the “General” tab in the Combo Multisearch settings called “Remember the Last Search” and if checked, it will store the search parameters for the last search on the user’s browser. This means that even if they leave the site and come back later, the last search they used will still be there. If “Clear” is clicked the stored search is erased.

I want to pre-load the search terms when linking to the search page. How do I do that?

Yes, it is possible to place the search terms in the URL, and they will pre-load into the search form.

For Multi Search, each field you want to preload a search term into needs to be named and given a value. For example, you want to take the user to the search page set up to find all the brewpubs in Seattle. Your link would look something like this:

The “city” and “business_type” fields would then be filled with the vales in the URL. Of course, the fields named must be configured to appear in the Multi Search inputs.

You can do the same for the Combo Search, but there is only one field, named “combo_search” so if you wanted to do the same kind of thing as our example above, you could use a URL like this:

You’ll notice the %20 in the search term: this is code for a space, this is needed because URL’s cannot contain spaces. Take a look at this reference to learn more about using query strings in URL’s.

I want to combine Combo Multisearch with Locations Map to show search result locations in the map. How can this be done?

Right now this doesn’t work using the “auto placement” of the locations map. You can get it all working together using a custom template I’ve created a template that will do the job here:

You’ll need to download that template, and place it where Participants Database can find it. This is explained here:

Using Participants Database Custom Templates

Once that’s done, change your shortcode to something like this:

[pdb_list template=multisearch-map]

I've got a very large database, are there any problems with this plugin with large databases?

Mostly, the size of the database is not going to matter at all, MySQL is pretty efficient with large databases.

There is one setting that will be affected, that’s the “Autocomplete” feature of the Combo search. For a very large database, you could get some memory errors with this feature. Two things you can try for that problem: limit the number of of fields that are going into the autocomplete (using the “Combo Search Autocomplete Fields” setting) which will cut down on the number of terms loaded into the autosuggest. Second, if your database is realy, really large, you may need to turn autocomplete off altogether.

If you are concerned with database performance issues, it’s a good idea to tune your server for better performance. You may want to ask your web hosting provider about that, it is a fairly technical subject and requires server configurations you may not have access to.

Support Discussions for Combo Multisearch

  • Hi I tried pre-loading search terms using search queries in the FAQs but it doesn’t reflect to the website. Am I missing something? Like maybe something I need to configure in the settings apart from the combo-search and multi-search?

    • I don’t really have enough information to help you. Just be sure you’re getting the variables in the URL correct.

      The best way to check this is to use the plugin debugging log (this is set up in the Participants Database settings under the advanced tab) where you clear the debugging log, then test your URL. The log will contain the database query that is used, that will explain your results.

  • Hi I was just wondering if there can be a way to customize search message result?
    I can’t seem to find in the settings and documentations.
    Found 3 results while searching for Drinking water access.

  • Hi,

    The search plugin stopped working. When entering the information and clicking on search nothing happens, it doesn’t return the information nor a message that nothing was found.

    Can you help me figure this out?

    you can try it with
    lastname: perez
    dob: 02/06/2000

    Thank you.

    • If it was working, then stopped, the first place to look for why is anything that changed on your site that could break it, such as a plugin update or new plugin, etc.

      If it is not returning anything at all, that suggests page caching is not allowing the updated results to show. Make sure you have page caching turned off on your search results page.

      • Thanks again Roland for your prompt response.
        Disabling the cache option solved the issue.

  • Hi, I have a two field multisearch.

    One field is a text field, the other one is a date field.

    The date field is configured as a single date field but it is behaving like a range field. I enter one date but what I get are results that include dates above the one I enter.

    For example, trying the combination:
    lastname: perez
    dob: 02/06/2000

    it brings back all of the participants with last name “perez” and whose dob is “2/6/2020” or above.
    This didn’t used to be the case.

    I hope you can help me solve this.

    • Hi Leonel,

      It’s not supposed to do that. If the date field input type is configured as a simple “date field” it should search only for the day entered. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I will need to issue an update for this, you’ll see it in the next couple of days.

  • Hi Roland,

    I thought I posted the following a couple of days ago, but apparently it was rejected as spam.

    First, thanks for a great product. We couldn’t do what do without it. We are using Participants Database Version with Participants Database Combination Multi Search Version 2.4.7.

    Recently we have had difficulty changing the order of the fields on the Combo Multi Search Setup page. Fields at the top of the page can be dragged to a new location as normal, but fields at the bottom of the page cannot.

    I can drag a field, but when I release it at the new location, it pops back to its original location. Sometimes when I drag a field, it brings along the fields below it and all fields pop back to their original location.

    A print of our Combo Multi Search Setup page is at our website in wp-content/uploads/SetupPage.pdf. Can you help?

    • Issues like this are typically due to javascript conflicts on the page.

      My guess is that there is another plugin in your setup that also uses drag-and-drop code and they have not been careful about which pages it is active on. So, you can end up with two pieces of code trying to control the interface at once. If this was working once, then had problems, I’d look at any plugins that were installed recently for the culprit. You can selectively deactivate plugins to see which one is involved.

      • Hi Roland,

        I disabled all the other plugins one at a time and the behavior of Combo Multisearch remained the same.

        I created a test site and imported my site into it, then upgraded Combo Multisearch to 2.4.8. I disabled all plugins except PDB and Combo Multisearch. The behavior of Combo Multisearch was the same. So I think there may be an issue with Combo Multisearch.


        • Hi Alan,

          Did you try changing the theme? Some themes add javascript to the backend and that can cause problems.

          If there is a problem with the plugin, I am not seeing it in my tests. If I can duplicate the problem here, I can see that it is a problem with the plugin and solve it. How many fields are you configuring in the multi search? Does the problem show up if you only have 2 or 3 fields configured? These things shouldn’t matter, but I need more information to work with. Any other information about your configuration could be helpful.

        • Those category headings I mentioned are radio button fields that we are abusing.


        • OK, why do you want those in the multi-search configuration?

      • Hi Roland,

        I changed the theme from Weaver Xtreme to Twenty Twenty-One and the behavior remained the same. There are a LOT of fields configured–see wp-content/uploads/SetupPage.pdf. Yes, reducing to a few fields makes the problem go away. The category heading fields may be related to the problem.


        • The screenshot is not something I can see, the URL is incomplete.

    • I added categories to the multi-search configuration because because the customer needed them to navigate the search page. See and


      • OK, thanks for clarifying. I need a little time to look into this, I’ll have to try to duplicate the problem.

      • Well, so far I have not been able to reproduce the problem. I added a lot of search fields (130) to the control and didn’t see any issues with moving the fields around. The type of field (for instance your checkboxes) won’t affect this functionality, although, I did include checkbox fields in my tests.

        I suppose it’s possible the issue is with the particular browser you are using. Have you tried using a different browser?

        Another thing to try is to open the browser developer tools, then check the “console” pane. If you clear the console, then try to drag a field, some helpful information may come into the console.

        • I’ve tried three browsers on two computers and the behavior is the same on all.

          Did you receive the email I sent with login credentials?

          I opened the browser console then tried to move a field and the behavior was as I described. Then I cleared the browser console and it worked correctly! What does this tell us? The console log is below.


          TypeError: browser is null
          g_CS[e] is null 3 background.js:1
          receiveCS moz-extension://16bb0c29-7006-4c52-a988-6f709176ca51/background.js:1
          onconnect_listener moz-extension://16bb0c29-7006-4c52-a988-6f709176ca51/background.js:1
          e moz-extension://16bb0c29-7006-4c52-a988-6f709176ca51/lpfulllib.js:1
          apply self-hosted:2736
          applySafeWithoutClone resource://gre/modules/ExtensionCommon.jsm:626
          asyncWithoutClone resource://gre/modules/ExtensionCommon.jsm:2444

        • Roland, thank you so much for pinpointing the error.


  • I interpret the Multi select clause of the Input type in the Multi Search Fields setting in Combo Multi Search Setup to mean that if I select multiple possible field values, the filtering is done for all selected values. But only the first field value is filtered according to the compiled SQL statement. For example, if I have a season field where all four seasons can be set, filtering is always done only for the first selected season and not for the second. Is that normal operation or is it a problem with the system? Met so I can’t filter the winter and spring settings, even though I want that.
    Here is the prepared SQL statement in the DEBUG LOG:
    PDb_List::_setup_iteration list query: SELECT …. FROM wp03_participants_database p WHERE p.Season LIKE “%Winter” AND p.kiemelt LIKE ‘%”BG”%’ ORDER BY ……………
    And this is what it should look like to give the result I think is expected:
    PDb_List::_setup_iteration list query: SELECT ….ded FROM wp03_participants_database p WHERE (p.Season LIKE “%Winter” OR p.Season LIKE “%Spring”) AND p.kiemelt LIKE ‘%”BG”%’ ORDER BY ….
    What is the solution to get the result I expect?
    Sincerely, Gábor Benke, Prticipant DB user.

    • Thanks for your question, I was not aware of this problem. I will need to issue an update to the Combo Multisearch plugin to fix this.

      • Hello Roland,
        it was really fast. After the first tests, it already feels good that data filtering works the way I imagined! I see two modules are also affected by the amendment.
        I’ll keep testing and if there’s any problem, I’ll write.
        Thanks, Gábor

  • This has been breaking my brain. I’m sure I must be doing something wrong.
    I have a field [Interest] that’s Multiselect Checkbox with categories (for example): “Anthropology, Development, Economics, Sociology”, with a Combo Multisearch for this category.

    When searching for it on Input Type ‘Dropdown List’, it only shows the members if it matches their first field checked. Example, if I search for ‘Development’, it will not display someone with “Anthropology, Development”, but it will display someone with “Development, Economics”. I was expecting two results instead of one.

    This would mean that if I search for ‘Sociology’ (last item on the list), I will only get results of those that ONLY have sociology selected.

    However, when searching for it on Input Type “Multiselect Dropdown”, it behaves as expected. I get both results if I search for ‘Development’. But Multiselect Dropdown is ugly and unintuitive for our purposes.

    Is there any way to make it LOOK like ‘Dropdown List’, but behave like ‘Multiselect Dropdown’?

    • A search on a multiselect field would normally find matching records no matter where the searched-for option appears in the list of selections for a record. I’ve just confirmed this, so my guess is there is something about how your multiselect field is configured that is leading to unexpected results.

      Do you have options defined for your “interests” field that contain punctuation such as commas or quotes?

      One of the things you can do to better understand the results of the search is to turn plugin debugging on (Participants Database settings under the advanced tab) then open the debugging log and clear it. Test your search, then look at the log, you will see the database query that was used.

      • On closer inspection, none of the three Input types (Dropdown List, Multiselect Dropdown/Checkbox) are behaving consistently as expected.

        We have one item with an apostrophe Women’s Studies, some with small dashes -, and some parenthesis. Would these be enough to confuse the system?

        Our database is imported, we collected the data elsewhere and some entries have fields not in the main list as we aren’t using them anymore. Would need to look into that to see what’s there.

        Running debugging, one thing that jumps at me is that when in ‘Multiselect Checkbox’ mode, and I select more than one search field, it’s throwing:

        … WHERE p.approved = “yes” AND (p.interests_checkbox LIKE ‘%”Architecture”%’) ORDER BY p.last_name ASC

        Not sure about the debugger’s language, but I would have expected the interest_checkbox to mention all the items selected, not just the first alphabetically.

        I’ll need to do a fresh install if the plugin on our test site and add people one by one to see.

        • make sure you’re using the latest version of Combo Multisearch, should be at least 2.4.6

      • Tried it on a fresh install, adding options to Multiselect Checkbox, and it seems the problem stems from having an option with an apostrophe in the Manage Database Field section. The moment I added “Women’s Studies” things started misbehaving.

        However, I managed a workaround. I left the options mostly blank in the Manage Database Field, except for the required one, and in the Combo Multi Search Setup, I let “Database Values in Selector” fill the dropdown’s options.

        Women’s Studies appeared (as it’s in the uploaded files) in the search and correctly gave the results expected.

        Unfortunately, this means I can’t edit information directly until I fix it, but it should work for now.

        • You can try replacing the apostrophe in the field options with the HTML entity: '

  • This is a great plug-in which I have been using for 6-12 months, thanks.
    I have the combination multi-search set up – I am only using the combination search.
    I noticed recently in combo-search that I am not getting all the results I expect. The field that I can’t search on is p.url. If I type in ‘test’ I only get results if ‘test’ is found in other fields. If the p.url field includes ‘test’ this is not picked up by the query and this item will not appear in results.
    Using the debugging tool the coding around this part of the query is different and I wonder if that is the reason?

    [06/25/21 1:23pm UTC]
    PDb_List::_setup_iteration list query: SELECT, p.url, p.region, p.appellation, p.colour, p.cuvee, p.vintage, p.tasting_note, p.score, p.tasting_month, p.tasting_year FROM wp_participants_database p WHERE (p.region LIKE “%test%” OR p.subregion LIKE “%test%” OR p.url LIKE “%\”test\”%” OR p.appellation LIKE “%test%” OR p.colour LIKE “%test%” OR p.cuvee LIKE “%test%” OR p.vintage = “test” OR p.tasting_note LIKE “%test%” OR p.score = “test”) ORDER BY p.region DESC

    You can see the p.url string is “%\”test\”%” rather than “%test%”. Is this relevant? If not can you please advise on how I should proceed now?

    • The reason the term in the WHERE clause for the url field is different is because “link” type fields store their value as an array. The query is designed to match that. If you have legacy values in your db that are not arrays, those may work for display purposes, but they will be missed by the query because the query is expecting the value to be in a serialized array. This can happen if the url field was originally a text field that was changed to a “link” field.

      Take a look at the data using phpMyAdmin, that will show you exactly what is in the db.

    • Thanks for your reply Roland.

      I don’t recall having the url field as anything other than a link field – I the table up for this purpose and imported into the url field from the outset using csv files.

      I ran some tests specific to some cells containing the term “angludet”. The url field cells all have this format:

      a:2:{i:0;s:54:””;i:1;s:25:”Château Angludet”;}

      Searching on the term “angludet” in the admin pages gets 31 results:
      list query: SELECT * FROM wp_participants_database p WHERE url LIKE “%angludet%” ORDER BY tasting_year desc LIMIT 0,60

      Searching on the user page gets 5 results:
      PDb_List::_setup_iteration list query: SELECT, p.url, p.region, p.appellation, p.colour, p.cuvee, p.vintage, p.tasting_note, p.score, p.tasting_month, p.tasting_year FROM wp_participants_database p WHERE (p.region LIKE “%angludet%” OR p.subregion LIKE “%angludet%” OR p.url LIKE “%\”angludet\”%” OR p.appellation LIKE “%angludet%” OR p.colour LIKE “%angludet%” OR p.cuvee LIKE “%angludet%” OR p.vintage = “angludet” OR p.tasting_note LIKE “%angludet%” OR p.score = “angludet”) ORDER BY p.tasting_year DESC

      All five results are returned because “angludet” is mentioned in one of the other fields searched (in every case the tasting_note field).

      Thank you for any advice on the next step for me to take!


      • I needed to take a closer look at this, and it looks like the query generated by the plugin is incorrect. The search term for a “link” field should not be enclosed in double quotes unless it is looking for a whole-word match. I will issue an update to Combo Multisearch to fix this.

        • Great news Roland, thanks for taking the time to take a closer look at this. Best wishes, Chris.

        • Fabulously quick response and update to fix this Roland, many thanks. Chris

  • Hi Roland
    Since updating to the latest version, I notice it is no longer possible to use the same fields for both Combo and Multisearch as my Combo Search box has disappeared from the search page. The Avaliable Fields list for the Combo Search Fields is greyed out for those used by Multisearch and so no longer available for Combo. Is this correct or are there new other changes I need to get back what I had before?
    Many thanks

    • It was never really supposed to be possible, a bit of sloppy coding on my part. What I need to do, and haven’t yet, is create a way around this limitation if there is a setup where you’ve got the combo search and the multi search on separate pages. Having a search control with both combo and multi search on the same page doesn’t work right if they have fields in common. However, if you’re using some kind of special setup where you don’t have the combo search and multi search on the same page, it can work. I just need to make it possible to customize a setup like that. Currently, it is not possible. My apologies if your site was depending on this.

      If you are adventuresome, you can “hack” the combo search fields setting to add fields that are assigned to the multisearch. I cannot say whether this will work or not, but if you edit the serialized array that holds the settings for the plugin, you can add any field to the combo search. The setting is named “pdbcms_settings” in the wp_options table.

      • Many thanks for the explanation. Before I dive in, I need to think a bit more carefully about what I am doing re the searches. I did make some temporary changes (though now switched back) to try out a Combo search with fields from Avaliable Fields. Before, I was able to use a single word (e.g., ‘bear’) to shortlist all the records containing this (e.g., Cave Bear, Brown Bear, etc) though this also now no longer works, Is this correct too with the revised code? That feature was unbeliebaly useful.

        • I’m not exactly sure what you’re referring to here…what you’re describing sound like what Combo search does. Do you have two different pages where a search can be performed, one with individual fields and the other with a single search input?

      • I have set up this page that searches one field for testing:

        The Fauna field contains values taken from a dropdown menu. Three examples are as follows:
        Cave Bear – Ursus spelauys
        Bear – Ursus sp.
        Brown Bear – Ursus arctos

        I used to be able to search on ‘bear’ and records containing any of the above would be shortlisted. Now it seems it has to be an exact match so am wondering what I am doing wrong.

        • Searches performed on multiselect fields currently require a match to the complete term, so a word within that term (or multiple terms) would not match.

          I can see how this would not be the desired behavior in some cases, so I will look in to providing a setting that will allow for a more general search.

        • I just issued an update that allows for a more general search on multiselect fields when using the combo search control. Thanks for bringing this up, I needed to take a closer look at it.

      • Works perfectly. Thank you very much for the swift turnaround and glad I was able to help in a minor way.

  • Hello.

    Love the product and now I’m trying to tweak it a bit and have a question regarding autofocus and having the cursor in the search box when the page loads, or when you press clear and the page reloads.

    I am using the following shortcode:
    [pdb_list template=multisearch-responsive search_fields=student_id suppress=true]

    Is this possible? I tried preloading with data, but that didn’t give me the results I wanted.


    • The plugin won’t set the focus on the search input for you, you will need to add some javascript to make that happen. It is fairly easy to add your javascript using a custom template.

      • Thanks.

        I did add the javascript so that it places the focus when the page loads, but that doesn’t work with using “Clear” as the page doesn’t reload. I’m going to have to think this over a bit and see what I can come up with. We want to use a barcode scanner to check people’s ID’s when they walk into the office to verify if they’ve turned in paperwork. We have 1700 individuals and I’m trying to keep the mouse clicks to a minimum.

        • You can add a handler to clicking the “clear” button that sets the focus element.

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